From: Freeman, Robert J (DOS)
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2015 3:40 PM
Subject: request to NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation
Attachments: f15893.wpd

Hi - -

While going through the rubble on my desk, I found the response to your appeal concerning a FOIL
request made to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. I recall that we began to discuss it, and
for whatever the reason, ended our conversation.

In my view, there is a statement in the response that is inconsistent with law, specifically, the assertion
that “FOIL applies only to records under the control of an agency; to the extent that you seek records
maintained on personal computers that are not under the control of Parks, Parks is under no obligation
to provide access to those records.” Outside of New York City, there are innumerable small units of
local government, i.e., towns, villages and school districts; members of their governing bodies are not
generally full time and they do not work out of government offices. On the contrary, often they
communicate from their homes with each other, with staff, and with their constituents using their
personally owned computers in carrying out their governmental functions. That being so, this office has
long advised that those communications constitute “records” that fall within the coverage of
FOIL. Whether they must be disclosed, as in all other instances, would be dependent on the content of
the records.

Attached is an opinion dealing with the issue in greater detail. In the event that you can’t open it, a
second copy will be sent.

If you’d like to discuss the matter, please feel free to call.

Bob Freeman

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231

(518)474-2518 (p)
(518)474-1927 (f)