From:   Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent:    Thursday, March 26, 2009 10:35 AM
Subject:           RE: restaurant inspection records

Hi - -

In short, when photocopies of paper records are requested, an agency may charge up to 25 cents per photocopy.  If an agency has a photocopier that doubles as a scanner, and if it would be no more labor intensive to scan than to photocopy, it has been advised that a court would likely find that the agency is required to scan the records and make them available in an electronic form.  When records are maintained electronically, are accessible in their entirety and can be emailed, there is no fee.  When they are maintained electronically and copies are requested on a particular storage medium, i.e., a CD,  and the agency has the ability to do so with reasonable effort, it is required to do so.  When so doing involves less than two hours, the fee is based on the actual cost of the storage medium, i.e., 49 cents for a CD;  if it takes two hours or more to prepare the record maintained electronically, the agency may charge on the basis of the hourly salary of the lowest paid employee able to complete the task, plus the cost of the storage medium to which the information is transferred.

To obtain more detailed information, go to our website and the link to recent amendments to FOIL and our Highlights page.

I hope that this will be useful to you.


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