Not only are FOIL requests not honored in a timely fashion, the FOIL request form currently used by the school district is in non-compliance with the Freedom of Information Law. A copy of the current FOIL Request form was discussed at the meeting with Mr. Gilligan and Attorney Hallak confirmed that the FOIL request is not in compliance. Mr. Gilligan's reply to that was that the document was created by BOCES and all the component schools use it. Hogwash...then all the component schools are currently using FOIL request forms that are in non-compliance with the Freedom of Information Law.
What part of the form is in non-compliance? The current FOIL Request form that is handed out by the New Hartford Central School District has a section that requires a person to sign a statement saying that:
"the only purpose of the records inspection is for my information, and that it will not be used for any private, commercial, fund raising, or other purpose."Hogwash...if you FOIL any information from the school DO NOT sign this part of the FOIL Request.
Also, the application is a request to "inspect". Hogwash...you are not only entitled to inspect, but you can actually receive an electronic COPY of any public document. In fact, you don't even have to use their FOIL Request form. Just send an email to Aurelia Greico, Records Officer for the New Hartford Central School District. Put FOIL Request in the subject and be as specific as possible as to what you are requesting. You will find Ms. Greico's email address on our website.
As a result of our email to Mr. Gilligan today, we now have a signed copy of the New Hartford Teachers Contract for 2007 to 2010 available on our website. We are waiting for a copy of the Employees Union Contract, the 1099s and salary information for all employees, the updated FOIL request form and the complete current school budget broken down by school. We will keep everyone informed as we receive these documents.