♪♫ Where oh Where Did My FOIL Request Go? ♪♫
Our story began nine and one-half months ago (December 16, 2014) when one of the floating concrete batch plants’ silos took a nosedive. I wrote several post about it, including the status of subsequent concrete deliveries and the statement from Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) President Darrell Waters.
I submitted a Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL) request to the Thruway Authority to find out what happened and why: “All correspondence sent by, and received from, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) between and including Monday, December 15, 2014, through Sunday, December 21, 2014, regarding failed floating concrete batch plant.”
While Records Access Officer Jill B. Warner replies within the specified time, all she tells me is she needs another (fill in the blank) number of weeks and ends her notes with, “I sincerely apologize for the delay. Thank you for your continued courtesy in this matter.”
Her most recent note, dated August 7, 2015, said, “Based on the continued review, and with due regard for POL § 89(3)(a), staff anticipates providing a response to your request on September 28, 2015.”
Today I asked the Department of State Committee on Open Government for assistance. Executive Director Robert J. Freeman replied with a detailed explanation of an agency’s duty to respond to a request in a timely manner.
Mr. Freeman wrote, “In short, an agency cannot engage in delay after delay after delay. If that is your experience, I believe that you have the right to appeal and suggest that you might contact Ms. Warner to ascertain the identity of the person designated to determine appeals at the Authority.”
Today is September 28, and it is now past 10:30 p.m. Ms. Warner has replied to neither the note I sent this morning asking who is in charge of FOIL requests (re an appeal) nor has she kept within her time frame.
Unless Ms. Warner works overtime, I do not expect receiving a response tonight.
Ms. Warner, I appreciate that you have a great deal of responsibility. I have responsibilities, too.
I’d like to know what you think.
Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015