Council Passes Public Records Bill

New York City would be the first city or state to require online publication of official reports and publications.

by / January 29, 2003
NEW YORK -- By a vote of 48 to zero, the New York City Council voted Wednesday to send an online records bill to Mayor Bloomberg for signing.

The proposed law would require all city agencies to transmit all official reports and publications to the Department of Records & Information Services (DORIS) in an electronic format for the purpose of posting them on the Internet. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign the legislation.

Deputy Majority Leader Bill Perkins, a Democrat, who serves as the chair of the committee described the bill as "a positive step forward in making our city government more accessible to the public."

"This legislation is a first in the nation step towards codifying the basic e-government premise, which is that both government and the public gain -- in terms of cost, time and accessibility -- when critical government information is disseminated electronically via the Internet," said Council Member Gale Brewer, the prime sponsor of the legislation.

Brewer, a Democrat, also serves as the Chair of the Select Committee on Technology in Government.

The proposed bill would require DORIS to publish all official reports and publications on no more than 10 days after the report or publication is released. By implementing this bill, the City Council plans to make government more open, accessible and responsive to the public.

Passage of the bill would also spur more interest and interaction in the city's technology resources and its official Web site.

If approved, New York City would be the first state or city to require that all official reports and publications that are required by law to be released are made available online and in an expeditious manner.

--New York City Council