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One Fifth of New York Agencies Fail on Records Requests

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The New York Public Interest Research Group asked 142 state agencies to provide copies of public records. One-fifth failed to do so within two weeks, although the state law requires them to respond within five days. The requests were for a list of employees and salaries and an index of public records by category. The group said the results showed a need to strengthen the state law but Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Commission on Open Government, said 80 percent compliance within 14 days was an exceptional response, based on other audits in other states. (12/2/04)