It’s Sunshine Week – a time to ask how well government is living up to its obligations to make information available to the public. This year New York’s standards took a major leap forward thanks to a new enhancement to the state’s Open Meetings Law: public agencies are now required to release documents under discussion at open meetings before meetings occur, and to make them available on the web where possible.
The new law went into effect February 2, and for today’s Daily Q we want to know how well New York City’s agencies and quasi-governmental authorities measure up. Were documents for the city’s recent public meetings available in advance?
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What we found
An earlier city law requiring agencies to publish proposed rules ahead of time means New York City agencies are already ahead of the game in complying with the new open meetings law. Of those that hold regular public meetings, the Department of Education publishes monthly panel documents
and contract details; the Mayor’s Office of Contracts publishes information on proposed agreements, and the City Planning Commission publishes measures under consideration,
This system still requires people to know where exactly to look, however, meaning that the fastest way for digital access to a document may be provided via your telephone.