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. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 Section 1. Section 517.2016, Florida Statutes, is created 19 to read: 20 517.2016 Public-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38 (4) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset 39 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed 40 on October 2, 2015, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 41 through reenactment by the Legislature. 42 Section 2.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.