Watchdog Groups: 421-a Real Estate Subsidy 
is Epicenter of Political Corruption in Albany

Coalition of Groups Applaud NYC Board of Elections for New Level of Data Access

Groups Applaud End of Automatic Deletion of Emails

Groups Call On Cuomo to Lead By Example on Transparency, Issue Executive Order Saving Emails 7 Years

We welcome the announcement from the Governor’s Office that the Governor is ending the automatic deletion of emails after 90 days. Ending the policy is good, and it shows the power the governor has to lead by example to increase transparency. Unfortunately, ending the bad email deletion policy does not restore the years of records that were lost when the governor put the policy in place.

Going forward, our groups call on Governor Cuomo to lead by example on transparency by issuing an Executive Order that requires agencies to save emails for seven years – consistent with the federal “Capstone” policy. The Governor can make New York the leading state on email transparency without legislation. The White House, via the National Archives, will soon begin requiring all federal agencies to save emails for a minimum of seven years – which was done through executive action without Congress.

John Kaehny
Executive Director
Reinvent Albany

Noel Hidalgo

Blair Horner
Legislative Director
NY Public Interest Research Group

David Moore
Executive Director
Participatory Politics Foundation

Dick Dadey
Executive Director
Citizens Union

Susan Lerner
Executive Director
Common Cause NY

Peter Iwanowicz
Executive Director
Environmental Advocates of New York

Dan Estrin
Supervising Attorney
Pace Environmental Law Clinic

Elizabeth Bird
Project Coordinator
Good Jobs NY

Barbara Petersen
National FOI Coalition

Paul Gallay

Veronica Vanterpool
Executive Director
Tri-State Transportation Campaign

Transparency Groups Urge Gov. Cuomo to Issue 
Executive Order Requiring Agencies to Keep Emails 7 Years

New York City’s RFS for a New 311 System: This Should Be On NYC.Gov

There is a lot to like in NYC DOITT’s Request for Services for a new New York City’s current 311 system.  Unfortunately, only a handful of people were allowed to see the RFS, which was provided by DOITT to a select group of journalists and pre-approved NYC vendors. We read about the RFS  in Miranda Neubauer’s May 11, 2015  piece in Capital. In the piece, DOITT Commissioner Anne Roest said she did not publish the document online, saying she wanted “To not cause confusion in the vendor community.” We hope Commissioner Roest and City Hall rethink this position and recall that the most fundamental tenant of the Freedom of Information Law — and a bedrock of open government — is that government records are open by default. In 2015, “open by default” means published online where everyone can see them and download them. We appreciate DOITT providing us with a copy of the RFS after we requested it as co-chair of the NYC Transparency Working Group and we hope that going forward they automatically put procurement and other key documents online unless those documents would be excluded from disclosure under FOIL by privacy or security concerns.