FOILing Names of Job Seekers

So, the exposure of email addresses of people seeking a job with the Spitzer administration raised an interesting question. Can that information be revealed under the Freedom of Information Law?

The answer, according to the FOIL guru Robert Freeman (his real name), the executive director
for the NYS Committee on Open Government, is yes. And no.

“Its an unusual provision,” Freeman just told me, who has been following the email story. The government can decide either way, he said. Why?

“I think the notion is in some cases is if you’re employer knows you’re looking for a job, he or she may not feel kindly about that. But in other context, if you take a civil service test, the people who pass are identified on an eligible list which is public.”

According to Freeman, if someone was to try to FOIL the names of people who applied for jobs with the Spitzer administration, “It could be rejected. Then again, the agency could chose to disclose. “

– Azi Paybarah