Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

Overview 

The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), set forth in Article 6 of the Public Officers Law (§§84-90), is designed to ensure public access to government records. Under FOIL, an agency must make records available for public inspection and copying, except to the extent that records or portions thereof fall within one or more grounds for denial. 

How to Request Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) Records Under FOIL

Send a detailed, written request to our Records Access Officer.

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Mail:
    Records Access Office
    Communications, 15th floor
    Office of the State Comptroller
    110 State Street
    Albany, NY 12236-0001
  • Fax: 518-473-8940
  • In Person:
    • Written requests may be submitted in person at OSC’s main office at 110 State Street in Albany, New York, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.
    • Upon entering the main entrance, advise security that you are visiting to submit a request for FOIL records.
    • Records require review prior to release. As a result, documents and records will not be immediately available.
    • You may also contact the Records Access Officer at 518-474-4015 to make an appointment to review records requested.

When submitting a FOIL request:

  • Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. Include relevant dates, names and descriptions.
  • Specify where to send the records and how you want them sent (e.g., mail, email or fax). We will notify you of any charge for reproducing any responsive records before they are sent to you.
  • Include your email, mailing address and a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, even if the request is made electronically or by fax.

Records Maintained by OSC

A list of records, by subject matter, maintained by OSC may be found in the Subject Matter List. Some of the listed records may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to FOIL.

In addition, to assist the public, the Comptroller's Office provides a broad range of information on our website. If you seek records concerning aspects of OSC’s operations, you may be able to find them on the Open Data page.

Note: If you are requesting OSC records pertaining to you, see OSC’s Personal Privacy Protection Law page for an alternative means to request such records.

What Happens After Your FOIL Request Is Received

Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, we will send you a letter either: making such record available; denying such request in writing; or furnishing a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request.

OSC’s acknowledgment will provide an estimate of the timeframe when the requested records will be available. This estimate is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to assemble the documents, the time it takes to review and redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, and other factors.

If you will be charged a fee for the records, you will be notified prior to the records being released to you. Unless a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute, Public Officers Law §87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of $0.25 per copy for copies of records up to 9 x 14 inches, or the actual cost of reproducing a record.

How to Appeal a FOIL Decision

You will be notified in writing if the Records Access Officer denies access to records in whole or in part. You then will have 30 days to file a written appeal with the Comptroller's Office. Please include a copy of the original request for records, a copy of the FOIL response you received, and your appeal.

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Mail:
    FOIL Appeals Officer
    Legal Services, 14th Floor
    Office of the State Comptroller
    110 State Street
    Albany, NY 12236-0001

Further Information

For more information about FOIL, please visit the New York State Committee on Open Government. The Committee on Open Government is responsible for overseeing implementation of the Freedom of Information Law, and offers insight into what records are accessible, as well as provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions.