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Office of Mental Health

New York State’s Freedom of Information Law

OMH Subject Matter List

The Freedom of Information Law is New York State's principal statute on providing for public access to the records of government. The Office's Records Access Officer is responsible for ensuring appropriate agency response to public requests for access to records.

"Record" means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for the department, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.

There are certain records, or portions of records, that are not available under FOIL. These include records which:

For more information about the Freedom of Information Law, visit the NYS Committee on Open Government Leaving OMH site.

How to Make a Freedom of Information Request
If you wish to access a record under the Freedom of Information Law, you must make your request in writing via the OPEN FOIL NY online form, landmail, or FAX. When requesting records, please include as much detail as possible, such as relevant dates, names, descriptions, etc., so that we may properly identify which records maintained by OMH are responsive to your request. Please also include the return address where you want the response sent or, if you prefer, you may arrange to inspect the records at 44 Holland Avenue, Albany NY 12229. In-person inspection and copying is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Appointments are necessary and can be made by calling (518) 474-1331. Within five business days of the receipt of a written request, we will send a written acknowledgement that we received the request.

You can also send your inquiry via mail, e-mail, or FAX to:

Records Access Officer
New York State Office of Mental Health
44 Holland Avenue
Albany, New York 12229

FAX: (518) 473-7863

If your request for records is denied in whole or in part, you will be notified of the reason in writing and advised of your right to appeal such denial.

Should you wish to appeal a denial of your FOIL request, a request for an appeal must be received within 30 days of your receipt of the denial and should be mailed or emailed to Records Access Appeals Officer:

Records Access Appeals Officer
Counsel’s Office
NYS Office of Mental Health
44 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY 12229