Florida Senate - 2010                             CS for SB 2230
       By the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and Senator Richter
       597-03650-10                                          20102230c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; creating s.
    3         517.2016, F.S.; providing an exemption from public
    4         records requirements for information that would reveal
    5         examination techniques and procedures used by the
    6         Office of Financial Regulation pursuant to the Florida
    7         Securities and Investor Protection Act; providing a
    8         definition; providing for retroactive application of
    9         the public-record exemption; providing an exception to
   10         the exemption for other governmental entities having
   11         oversight or regulatory or law enforcement authority;
   12         providing for future review and repeal of the
   13         exemption; providing a statement of public necessity;
   14         providing an effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Section 517.2016, Florida Statutes, is created
   19  to read:
   20         517.2016Public-record exemption; examination techniques
   21  and procedures.—
   22         (1)For purposes of this section the term, “examination
   23  techniques and procedures” means the methods, processes, and
   24  guidelines used to evaluate regulatory compliance and to collect
   25  and analyze data, records, and testimony for the purpose of
   26  documenting violations of this chapter and the rules promulgated
   27  thereunder.
   28         (2)Information that would reveal examination techniques or
   29  procedures used by the office pursuant to this chapter is
   30  confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), and s. 24(a), Art. I
   31  of the State Constitution. This exemption applies to such
   32  information held by the office before, on, or after the
   33  effective date of this exemption.
   34         (3)Confidential and exempt information that would reveal
   35  examination techniques or procedures may be provided by the
   36  office to another governmental entity having oversight or
   37  regulatory or law enforcement authority.
   38         (4)This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset
   39  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed
   40  on October 2, 2015, unless reviewed and saved from repeal
   41  through reenactment by the Legislature.
   42         Section 2. (1)It is the finding of the Legislature that it
   43  is a public necessity that information that would reveal
   44  examination techniques or procedures used by the Office of
   45  Financial Regulation pursuant to chapter 517, Florida Statutes,
   46  the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act, be made
   47  confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and
   48  s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption is
   49  necessary to ensure the Office of Financial Regulation’s ability
   50  to effectively and efficiently administer the examination
   51  program under chapter 517, Florida Statutes, which would be
   52  significantly impaired without the exemption.
   53         (2)Examinations are an essential component of securities
   54  regulation. The mere existence of an examination program fosters
   55  regulatory compliance and deters fraud and abuse by industry
   56  participants. Examinations often detect violations in their
   57  early stages. This early detection allows corrective action to
   58  be taken before significant harm can be done to investors. Due
   59  to the importance of such examinations, state regulators devote
   60  extensive resources to devising effective examination techniques
   61  and procedures.
   62         (3)Allowing access to information revealing examination
   63  techniques or procedures would undermine the examination process
   64  and facilitate evasion of the law. Any advance notice of the
   65  areas of inquiry to be explored during an examination might
   66  prompt a person to conceal evidence of deficiencies or fabricate
   67  evidence of compliance. Without the exemption, the Office of
   68  Financial Regulation’s ability to uncover misconduct and
   69  evaluate policies and procedures through the examination process
   70  would be significantly impaired.
   71         (4)Additionally, without such an exemption the Office of
   72  Financial Regulation’s ability to participate in joint
   73  examinations with other securities regulators would be impaired
   74  as release of this information would compromise the integrity of
   75  such joint examinations. The office also would not be able to
   76  accept or use confidential examination techniques and procedures
   77  developed by other regulators. Thus, the absence of an exemption
   78  would create a situation that reduces the office’s ability to
   79  leverage its limited resources.
   80         Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.