The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) reform bill signed by Governor Cuomo today is a huge win for government transparency in New York. As we’ve learned over the years through our work promoting taxpayers’ right to public information, appealing FOIL requests is time-consuming and expensive. And for some, that cost can be prohibitive. By requiring agencies to pay the legal fees of those who successfully challenge a FOIL denial, this new law will make the process more accessible. That means more transparency, openness and accountability—all things we could use more of in New York.

While the governor hasn’t always lived up to his promise to run “the most transparent administration in history,” it is worth noting that the administration has made strides in posting data online, including through the DataNY portal. Combined with Comptroller DiNapoli’s valuable OpenBookNY database, Attorney General Schneiderman’s NYOpenGovernment and NYC’s Open Data site, government transparency in New York has come a long way.

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New Public Authority Payroll Data Now Posted at SeeThroughNY 

ALBANY, NY — 2020 for a total of 79,146 employees at 331 different New York State public authorities is now posted at , the Empire Center’s transparency website. 2021 is also posted for a total of 11,073 employees at 23 public aut Read More

Empire Center Appeals COVID FOIL Request Delays

Empire Center has appealed four delayed Freedom of Information Law requests pertaining to state COVID-19 data Read More

Three of 62 Requested COVID Data Sets Made Available through FOIL

Just three COVID data sets have been made fully available in the month since the Empire Center officially submitted 62 FOIL requests Read More

A Shadowy Non-Profit that Employs One-Fifth of the New York State Health Department Claims To Be Exempt from FOIL

In another blow to transparency in Albany, a non-profit group closely tied to the state Health Department is refusing to publicly disclose its payroll records under the Freedom of Information Law. (HRI) has funct Read More

Authorities Payroll Added to SeeThroughNY

The latest payroll data for a total of 13,615 employees at 54 different New York State public authorities was posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

Empire Center Ranks Local Taxes, Spending and Debt Across NY

The Empire Center today released its annual “Benchmarking New York” report, comparing and ranking government tax, spending and debt levels for hundreds of counties, towns, cities and villages throughout New York. Read More

Excelsior Scholarship “Illusion” Inferior to TAP, Report Says

NY's Excelsior Scholarship program is crudely designed, regressive and wasteful. Read More

FDNY Pensions Average More Than $129,000

The 471 Fire Department of New York (FDNY) officers and firefighters who retired in calendar year 2018 are eligible for average pensions of $129,259, according to data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

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Empire Center for Public Policy
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Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

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About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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