From the NY Times:
The New York City public advocate, Bill de Blasio, said Wednesday that he was starting an investigation into city agencies’ responses to the state’s Freedom of Information Law requests because he was concerned that the agencies were taking too long to release public information.
Mr. de Blasio said he also planned a new push for a City Council bill, introduced by his office last year, that would require agencies to report monthly how many requests they had received and how the requests were handled.
“It’s just gotten ridiculous lately,” Mr. de Blasio said. He cited a request his own office made to the Education Department last November, asking for documentation on delays in school bus service.
“We get a lovely letter every month telling us they’re working on it,” Mr. de Blasio said, but the department has still not provided the documentation.
Mr. de Blasio, who is considering a run for mayor, said his office was planning to send letters to each of the city’s commissioners, asking for a breakdown of all the FOIL requests received in the first quarter of 2011, including how quickly the agency responded and whether the request was granted.
He said that over the last two decades, some mayoral administrations “have thought it was clearly their responsibility to follow this law” while others withheld information.
But, he said, “the bottom line here is: This is not an optional matter, and we have to stop letting people get away with it.”