Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Procedures


Download FOIL Request Form

How to request public records at Binghamton University

The person within an agency from whom records may be obtained is generally designated the records access officer, and is responsible for coordinating the agency's response to FOIL requests.

Contents of Request

The request must be made in writing and "reasonably describe" the record. The request must be for records that currently exist as FOIL does not require the University to make a new record.

Purpose and use

The reason a requester may have for asking for copies of public documents is generally not relevant except FOIL also allows agencies to deny requests for lists if the lists that would be obtained would be used for commercial or fundraising purposes.

 FOIL places no restrictions on how public records may be used, once they have been obtained.

Who can request records?

Anyone can make a request. No allowance is made for the government entity to require why you want the records.


The law states that no more than 25 cents may be charged per page for copies or the actual cost of producing the information.

Response time

The Freedom of Information Act requires that an agency has five business days to grant or deny access in whole or in part, or if more time is needed, to at least acknowledge the receipt of the request in writing. This acknowledgment must include the date by when the request will be accepted or denied. The date must be reasonable under the circumstances of the request, and in most instances, it cannot exceed twenty additional business days. If more than twenty additional business days is needed, the agency must provide an explanation and a date certain within which it will grant or deny the request in whole or in part. That date, too, must be reasonable in consideration of the facts (i.e., the volume or complexity of the request, the need to search for records, or the obligation to review records to determine rights of access).


Subject Matter List

New York Public Officers Law, sections 84-90, (the Freedom of Information Act), requires the University to maintain an up-to-date list of the records in the University's possession. The law defines "record" as "any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the State Legislature, in any physical form whatsoever." The current law states that all records are accessible, except records or portions of records that fall within one of nine categories of deniable records (section 87 (2)).

Records at the University include:


  1. Accreditation records
  2. Curriculum development records
  3. Academic program proposals
  4. Curriculum/program registration records
  5. Master plan and related documents
  6. Course information records
  7. Faculty and faculty‐student research records
  8. Records of Institutional Review Boards
  9. Course listing
  10. Instructor's course syllabus or lesson plan
  11. Instructor's grade records, test scores
  12. List of students majoring in a field of study
  13. Class schedule
  14. Evaluations of course instructor
  15. Records relating to tax‐free use of alcohol
  16. Radiation use log
  17. Records of hypodermic syringes and needles


  1. Admissions Data for Applicants Who Enroll
  2. Admissions Data for Applicants Not Enrolling (Whether Accepted or Rejected)
  3. General Records Related to Admissions and the Admissions Process


  1. Player recruitment/scouting file
  2. Athletic scholarship file
  3. Athletic program records
  4. Records of gender equity in athletics
  5. Substance or alcohol abuse testing records
  6. Athletic training records
  7. Athletic health information report


  1. Participation, attendance, or enrollment records
  2. Parental consent records
  3. Field trip records
  4. Bus or other vehicle use file
  5. Applications for individual acceptance to camp (or participation in specific camp programs and activities)
  6. Facility information data record


  1. General Files
  2. Claims Files
  3. Legislation Files
  4. FOIL Requests
  5. Campus Contracts



  1. Annual Environmental Audit Report Records
  2. Toxic Substances Training and Education Files
  3. Employee Occupational Injury and Illness Incident Logs, Reports and Summaries
  4. Annual Occupational Injury and Illness Surveys
  5. Fire Code Compliance Records
  6. Fire Safety Education and Training Records
  7. Incident and Investigation Records
  8. Health, Safety, and Security Subject Files
  9. Facility Disaster Preparedness Files


  1. Manifest (including all LDRs and other documentation)
  2. Annual Report
  3. Exception Report
  4. Test results, waste analyses, or other determinations
  5. Any hazardous waste records associated with an unresolved enforcement activity or upon request of the Commissioner
  6. Universal Waste (LQH) records of shipment


  1. Inspections, tests, and records with written procedures


  1. Tracking forms and exception reports


  1. All reports, monitoring information and measurements required by a SPDES permit, and data used to complete SPDES permit applications.


  1. Training records for each person who performs a haz mat packaging, labeling, or marking function or who otherwise offers a hazmat for transportation


  1. Correspondence
  2. College Council minutes
  3. Commencement programs and other pertinent information
  4. Faculty Senate minutes
  5. Inaugurations of campus presidents and anniversary recognitions of the university


  1. State Student financial aid program records
  2. Student bankruptcy records
  3. Federal Student Financial Aid Financial Aid Documents
  4. Scholarship Records

HEALTH INFORMATION (in student health centers)

  1. Health Center Student Medical Records
  2. Patient Medical Record
  3. Tracings, recordings which are not contained in the patient medical records
  4. Testing Tools
  5. Work Schedules and On‐Call Schedules/Logs
  6. Requisitions for Diagnostic tests
  7. ER Diversion Records
  8. Pharmacy Records of Controlled Substance Inventory, Disposal, Orders and Prescriptions
  9. HIPAA‐Accounting of Disclosures Log
  10. Environment of Care — environment and equipment
  11. Medical Device Reporting
  12. Financial Statements and Records
  13. Medical Staff Credentialing
  14. Medical Staff Bylaws/Governing Body Records
  15. Patient Complaints and Grievances
  16. Incident Reports
  17. Infection Control
  18. Quality Assurance Records /Peer Review/Quality Improvement/Patient Safety Evaluation System/Patient Safety Work Product Records
  19. Reports to Regulatory/Accrediting Agencies/Entities


  1. Campus exhibit file
  2. Campus collections records
  3. Campus arts program records


  1. General Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York State Government Records



  1. Accreditation records for law enforcement, fire prevention, or emergency medical services unit (if applicable)
  2. Standard Operating Procedures
  3. Tape recording of Communications
  4. Campus safety records


  1. Incident data summary record
  2. Law enforcement reports, studies, or data queries
  3. Arrest Records and Folders
  4. Incident and investigation records


  1. Campus firearm purchase record
  2. Records of issuance of firearms or other weapons to law enforcement personnel
  3. Repair and maintenance records for firearms or other weapons used by law enforcement personnel
  4. Record of stolen or missing firearms


  1. Traffic violation records
  2. Parking violation records
  3. Vehicle accident case record
  4. Vehicle history files


  1. Warrant execution and subpoena or summons service records by external law enforcement agency


  1. Student Accounts Folders and Correspondence (student‐specific records)
  2. General Administrative Records (not specific to any student)
  3. Credit Card Receipts and Records
  4. Cumulative Payment Listings & Cumulative Transaction Listings
  5. State Financial aid reports
  6. Proof of Residence Records


  1. Student counseling records
  2. List of student appointments
  3. Statistical compilation or reports of students served
  4. Printed resource materials
  5. Career placement records
  6. Quality Assurance Records /Peer Review/Quality Improvement/Patient Safety Evaluation System/Patient Safety Work Product Records
  7. Student attendance records
  8. CDCI seminars
  9. Mentoring
  10. Usage of online software


  1. Student Academic Records
  2. Non‐credit and Continuing Education Records
  3. Student Information System
  4. Records of Compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and Student Advising Records
  5. Student Degree and Grade Audit Records
  6. Student Complaint Records
  7. Student complaints filed under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  8. Recruitment Records
  9. Records relating to individual prospective students who do not apply for admission
  10. Parental consent record
  11. Commencement records
  12. Records of international students who enroll
  13. International Program/Overseas Academic Program Records


  1. Residency occupancy records
  2. Damage Records


  1. Technical Assistance
  2. Internal Audits
  3. Federal Audits
  4. Office of the State Comptroller Audits
  5. External Non‐Governmental Audits
  6. Internal Audit Files – General