Cuomo Administration Nixes Email Policy
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced on Friday it is ending a highly criticized email retention policy that required unsaved messages be deleted after 90 days.
In its place, state officials pledged to develop a “uniform” policy for state agencies and departments that would provide specific guidance on which emails should be retained as official records and be maintained.
The announcement came at a meeting on open government and records retention featuring top Cuomo aide Bill Mulrow and the governor’s counsel, Alphonso David. Representatives of the attorney general’s office and comptroller’s office were also present.
The sole lawmaker who participated by phone was Republican Assemblyman Andy Goodell.
“The 90-day policy is being eliminated as of today,” David said at the meeting. “The administration is looking forward to creating a uniformed policy that’s consistent with the best practices across the country.”
Details of what emails and documents would be maintained by the new policy were yet to be made official, but David indicated the administration would rely on the existing retention laws. At the same time, he suggested that retention of email may be up to individual users to determine whether an email should be deleted.
The new policy, he said, will be “governed by the user and it’s going to be manual more than anything else.”
Meanwhile, the governor’s office plans to introduce legislation that would subject the state Legislature to the same open government requirements as the rest of state government.
The Legislature is largely exempt from the existing FOIL laws, but does make a few documents public, such as bills and finalized reports. Such a measure would mean legislators’ emails and meetings with lobbyists could become required disclosure.
David said the Legislature currently does not have a “presumption of producing documents” that the rest of state government, including the administration, falls under.
It is unlikely the Legislature will pass such a measure before the end of the session on June 17. Mulrow, Cuomo’s secretary, knocked the legislative conferences for not appearing at the meeting today in New York City.
Cuomo since taking office has come under criticism for his transparency record despite promising one of the most open administrations in state history.
Cuomo did open the second floor to the public, which had been closed since George Pataki’s time in office. He has produced sanitized versions of his daily schedules online and push lawmakers to disclose more details on their outside income.
But reporters have complained the administration has been slow to respond to FOIL requests. Daily schedules of where the governor will be are often left vague or blasted out with little moments’ notice before an event.
The state budget negotiations, too, have remained mostly out of public view.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 22, 2015 at 11:37 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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