From: Freeman, Robert J (DOS)
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 9:18 AM
Subject: FOIL request


I have received your correspondence concerning a FOIL request made to the Office of the Chief Medical
Examiner. Although a printout of the record sought was made available, you previously requested and
obtained not only equivalent, but additional material, in an Excel spreadsheet that included color
codings. You asked in your recent request that the data be made available, again, in Excel with the same
color codings.

It is clear that the agency either maintains the data at issue in Excel format or that it has the ability to
disclose the data in that format. Because that is so, I believe that it is required to do so to comply with
FOIL. It is emphasized that section 89(5) of FOIL states that: “An agency shall provide records on the
medium requested by the person, if the agency can reasonably make such copy or have such copy made
by engaging an outside professional service. Records provided in a computer format shall not be

Based on the quoted provision, in my view, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is required to
disclose the data in the format of your choice, assuming that it continues to have the ability to do so.

I hope that I have been of assistance.

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)