The Importance and the Limits of the Freedom of Information Law - 27 East

The Importance and the Limits of the Freedom of Information Law

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27Speaks on Sep 16, 2022

New York State’s Freedom of Information Law is designed to protect the public’s right to know and to enable journalists and members of the public to obtain records from municipalities, police departments and other government agencies. However, the law is often vague and lacks teeth, which makes it easy for agencies to turn down, ignore or slow walk valid FOIL requests while rarely facing consequences. Journalist Charles Lane of the Institute for Access to Public Information joins the editors this week to discuss his recent FOIL lawsuit against Southampton Village, why FOIL is important to government transparency and accountability, and how the law could be improved to make it more effective and difficult to circumvent.

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