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).