FOIL AO- 18781

From: Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 9:28 AM
Subject: RE: Pickup refusing to certify that records do not exist as per NYS
Public Officers Law


I agree with Ms. Wilson's response. The accuracy of the assertion of an exception to rights of access is
subject to review via an administrative appeal, and perhaps thereafter, by a court.

The provision in FOIL concerning certification relates to two circumstances: first, when a copy is
requested and made available, the recipient may ask for a certification indicating that it is a true copy
of the record maintained by the agency (irrespective of whether the content of the record is
accurate); and second, when a request is made and the record sought cannot be located or is not
maintained by the agency, an applicant may seek a certification indicating that the record could not be
found after having engaged in a diligent search, or that the agency does not maintain the record.

I hope that the foregoing serves to clarify your understanding and that I have been of assistance.

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