Senate BillNo. 272


Introduced by Senator Hertzberg

(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Maienschein)

February 19, 2015


An act to add Section 6270.5 to the Government Code, relating to public records.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 272, as introduced, Hertzberg. The California Public Records Act: local agencies: inventory.

Existing law, the California Public Records Act, requires state and local agencies to make their records available for public inspection, unless an exemption from disclosure applies. The act declares that access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state. Existing law also requires every public agency to comply with the California Public Records Act and with any subsequent statutory enactment amending the act, or enacting or amending any successor act.

This bill would require each local agency, in implementing the California Public Records Act, to conduct an inventory of data gathered by the agency that discloses what data is maintained by the agency, by whom, and with what frequency it is collected. The bill would require the inventory to be available to the public. Because the bill would require local agencies to perform additional duties, it would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose.

This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following

3(a) New information technology has dramatically changed the
4way people search for and expect to find information in California.

5(b) This technology has unlocked great potential for government
6to better serve the people it represents. A recent study estimated
7that digitizing government data could generate one trillion dollars
8in economic value worldwide through cost savings and improved
9operational performance.

10(c) California plays a vitally important role in moving our nation
11forward in the world of technology. Just as the state’s thriving tech
12industry surges ahead in setting new standards for society, so too
13must California.

14(d) As several nations, states, and cities have begun to embrace
15policies of online access to public sector data, they have enjoyed
16the benefits of increased operational efficiency and better
17collaboration. Here in California, cities across the state are turning
18internally gathered and maintained data into usable information
19for the public to access and leverage for the benefit of their
20communities.

21(e) In moving government to a more effective digital future,
22standards should be adopted to ensure that data collection and
23publication are standardized, including uniform definitions for
24machine-readable data. Online portals should also be developed
25to assist with public access to collected data.

26(f) With a public sector committed to success in the digital age,
27the residents and businesses of California will stand to benefit
P3    1from the greater collaboration and integration, improved
2accountability, and increased productivity that will result.

3(g) In making California government more accessible to the
4people of the state, paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3
5of Article I of the California Constitution requires local
6governments to comply with the California Public Records Act
7and with any subsequent statutory enactment amending that act
8and furthering that purpose.

9

SEC. 2.  

Section 6270.5 is added to the Government Code, to
10read:

11

6270.5.  

In implementing this chapter, each local agency shall
12conduct an inventory of data gathered by the agency. The inventory
13shall be made available to the public and shall disclose what data
14is maintained by the agency, by whom, and with what frequency
15it is collected.

16

SEC. 3.  

The Legislature finds and declares that Section 2 of
17this act, which adds Section 6270.5 to the Government Code,
18furthers, within the meaning of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b)
19of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the purposes
20of that constitutional section as it relates to the right of public
21access to the meetings of local public bodies or the writings of
22local public officials and local agencies. Pursuant to paragraph (7)
23of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California
24Constitution, the Legislature makes the following findings:

25Because increased information about what data is collected by
26local agencies could be leveraged by the public to more efficiently
27access and better use that information, requiring every local agency
28to conduct an inventory of data gathered by the agency that would
29be made available to the public under the act furthers the purpose
30of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution.

31

SEC. 4.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
32Section 6 of Article XIII   B of the California Constitution because
33the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
34district under this act would result from a legislative mandate that
35is within the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section
363 of Article I of the California Constitution.



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