FOIL AO 19727
From: Freeman, Robert J (DOS)
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2019 9:23 AM
Subject: RE: Re:
Engineering is licensed by the Office of the Professions at the State Education Department (SED). To seek records from SED, you may do so via email at email@example.com. When submitting a request, an applicant must “reasonably describe” the records sought by supplying sufficient detail to enable agency staff to locate and identify the records.
Based on your description of the records of interest, it appears that three exceptions might be pertinent. First, as indicated on Friday, §87(2)(d) of FOIL authorizes an agency to deny access to portions of records which, if disclosed, would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of a commercial enterprise. Second, §87(2)(g) of FOIL pertains to “inter‐agency or intra‐agency materials”, i.e., communications between agencies or within an
agency. Insofar as those internal communications consist of advice, opinions, recommendations and the like, they may be withheld. However, the same provision requires the disclosure of statistical or factual information, instructions to staff that affect the public and final agency policy or determinations, unless a separate exception applies. Third,
§87(2)(a) pertains to records that are “specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal statute”. One such statute, §6510 of the Education Law deals with “Proceedings in cases of professional misconduct”. Subdivision (8) of that statute states that:
“The files of the department relating to the investigation of possible instances of professional misconduct, or the unlawful practice of any profession licensed by the board of regents, or the unlawful use of a professional title or the moral fitness of an applicant for a professional license or permit, shall be confidential and not subject to disclosure at the request of any person, except upon the order of a court in a pending action or proceeding. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to documents introduced in evidence at a hearing held pursuant to this chapter…”
I hope that I have been of assistance.