Reports and Policy Briefs
Issue: Open Govt Freedom of Information

Reinvent Albany regularly writes and publishes on issues and legislation relevant to our core mission. Below is a complete list of our reports, policy briefs, and memos.

January 2021 Legislative FOIL: A Tale of Two Houses Covers legislative FOIL and the two houses' respective approaches, including recommendations on options for reform. September 2019 Analysis Shows Huge Challenge for MTA to Spend $55B 2020-24 Capital Plan Analysis shows the biggest constraint is the MTA’s ability to spend, not find capital funding. Recommends honest and detailed implementation plan, as well as detailed, itemized lists of projects and changes to prior plans. April 2019 Steps Forward for MTA FOIL and Open Data 18 specific actions the MTA can take to improve transparency now. (2019) November 2018 FOIL that Works: MTA 2018 An in-depth look at FOIL at the MTA shows a fragmented process and offers best practices for online FOIL and police incident reports (2018) March 2017 Listening to FOIL 2: NYC DOITT FOIL Requests 2015 An examination of the FOIL logs of one New York City agency (DoITT) tells us what data sets are high-value and should be open data (2015) March 2017 State Email Retention Policy New York State should match the Federal Government's email retention policy and save emails for 7 years and the emails of executive staff permanently (2014) March 2017 Open New York “Tools” Recommendations for specific tools that enable state agencies to quickly create web-based information resources to be included in (2011) January 2016 Modest Burden, Modest Value: Extending FOIL to NYS Legislature January 2016 January 13, 2016 analysis recommending NYS legislature subject itself completely to Freedom of Information Law as do 23 other state legislatures. Report notes NYC Council already subjected to FOIL and in 2014 got only approximately 70 FOIL requests compared to more than 50,000 received by mayoral agencies. Includes chart of 23 state legislatures and commonly FOILed topics. July 2014 Listening to FOIL An examination of the FOIL logs of one state agency tells us what data sets are high-value and should be open data. June 2014 Beyond Magic Markers Examining the costs of New York City's outdated FOIL response process, and the savings from Open FOIL systems. April 2014 Opening New York State Open Data Legislation needs to be developed collaboratively between the governor and the legislature. February 2014 NYS Open Data Roundtable A collection of open data resources, including the NYS Executive Order, the Open Data Handbook, etc (2014)