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Posted: Friday, March 22, 2013

Receipt of Legal Papers and Requests under Freedom of Information Law

From the Vice President for Finance and Management
The SUNY Office of General Counsel advises that all college offices be notified of the procedures to follow regarding the receipt of legal papers of any kind by a campus employee. Accordingly, Buffalo State’s procedures are as follows:

The associate vice president for finance and management/comptroller is the institution’s official liaison to the Office of General Counsel for the purpose of receipt or service of legal papers on Buffalo State and is responsible for coordinating a campus response, notifying the appropriate campus and external parties. When legal papers of any kind are served upon a campus employee or Buffalo State, the campus liaison should be contacted immediately and the legal papers should be forwarded to the liaison. If the associate vice president for finance and management/comptroller is unavailable, the referral should be made to the assistant vice president for finance and management.

This procedure is especially important when legal papers request personnel files or information on students or are requests made under the USA Patriot Act. Various other rights, such as those afforded by FERPA, the Personal Privacy Protection law, and collective bargaining agreements are involved in those situations.

Requests under Freedom of Information Law
In addition, Buffalo State complies with New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), which requires that all state agencies, including entities within SUNY, make certain records available to the public. Once a request for records has been received, Freedom of Information Law permits Buffalo State five business days in which to acknowledge or respond to the request. To ensure compliance, any campus employee in receipt of a Buffalo State FOIL request should forward it without delay to the senior assistant to the vice president for finance and management, who is the records access officer.

Questions about these procedures may be e-mailed to vpfm@buffalostate.edu. Thank you for your cooperation.