New York State Local Technical Assistance Program

Should I use my personal email account for highway business?

You should not use your own email address for departmental business. As a public employee you are subject to Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests, and if you use your private email for municipal business then your private correspondence could become subject to a FOIL request.


“New York State’s Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law §87 et. seq.) allows members of the public to access records of governmental agencies” according to the NYS Education Department.“Every New York State or municipal department, board, bureau, division, commission, committee, public authority, public corporation, council, office or other governmental entity performing a governmental or proprietary function is subject to the Law” (NYS Department of State). This means you!

What can you do?

You can easily create a separate business email if your municipality doesn’t supply you with one. There are a number of websites that provide them for free, such as :

A more complete list of providers can be found on Wikipedia.


FAQ - Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)
FOIL Regulations
NYS Department of State

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)
NYS Education Department

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