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       Florida Senate - 2010                              CS for SB 656
       By the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and
       Senators Fasano and Storms
       586-02493-10                                           2010656c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s.
    3         400.0077, F.S.; providing an exemption from public
    4         records requirements for personal identifying and
    5         location information of any certified ombudsman or
    6         employee of the Office of State Long-Term Care
    7         Ombudsman within the Department of Elderly Affairs and
    8         the spouses and children of such ombudsmen or
    9         employees; correcting an obsolete reference; providing
   10         for future review and repeal of the exemption;
   11         providing a finding of public necessity; providing an
   12         effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 400.0077, Florida
   17  Statutes, is amended to read:
   18         400.0077 Confidentiality.—
   19         (1)(a) The following are confidential and exempt from the
   20  provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
   21  Constitution:
   22         1.(a) Resident records held by the ombudsman or by the
   23  state or a local ombudsman council.
   24         2.(b) The names or identities of the complainants or
   25  residents involved in a complaint, including any problem
   26  identified by an ombudsman council as a result of an
   27  investigation, unless:
   28         a.1. The complainant or resident, or the legal
   29  representative of the complainant or resident, consents to the
   30  disclosure in writing;
   31         b.2. The complainant or resident consents orally and the
   32  consent is documented contemporaneously in writing by the
   33  ombudsman council requesting such consent; or
   34         c.3. The disclosure is required by court order.
   35         3.(c) Any other information about a complaint, including
   36  any problem identified by an ombudsman council as a result of an
   37  investigation, unless the an ombudsman council determines that
   38  the information does not meet any of the criteria specified in
   39  s. 119.15(6)(b) 119.14(4)(b); or unless the information is to
   40  collect data for submission to those entities specified in s.
   41  712(c) of the federal Older Americans Act for the purpose of
   42  identifying and resolving significant problems.
   43         4.a. The home addresses, telephone numbers, places of
   44  employment, if any, and photographs of certified ombudsmen or
   45  employees of the Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman; the
   46  home addresses, telephone numbers, and places of employment of
   47  the spouses and children of such ombudsmen or employees; and the
   48  names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended
   49  by the children of such ombudsmen or employees.
   50         b. A state or federal agency that is authorized to have
   51  access to the information in sub-subparagraph a. under any
   52  provision of law shall be granted such access in furtherance of
   53  the agency’s statutory duties, notwithstanding the provisions of
   54  this subsection.
   55         (b) Paragraph (a) is subject to the Open Government Sunset
   56  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed
   57  on October 2, 2015, unless reviewed and saved from repeal
   58  through reenactment by the Legislature.
   59         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   60  necessity that personal identifying and location information of
   61  certified ombudsmen or employees of the Office of State Long
   62  Term Care Ombudsman within the Department of Elderly Affairs and
   63  the spouses and children of such ombudsmen or employees be made
   64  confidential and exempt from public-records requirements. Under
   65  the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, a long-term care
   66  ombudsman is a designated representative of the program who
   67  helps to improve the lives of people who live in long-term care
   68  settings such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and
   69  adult family care homes by working to identify, explore, and
   70  resolve the concerns of residents and their loved ones and
   71  performing annual assessments of all long-term care facilities
   72  in the state from a resident’s perspective. Long-term care
   73  ombudsmen explore thousands of complaints in long-term care
   74  facilities each year. Because the personal information of long
   75  term care ombudsmen and employees of the Office of State Long
   76  Term Care Ombudsman is not currently exempt from disclosure, any
   77  person who files a public-records request can obtain the home
   78  address, phone number, photograph, and place of employment of an
   79  ombudsman or employee. In addition, the names, home addresses,
   80  telephone numbers, and places of employment of the spouses and
   81  children of ombudsmen and employees and the names of schools and
   82  day care facilities attended by an ombudsman’s or employee’s
   83  children are not exempt from disclosure. Much of this
   84  information can be found in the ombudsman’s or employee’s
   85  program membership application, which is a public record. This
   86  raises privacy and safety concerns among ombudsmen and
   87  employees, most of whom are volunteers and many of whom are
   88  themselves elders. Exempting the personal information of
   89  ombudsmen or employees and the personal identifying and location
   90  information of the spouses and children of such ombudsmen or
   91  employees from disclosure will provide the ombudsmen and
   92  employees with a sense of security, eliminate fears of
   93  harassment and retaliation, and allay concerns about identity
   94  theft. Making the information exempt will also lead to increased
   95  volunteer retention without negatively impacting the
   96  individual’s who request the program’s documents. Therefore, it
   97  is the finding of the Legislature that the reasons set forth
   98  herein necessitate the exemption.
   99         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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