Florida Senate - 2013                                    SB 1848
       By the Committee on Banking and Insurance
       597-03438-13                                          20131848__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; providing a public
    3         records exemption for the identity of individuals who
    4         make certain allegations or provide certain
    5         information to the inspector general of Citizens
    6         Property Insurance Corporation and for information
    7         relating to a resulting investigation; providing for
    8         future review and repeal; providing a statement of
    9         public necessity; providing a contingent effective
   10         date.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   14         Section 1. With respect to the Office of the Inspector
   15  General of the corporation:
   16         (1) The name or identity of an individual who, in good
   17  faith, alleges, or provides information relating to an
   18  allegation, to the Office of the Inspector General of the
   19  corporation that an employee or agent of the corporation
   20  violated a federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or rule;
   21  committed an act of fraud, waste, abuse, malfeasance, or
   22  mismanagement; committed employee misconduct; or violated a
   23  policy of the corporation. The name or identity of such an
   24  individual may be disclosed only with the written consent of the
   25  individual or pursuant to a court order.
   26         (2) All information relating to an investigation of a
   27  possible violation or act described in this section conducted by
   28  the inspector general is confidential and exempt until he or she
   29  completes the investigation and determines such violation or act
   30  occurred. If the inspector general determines that such
   31  violation or act did not occur, the information remains
   32  confidential and exempt. Information relating to an
   33  investigation may be disclosed at any time to a current member
   34  of the Financial Services Commission or the current President of
   35  the Senate or Speaker of the House of Representatives.
   36         (3) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset
   37  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15, Florida Statutes, and
   38  shall stand repealed on October 2, 2018, unless reviewed and
   39  saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
   40         Section 2. Section 1 of this act shall be codified as sub
   41  subparagraph j. of subparagraph 1. of paragraph (x) of
   42  subsection (6) of section 627.351, Florida Statutes, and the
   43  section and subsections in section 1 of this act may be
   44  redesignated to conform to that codification.
   45         Section 3. (1) The Legislature finds and declares that it
   46  is a public necessity that the identity of an individual who
   47  makes an allegation, or provides information relating to an
   48  allegation against an employer or agent of the corporation
   49  regarding a violation of law, ordinance, rule, or corporation
   50  policy, or an act of fraud, waste, abuse, malfeasance,
   51  mismanagement, or employee misconduct, which is held by the
   52  Office of Inspector General of the Citizens Property Insurance
   53  Corporation, be made confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1),
   54  Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of the State
   55  Constitution until the inspector general concludes any resulting
   56  evaluation, audit, or investigation. This exemption is necessary
   57  because failure to provide such protection could make
   58  individuals who provide information vulnerable to harassment or
   59  retaliation from persons who may be the subject of such
   60  allegations and resulting investigations and have a chilling
   61  effect that discourages individuals from disclosing information
   62  that would facilitate the ability of the inspector general to
   63  carry out his or her investigatory duties.
   64         (2) The Legislature finds that it is a public necessity
   65  that information relating to the inspector general’s
   66  investigation of a possible violation of law, ordinance, rule,
   67  or corporation policy, or an act of fraud, waste, abuse,
   68  malfeasance, mismanagement, or employee misconduct, be
   69  confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and
   70  s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption is
   71  necessary because the release of such information could
   72  potentially be defamatory to an individual under investigation,
   73  cause unwarranted damage to the good name or reputation of such
   74  individual, or significantly impair the investigation. The
   75  exemption creates a secure environment in which the inspector
   76  general may conduct an investigation.
   77         Section 4. This act shall take effect on the same date that
   78  SB 1770 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation
   79  is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension
   80  thereof and becomes a law.