More than 158.9 million lobbying data entries maintained by the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (Commission or COELIG) are now available on the Open NY data platform, Executive Director Sanford N. Berland announced today. The Commission made the data available in the Open Data platform to increase accessibility to the Commission’s comprehensive lobbying data while promoting transparency in government.
“Allowing the public, reporters, and researchers to access the millions of lobbying records we maintain in an open data platform increases transparency about those who are interacting with government officials and with what purpose,” Executive Director Sanford N. Berland said. “We are grateful to our partners at the Office of Information Technology Services, who administer Open NY, for working with us to make this invaluable data project possible.”
"Open NY is an incredible resource for engaged citizens, good government groups, and other interested parties,” Chair Frederick A. Davie said. “Adding data to the website on the individuals, entities, expenditures, and activities of lobbyists and their clients offers insight into those who seek to influence state government. Providing access to this meaningful information is an important step for achieving open government and regaining public trust.”
Open NY will host Commission data from 2019 through the current year, including information on lobbying compensation and expenses, lobbying topics and issues, and who they are lobbying. Open NY allows users to filter and create visualizations of data and features detailed data dictionaries with plain language explanations.
COELIG’s datasets contain approximately 159 million records, while the Lobbyist Bi-Monthly Reports dataset alone contains over 122 million records making it the largest single dataset hosted on Open NY. The following datasets are now available:
- Lobbyist Statements of Registration
- Public Corporation Statements of Registration
- Lobbyist Bi-Monthly Reports
- Public Corporation Bi-Monthly Reports
- Client Semi-Annual Reports
- Disbursement of Public Monies Bi-Monthly Reports
Built-in analytics tools provide numerous data filter and sort options, the ability to retrieve data, and more advanced data visualization tools that enable users to create custom charts and graphs. Open NY provides a series of one-to-two-minute “quick start” videos to demonstrate the basics of effectively searching datasets and creating visualizations, among other functions.
To help in effective data handling and navigation of the millions of data points, detailed data dictionaries are available with plain language explanations and meaningful descriptions of the type of data reported in each filing. Users will find information describing the contents, format, and structure of each data set so users may discern the most effective way of utilizing the data for their purposes. The Commission anticipates updating the data on Open NY at least every six months.
About the New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government
Created by New York State Law in July 2022, the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government’s charge is to restore public trust in government by ensuring compliance with the state’s ethics and lobbying laws and regulations. It has jurisdiction over more than 300,000 officers and employees at State agencies and departments, including commissions, boards, State public benefit corporations, public authorities, SUNY, CUNY, and the statutory closely affiliated corporations; the four statewide elected officials; members of the Legislature and candidates for those offices; and state and local lobbyists and their clients. charge is to restore public trust in government by ensuring compliance with the state’s ethics and lobbying laws and regulations. It has jurisdiction over more than 300,000 officers and employees at State agencies and departments, including commissions, boards, State public benefit corporations, public authorities, SUNY, CUNY, and the statutory closely affiliated corporations; the four statewide elected officials; members of the Legislature and candidates for those offices; and state and local lobbyists and their clients.
The Commission administers, enforces, and interprets New York’s ethics and lobbying laws by providing information, education, and guidance regarding ethics and lobbying laws; promoting compliance through audits, investigations, and enforcement proceedings; issuing formal and informal advisory opinions; and promulgating regulations implementing laws under its jurisdiction.
The Commission also promotes transparency by conducting its proceedings publicly to the fullest extent permitted by law and by making publicly available the financial and other disclosures filed by those subject to the Commission’s authority. These disclosures include, but are not limited to, annual financial disclosure statements filed by over 36,000 individuals, and activity and expense reports filed by lobbyists and their clients.
The full Commission consists of 11 members with staggered four-year terms nominated by the Governor, Senate Temporary President and Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, Assembly Speaker, Assembly Minority Leader, Comptroller, and Attorney General. The Independent Review Committee, comprised of the Deans of the State’s 15 accredited law schools, determines, based upon stated criteria, whether nominees should be approved for appointment.