From: Freeman, Robert (DOS) on behalf of Freeman, Robert J (DOS)
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 4:07 PM
Subject: Videotape of interrogation

Dear :

I have received your letter and believe that is unnecessary to reiterate in detail facts that we have
discussed. The issue involves the obligation of an agency to make available a videotape when portions
of the tape may properly be redacted, but the agency “lacks the technology to redact the protected

In this regard, §87(1)(c)(iii) of the Freedom of Information Law deals with such a circumstance and states
that an agency may charge a fee based on “the actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside
professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency’s information technology
equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, if such service is used to prepare a copy of the
record…” The ensuing provision requires that an agency inform an applicant “of the estimated cost of
preparing a copy of the record…if an outside professional service would be retained to prepare a copy of
the record.”

In my view, if “an outside professional service” is able to prepare a duplicate of the videotape with
redactions in a manner consistent with law, and if you are willing and able to pay the actual cost of
preparing the record in accordance with §87(1)(c)(iii), the agency is required to engage the service in
order to prepare and disclose the record to you.

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)