STUDIES, REPORTS, ANALYSIS AND DATA USED TO SUPPORT RULES
Any scientific or statistical study, report or analysis used as the basis for a state agency rule and any supporting data must be made available to the public, including any such material prepared pursuant to an agency contract or funded in part by an agency grant. State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) § 104, as amended by Ch. 229 of the Laws of 2000. Further, an agency that contracts for or awards a grant to help fund the preparation of any such material shall require, as a condition or term of any such contract or grant, that the agency be provided with “the study, any data supporting the study, and identity of the principal person or persons who performed such study for disclosure in accordance with the provisions of [SAPA § 104] and of article six of the public officers law.” Id.
Two other notable provisions of SAPA were also amended by Chapter 229 to require rule making documents to contain certain information related to such studies, reports, analysis and data.
First, the mandatory contents of a Notice of Proposed Rule Making were amended to require inclusion of “the name, public office address and telephone number of an agency representative… from whom… any scientific or statistical study, report or analysis that served as the basis for the rule and any supporting data… may be obtained.” SAPA § 202(1)(f)(viii). In the event that copyright restrictions preclude an agency from providing a requested copy of any such material, the agency must nonetheless make the material available for inspection within thirty days of request. SAPA § 104(1).
Second, the "Needs and Benefits" portion of a Regulatory Impact Statement for a rule was amended to require the inclusion of: “a citation for and summary, not to exceed five hundred words, of each scientific or statistical study, report or analysis that served as the basis for the rule, an explanation of how it was used to determine the necessity for and benefits derived from the rule, and the name of the person that produced each study, report or analysis.” SAPA § 202-a(3)(b).
Prior to the enactment of the Chapter 229, Chapter 647 of the Laws of 1999 was intended to serve the same overarching purpose - to ensure public access to studies, reports, analysis or data that served as the basis for a rulemaking. More specifically, Chapter 647 initially added section 104 to SAPA and imposed several (subsequently repealed or amended) duties on state agencies, including: publication in the New York State Register of an abstract or summary of each study, report or analysis that served as the basis for a proposed rulemaking; issuance of guidelines regarding public access to such material; and designation of a data access officer. Chapter 229, however, revised most of the provisions of Chapter 647, including the repeal of SAPA’s prior definition of “study,” and rewriting of the definition of “data.” SAPA § 102 (12-repealed) & (13-rewritten). Unlike the rewriting of most of Chapter 647, the revisions of Chapter 229 have remained in place without subsequent amendment.
The Secretary of State is authorized to provide assistance to local governments and general information to the public pursuant to New York State Executive Law, Article 6-B. The information in this Memorandum is provided pursuant to that authorization, but is informal only and should not be construed as providing legal advice. Local governments and other persons or entities should consult with their own legal counsel for legal advice.
Updated: March 2021