Legislative Memo


S.6077 (Wright) / A.9841 (Tonko)



An Act to amend the public officers law, in relation to access to certain agency information



April 29, 2002


The Business Council of New York State, whose membership includes over 3,600 member companies as well as hundreds of chambers of commerce and professional trade associations, has reviewed the above mentioned legislation and supports its enactment

This legislation would amend the Public Officers Law to provide state agencies the flexibility to except from public disclosure information that identifies "specific structural, operational, or technical information, such as maps, mechanical or architectural drawings, operational plans or procedures, or other detailed information relating to electric, natural gas, steam, or telecommunications systems or infrastructure." The intent of this legislation is to except state agencies and government bodies from disclosing information, much of it already on file with numerous state agencies, that identifies specific structural, operational or technical information regarding electric, natural gas, steam and telecommunications systems while maintaining existing appeals processes for accessing such information.

Allowing state agencies the flexibility to except from disclosing sensitive information such as maps, mechanical or architectural drawings, and detailed information on energy and telecommunications infrastructure, most of which is highly sensitive and confidential in nature, protects the safety of the public and the reliability of the systems. The revelation of such materials, if obtained by individuals with harmful intentions, could jeopardize public safety and the integrity of these vital energy and telecommunication systems.

Since energy and telecommunication companies are required by law to file much of this information with government bodies, proper precautions must be taken to protect this material. This legislation affords state agencies, as well as the effected companies filing sensitive information, a procedure to protect and safeguard information concerning the state's energy and telecommunications infrastructure.

For the above reasons, The Business Council of New York State, Inc., supports the enactment of this legislation.