Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I typed in the name of a person I know is employed by the state, but his name and salary was not on the list. Why?

A. Several possible reasons:

a) He didn't work for the government in the time periods covered on STNY. (See payroll Data Notes for further explanation of time periods covered.)

b) Try searching for portions of the name, or variants of the name. For example, DiBrita may be listed as Di Brita, and Smith-Jones may be listed as SmithJones or Smith Jones.

c) The STNY Payroll form automatically begins searching within the Branch or Major Category of Government you selected at the outset of your session on the website. So, for example, if you entered the payroll search page by clicking on "Schools," and then shifted your search to focus on state employees, you would not obtain the results you seek unless you switch the Branch or Major Category toggle to the appropriate level of government.

d) The employee may have already retired from state service and is working with a 211 waiver, or be over 65 years of age. 211 waiver information is posted in the Waivers section of SeeThroughNY.

Q. My salary information is incorrect. Why?

A. The information is presented exactly as provided by official government agencies for the period in question. It will not reflect a change in salary subsequent to that period; for example, an employee salary included in a database for 2009 will not reflect a raise effective in 2010. If you believe we have been given inaccurate data, please contact us and we will work to correct the mistake with the appropriate entity.

Q. What is the purpose of this web site?

A. SeeThroughNY is designed to become the hub of a statewide network through which taxpayers can share, analyze and compare data from the state, counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts and public authorities throughout New York. Most importantly, the purpose of this site is to give New York's taxpayers insight into how their tax money is being spent.

Q. How, from where and how often do you get updated information?

A. The data are acquired from the state Comptroller's office; public retirement systems in which government employees are enrolled; individual school districts; and various other government agencies throughout New York State. We are constantly adding new kinds of data to the site, and we aim to keep the existing information relevant by updating it at least once a year--or at least twice a year in the case of biannual expenditure reports for state legislative offices.

Q. How do you get your name removed from this site or public records?

A. If you are a public employee, your employment record is a matter of public record as outlined in the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). For that reason, public employee names will not be removed from the site. However, if you believe your information has been misrepresented on the site, please contact us.