Florida Senate - 2010 SB 1576
By Senator Fasano
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to public records; amending s.
3 494.00125, F.S., and transferring, renumbering, and
4 amending s. 494.0021, F.S.; creating an exemption from
5 public-records requirements for credit history
6 information and credit scores held by the Office of
7 Financial Regulation within the Department of
8 Financial Services for purposes of licensing mortgage
9 brokers and mortgage lenders; providing an exception
10 to the exemption for other governmental entities
11 having oversight, regulatory, or law enforcement
12 authority; providing for future legislative review and
13 repeal of the exemption; reorganizing provisions;
14 transferring to the section the exemption from public
15 records requirements for audited financial statements
16 submitted pursuant to parts I, II, and III of ch. 494,
17 F.S.; making editorial changes and removing
18 superfluous language; providing a statement of public
19 necessity; providing an effective date.
21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
23 Section 1. Section 494.00125, Florida Statutes, is amended,
24 and section 494.0021, Florida Statutes, is transferred and
25 renumbered as subsection (2) of that section, and amended, to
27 494.00125 Public-record exemptions
28 information relating to investigations and examinations.—
29 (1) INVESTIGATIONS OR EXAMINATIONS.—
30 (a) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection
31 section, information relative to an investigation or examination
32 by the office pursuant to this chapter, including any consumer
33 complaint received by the office or the Department of Financial
34 Services, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) until the
35 investigation or examination is completed or ceases to be
36 active. The information compiled by the office in such an
37 investigation or examination shall remain confidential and
38 exempt from s. 119.07 (1) after the office’s investigation or
39 examination is completed or ceases to be active if the office
40 submits the information to any law enforcement or administrative
41 agency for further investigation. Such information shall remain
42 confidential and exempt from s. 119.07 (1) until that agency’s
43 investigation is completed or ceases to be active. For purposes
44 of this subsection section, an investigation or examination is
45 shall be considered “active ” if so long as the office or any law
46 enforcement or administrative agency is proceeding with
47 reasonable dispatch and has a reasonable good faith belief that
48 the investigation or examination may lead to the filing of an
49 administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding or to the denial
50 or conditional grant of a license.
51 (b) This subsection does section shall not be construed to
52 prohibit the disclosure of information that which is required by
53 law to be filed with the office as a normal condition of
54 licensure and which, but for the investigation or examination,
55 would be subject to s. 119.07(1).
56 (c) (b) Except as necessary for the office to enforce the
57 provisions of this chapter, a consumer complaint and other
58 information relative to an investigation or examination shall
59 remain confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) after the
60 investigation or examination is completed or ceases to be active
61 to the extent disclosure would:
62 1. Jeopardize the integrity of another active investigation
63 or examination.
64 2. Reveal the name, address, telephone number, social
65 security number, or any other identifying number or information
66 of any complainant, customer, or account holder.
67 3. Disclose the identity of a confidential source.
68 4. Disclose investigative techniques or procedures.
69 5. Reveal a trade secret as defined in s. 688.002.
70 (d) (c) If In the event that office personnel are or have
71 been involved in an investigation or examination of such nature
72 as to endanger their lives or physical safety or that of their
73 families, then the home addresses, telephone numbers, places of
74 employment, and photographs of such personnel, together with the
75 home addresses, telephone numbers, photographs, and places of
76 employment of spouses and children of such personnel and the
77 names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended
78 by the children of such personnel are confidential and exempt
79 from s. 119.07(1).
80 (e) (d) Nothing in This subsection does not section shall be
81 construed to prohibit the office from providing confidential and
82 exempt information to any law enforcement or administrative
83 agency. Any law enforcement or administrative agency receiving
84 confidential and exempt information in connection with its
85 official duties shall maintain the confidentiality of the
86 information if so long as it would otherwise be confidential.
87 (f) (e) All information obtained by the office from any
88 person which is only made available to the office on a
89 confidential or similarly restricted basis shall be confidential
90 and exempt from s. 119.07(1). This exemption shall not be
91 construed to prohibit disclosure of information which is
92 required by law to be filed with the office or which is
93 otherwise subject to s. 119.07 (1).
94 (g) (2) If information subject to this subsection (1) is
95 offered in evidence in any administrative, civil, or criminal
96 proceeding, the presiding officer may , in her or his discretion,
97 prevent the disclosure of information that which would be
98 confidential pursuant to paragraph (c) (1)(b).
99 (h) (3) A privilege against civil liability is granted to a
100 person who furnishes information or evidence to the office,
101 unless such person acts in bad faith or with malice in providing
102 such information or evidence.
103 (2) FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 494.0021 Public records.—All
104 audited financial statements submitted pursuant to ss. 494.001
105 494.0077 are confidential and exempt from the requirements of s.
106 119.07(1), except that office employees may have access to such
107 information in the administration and enforcement of ss.
108 494.001-494.0077 and such information may be used by office
109 personnel in the prosecution of violations under ss. 494.001
111 (3) CREDIT INFORMATION.—
112 (a) Credit history information and credit scores held by
113 the office and related to licensing under ss. 494.001-494.0077
114 are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art.
115 I of the State Constitution.
116 (b) Credit history information and credit scores made
117 confidential and exempt pursuant to paragraph (a) may be
118 provided by the office to another governmental entity having
119 oversight or regulatory or law enforcement authority.
120 (c) This subsection does not apply to information that is
121 otherwise publicly available.
122 (d) This subsection is subject to the Open Government
123 Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand
124 repealed on October 2, 2015, unless reviewed and saved from
125 repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
126 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
127 necessity that credit history information and credit scores held
128 by the Office of Financial Regulation and related to the
129 licensing of mortgage brokers and mortgage lenders under ss.
130 494.001-494.0077, Florida Statutes, be made confidential and
131 exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
132 Constitution. Credit history information and credit scores are
133 sensitive and personal information. Disclosure of such
134 information and scores could cause harm to the person who is the
135 subject of the information. Such information could be defamatory
136 and could cause unwarranted damage to the name or reputation of
137 the person who is the subject of the information, especially if
138 such information is inaccurate. Furthermore, access to such
139 information could jeopardize the financial safety of the
140 individual who is the subject of that information by placing the
141 person at risk of becoming the object of identity theft. For
142 these reasons it is the finding of the Legislature that credit
143 history information and credit scores held by the Office of
144 Financial Regulation and related to the licensing of mortgage
145 brokers and mortgage lenders should be made confidential and
146 exempt from public-records requirements.
147 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.