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Senate Committee on Open Government - 82nd R.S. (2011)

Committee Members
Rodney Ellis, Chair
Jeff Wentworth, Chair
Wendy Davis, Vice Chair
Rodney Ellis
Kevin Eltife
Florence Shapiro
Jeff Wentworth
Charges
• The committee will focus on the following issues:
  • How advances in technology have changed dissemination of information, especially as it relates to open records
  • Ways in which state and local governments can provide more information online so citizens have greater access to budgets, spending, and other government business
  • How citizen participation in public meetings and hearings can be enhanced
  • How the emergence of various forms of social media have affected communications by and within governmental bodies
• Evaluate the need for revisions to the Public Information Act to address changes in the performance of public functions and make recommendations for changes. Specifically, consider the following:
  • the use of new technologies and future technological advances as relates to the creation of public information;
  • the extent to which the Public Information Act impacts third-party contractors with state and local government;
  • the need to codify or clarify existing Attorney General opinions.
• Examine the effectiveness of security measures used to protect electronic information held by state agencies and make recommendations for enhancing security, if needed.
• Review record retention policies for state and local governments and make recommendations for improvements to record retention schedules and policies, including e-¬≠mail retention and archiving requirements. Consider the benefits and disadvantages of creating a uniform record retention policy.
• Study ways to define and address frivolous and/or overly-burdensome open records requests. Include an analysis of appropriate cost recovery by governmental entities for expenses and time related to responding to requests, while ensuring the public has adequate access to public information.
• Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Select Committee on Open Government, 82nd Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.

Note:
Appointed by Lieutenant Governor (Press release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, 2/23/2011).
Senator Jeff Wentworth, Chair, and Senator Rodney Ellis, Member, 2/23/2011-10/4/2012. Senator Ellis appointed Chair and Senator Wentworth, Member, 10/4/2012 (Press release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, 10/4/2012).
Select Committee on Open Government, 2/23/2011-10/4/2012. Committee name, Senate Committee on Open Government, effective 10/4/2012 (Press release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, 10/4/2012).

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