It’s the late show, from City Hall!
A portal offering proactive public access to NYC government records has been inundated with late notices scolding agencies for failing to file reports on crime stats, infectious disease updates, and notifications about multi-million-dollar project cost jumps, the Post has learned.
The 762 late notices filed so far in 2022 are more than double the late filings during the same period in 2021, a spike the Department of Records has attributed to a “system flaw.”
The findings are “disturbing,” and pose a “tremendous disservice” that leaves the public “in the dark,” said Paul Wolf, president of the New York Coalition for Open Government.
Late notices make up a staggering 29% of the total 2022 Department of Records filings. In 2020, its 632 late notices made up 15% of total filings. The agency filed 374 late notices during the first half of 2021, representing just 12% of total filings for that period, and filed just two additional late notices in the second half of 2021.
“Making sure that government reports are available and accessible in a central location is a core component to a modern democracy,” said Noel Hidalgo, executive director of governmental accountability nonprofit Beta NYC, adding that public reports are “a crucial component to understanding” the actions the government takes on the “many crises” New Yorkers face.
The tardiest culprits this year are the Department of Homeless Services, with 104 late notices; the New York Police Department, with 52 late notices; and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, with 48 late notices, city records show.
The Mayor’s Office — which in May created a new Office of Equity — received 10 late notices so far this year, including five quarterly reports on the agency’s “efforts to provide fair and effective equal opportunity employment.”
The Department of Buildings was late to file 13 reports on construction incidents resulting in injury or fatality, which provide vital information on building safety throughout the city.
None of the agencies responded to requests for comment.
A Department of Records spokesperson attributed the 2022 spike to a “system flaw” that failed to upload some late notices filed in 2021 until January 2022.
After The Post inquired about the Department of Citywide Administrative Services’ 101 late notices for 2022, all but 12 disappeared from the portal.