From:   Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent:    Monday, March 17, 2008 3:29 PM


As you may know, FOIL states that an agency may charge up to 25 cents per photocopy or the actual cost of reproducing other records (i.e., the contents of a database), unless a different fee is prescribed by statute.  In this instance, the Department of State has relied on a statute, §96 of the Executive Law, which includes reference to a variety of fees that it may charge.  Subdivision (16) states that:

“Consistent with the provisions of the corporate laws of the state of New York, the department of
state shall produce or reproduce the content of any informational systems maintained pursuant to
such laws.  The secretary of state shall establish the type and amount of the reasonable fees to be
collected by the department of state for such informational systems.  Such fees shall be subject to
approval of the director of the budget and shall be promulgated in the official rules and regulations of the department of state in accordance with the provisions of the state administrative procedure act.”

In short, the Department has statutory authority, separate from the FOIL, to establish and charge fees for its “informational systems.”

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
NYS Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave., Suite 650
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 474-2518
(518) 474-1927 - fax