Listening to FOIL at NYC DOITT: 311 Data Challenge


Reinvent Albany has analyzed the Freedom of Information Law requests received by numerous New York State and City agencies in an effort to identify what agency information and data the public is interested in, and to make a case for publishing that information online. In June 2014, Reinvent Albany published Listening to FOIL, an analysis of the FOIL requests made to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2013. We found that 2,200 of DEC’s 4,000 FOIL requests targeted a handful of DEC data sets. Accordingly, we recommended that the DEC publish those data sets online to reduce the number of FOIL requests it had to respond to.

Since then, we have analyzed numerous other FOIL logs, and decided to publish to our analysis of requests received by the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT), an agency we are familiar with. DOITT is particularly interesting to us because it both manages NYC’s Open Data Portal and processes FOIL requests for NYC’s mammoth 311 system.

We filed FOIL requests for FOILs DOITT received from October 2014 to September 2015, and published our findings in the report below. Click here for the copy of DOITT’s FOIL logs used in our research.

Click here to view the report.