Obtaining Information from the Department
Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)
The Committee on Open Government is responsible for overseeing and advising the public about FOIL, codified as New York Public Officers Law Article 6 (Sections 84-90). More information about FOIL, and the records that are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Public Officers Law Section 87(2), are available on the website of the Committee on Open Government.
Subject Matter Listing of Agency Records
The following is a current list of all records, by subject matter, that are maintained by DFS:
Requesting Records Under FOIL
To inspect or receive copies of records that are maintained by DFS, you must make a written request. Your request should provide as much detail as possible about the records that you seek.
How to File a FOIL Request
You may make a written request to inspect or receive copies of records by completing an online FOIL eForm or by email or mail as follows:
- complete and submit the online FOIL eForm
- email your request to Recordsaccessofficer@dfs.ny.gov
- mail your request to New York State Department of Financial Services, Office of General Counsel, Attn: Records Access Officer, One State Street, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10004
Depending upon the records that you request, copies may be made available in one of the following formats: hard copy, fax, CD, DVD (where available), zip disk (where available), or as an email attachment. You should indicate in your request the format in which you wish the records to be provided to you. If the copies cannot be made available in the format that you request, DFS will advise you of the available format alternatives. If copies can be made in electronic format, but are so voluminous that they cannot be emailed, you will be advised of the cost of copying the records in an appropriate format.
Within five business days after DFS receives your FOIL request, you will receive an acknowledgement that your FOIL request has been received.. The acknowledgement will provide you with a FOIL tracking number, which you should use whenever contacting DFS about your FOIL request, and it will apprise you of the date by which DFS anticipates responding to your request.
Certain FOIL requests may take longer to process because the records responsive to the request:
- consist of a large number of pages, and may require significant time to assemble, review, and redact if necessary;
- have to be requisitioned from storage, or from an offsite location; or
- require specialized review due to the complexity of the subject matter.
In these situations, DFS will update you on the progress of your FOIL request and will provide an estimated date by which it anticipates making a final determination of your request.
If you do not receive a communication within the designated time frame(s), you may contact DFS to check on the status of your request. Please refer to your FOIL tracking number whenever contacting us.
If there is a fee involved in reproducing the records that you request, a DFS representative will contact you and advise you of the exact cost.
No record will be disclosed until all applicable fees are paid. Fees may be paid by check or money order, made payable to “Superintendent of Financial Services.” Cash will not be accepted. Please do not make payment until you have been advised of the exact cost, or your payment will be returned to you. Your check or money order should contain the FOIL tracking number that was assigned to your request and should be sent to the DFS representative who advised you of the applicable fee.
- Hard copies: records photocopied by DFS staff are $0.25 per page not exceeding 9 by 14 inches, and $0.70 for each page larger than 9 by 14 inches.
- Fax transmissions: $4.00 for the first page, $2.50 for each additional page.
- CDs (or DVDs, where available): $1.00 each.
- Zip disks (where available): $10.00 each.
- Email attachments: free.
- Outside service: if DFS must engage an outside professional service to prepare copies, the fee is the actual cost charged by such outside professional service.
If DFS requires more than two hours to prepare copies in response to your FOIL request, the fee charged for such preparation after the first two hours is the amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid DFS employee. Preparation costs do not include search time or administrative costs.
Appointments to Inspect Records
At the time that you make your FOIL request, you may ask to inspect records in person, rather than receive copies of the records. Records are maintained in either the New York City or Albany office of DFS and you may inspect records only in the office in which they are maintained. After DFS receives your FOIL request, you will be contacted to make an appointment to inspect the records in person.
If you have general questions about obtaining information or submitting a FOIL request, you may call (800) 342-3736, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Local calls may be made to (212) 480-6400 or (518) 474-6600.
Personal Privacy Protection Law