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NYC info coming soon to your smartphone

Trying to get more information on a restaurant grade, the safety of a building or other city information? Soon there will be a smartphone tag for that.

The City Council unanimously approved a bill Monday requiring every city agency that has additional permits information online to post a quick response code on those permits, licenses and registration.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the bill was created to complement the NYC Open Data law, which requires all agencies to post permits information online by 2016.

"What we want is to make sure that New Yorkers have the ability to access all the information that is embedded in these QR codes," she said.

Anyone with a smartphone could scan the permit's tag and instantly be taken to the agency's website with specific data about the permit.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he supports the bill.

The Department of Buildings now posts the tags on its buildings, and the Department of Health soon will post the code on various permits, including those for restaurants, tattoo parlors and day care centers.

The tag would not only provide an eatery's restaurant grade, but also a detailed explanation about how it was graded and recent inspection history.

"This data can help make New Yorkers better consumers," said Councilman Dan Garodnick, the bill's sponsor.

Andrew Moesel, a spokesman for the New York State Restaurant Association, which has criticized the Health Department's letter grades, said the QR codes would not add any benefits to businesses because half of the time the information listed online is either outdated or inaccurate.

"We're all in favor of transparency, but the Department of Health has to make better efforts to make sure their website is up-to-date," he said.

Dick Dadey, executive director of the government watchdog group Citizens Union, said the bill would improve communications between New Yorkers and government.

"This innovative approach will introduce New Yorkers to . . . online resources they may not have been aware of and move the city forward in adapting to new mobile technologies," he said in a statement.

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