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Request DFS Records Through the Freedom of Information Law

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Overview

The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public right to access to records maintained by government agencies with certain exceptions. 

“Record” means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for this agency, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.


Request Records

Use the DFS FOIL eForm:

You may also send a letter, fill out and mail a print version of the DFS FOIL request or email your request. However, be aware that it will take longer to process your request due to the mail process and the time it takes for us to manually enter your information into our system.

Mail a written request to:

New York State Department of Financial Services
Office of General Counsel
Attn: Records Access Officer
One State Street, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Email a written request:

[email protected]

Submit a request for records in person:

At the time that you make your FOIL request, you may ask to inspect records in person, rather than receive copies of the records. If you are granted access to the records that you requested, you will be contacted to make an appointment to inspect the records in person. Appointments for in-person inspection occur Monday – Friday, between the hours of 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Records are maintained in either the New York City or Albany office of DFS and you may inspect records only in the office in which they are maintained. The New York City office is located at One State Street, New York, NY 10004 and the Albany office is located at One Commerce Plaza, Albany, NY 12257.


FOIL Process

Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, we will send you a letter either: making such record available; denying such request in writing; or furnishing a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request.  If you have not received a letter within five business days, please contact us at [email protected]

An acknowledgment letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records you request will be available, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, the time it takes to assemble the documents, and other factors. 


Fees

If the records you request require a fee to be paid, you will be notified prior to the records being released to you. 

No record will be disclosed until all applicable fees are paid. Fees may be paid by check or money order, made payable to “Superintendent of Financial Services.” Cash is not accepted. Please do not make payment until you have been advised of the exact cost, or your payment will be returned to you. Your check or money order should contain the FOIL tracking number that was assigned to your request and should be sent to the DFS representative who advised you of the applicable fee.

Hard copies: records photocopied by DFS staff are $0.25 per page not exceeding 9 by 14 inches, and $0.70 for each page larger than 9 by 14 inches. Fax transmissions: $4.00 for the first page, $2.50 for each additional page. CD/DVD/USB Drive: $1.00 each.

Email attachments: free.

Outside service: If DFS must engage an outside professional service to prepare copies, the fee is the actual cost charged by such outside professional service. If DFS requires more than two hours to prepare copies in response to your FOIL request, the fee charged for such preparation after the first two hours is the amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid DFS employee. Preparation costs do not include search time or administrative costs.


Record Format

Depending upon the records that you request, copies may be made available by hard copy, fax, CD, DVD, USB drive, or as an email attachment. Indicate in your request the format in which you wish the records to be provided to you. If the copies cannot be made available in the format that you request, DFS will advise you of the available format alternatives. If copies can be made in electronic format, but are so voluminous that they cannot be emailed, you will be advised of the cost of providing the records in an appropriate format.


The Right to Appeal Denial of Access

You have the right to appeal a determination by DFS to deny access to the records that you requested in accordance with N.Y. Public Officers Law Section 89(4) or 89(5)(c), as appropriate. Your appeal must be in writing and submitted either by email to:

[email protected]

or by letter to:

FOIL Appeals Officer
New York State Department of Financial Services
One State Street, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10004.

You will be informed in writing of the decision within ten business days of our receipt of such an appeal.  Please indicate the FOIL Request Number when corresponding on this subject.


Subject Matter List

The following is a current list of records, by subject matter, that are maintained by DFS:


Helpful Tips

For more information about FOIL, please visit the New York State Committee on Open Government’s website.

When submitting a FOIL request:

  • Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. Include relevant dates, names, descriptions, etc. See suggested language for a FOIL request from the Committee on Open Government.
  • Specify whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you.
  • If records are available, specify how you want them sent, i.e., via US mail, e-mail or fax. We may choose to send the records by U.S. mail, if you have requested a large volume of records, for security or other important reasons. We will notify you of any charge for reproducing such records before they are sent to you.
  • Include your email, mailing address and fax number, as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, if it is necessary to clarify your request.
  • Please note that the agency is not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests. 

Questions?

If you have general questions about submitting a FOIL request, call (800) 342-3736, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm or email the DFS Records Access Officer at [email protected].

Personal Privacy Protection Law

To request records under New York Public Officers Law Article 6-A, Personal Privacy Law, please see our Privacy Policy.