In a press release issued on May 1, 2013, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the addition of millions of government records to the state’s new data transparency website, which launched during Sunshine Week in March of this year. The website was created in an effort to provide citizens with user-friendly, one-stop access to government data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. Information on a variety of subjects such as food safety inspections, state jobs data, daycare facilities, economic development, crime data, and medical conduct discipline records were included in the initial launch of the website.
The enhanced site now features a new “Transparency” section and includes:
- Campaign contributions and expenditure records dating back to 1999, along with a complete list of candidate committees registered with the Board of Elections;
- Lobbying data from the last six years from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and includes the identities of lobbyists and clients, lobbying expenditures and compensation, and subjects lobbied. The site also includes information on client sources of funding and lobbyist and client-reportable business relationships, as well as information on lobbyist disbursement of public money;
- Attorney registration information as far back as 1898 from the Office of Court Administration, including the admission date, current status (i.e., registered, diseased, disbarred, etc.), and other public information;
- Information about the budget process including budget vetoes in the current budget and the justification for each item;
- Data on enforcement activities taken by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and its predecessors dating back to 2008 and the New York State Office of the Inspector General dating back to 2010; information on public authorities from the Authorities Budget Office; and a searchable, downloadable New York State government employee phone directory.
“Since launching Open.ny.gov, we continue to add valuable information for New Yorkers to increase transparency and better understand their government,” Governor Cuomo said. “Today, we have added millions of records on campaign finance, lobbying, ethics enforcement, the state budget, and other information related to public integrity. It is another example of how the State is using technology to bring the people back into government – empowering voters, strengthening our democracy and promoting transparency and accountability in the Empire State.”
Records on this enhanced site can be searched for by agency, municipality, zip code or subject. The website also provides tools that allow users to download data, create graphs, maps, and charts, and compare and cross-reference data with other public data. Hundreds of maps, charts, calendars, and datasets are now available from multiple agencies across the State of New York and can be easily accessed from one centralized location. You can even suggest ideas for data to be included on the website using the “Suggest a Dataset” tool. Additional useful applications and information will be developed as more data is added to the website.
The New York Free Public Records Directory provides easy access to a variety of public records at the state, county and local levels such as election results, government job listings, laws and codes, unclaimed property records, wanted fugitives, inmate records, and much more. If you are interested in researching public records in other states, you can visit the Free Public Records Directory. This site provides links to thousands of public records, as well as agency contact information for each state and county in the United States.