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Senate OG Committee sets interim hearing

The committee is tasked with evaluating the need for revisions to the Texas Public Information Act to address changes in the performance of public functions and make recommendations for changes.

Specifically, it must consider the use of new technologies and future technological advances as relates to the creation of public information; the extent to which the TPIA impacts third-party contractors with state and local government; and, the need to codify or clarify existing Attorney General opinions.

In its second interim charge, the committee must examine the effectiveness of security measures used to protect electronic information held by the state agencies and make recommendations for enhancing security, if needed.

In a move long pushed for by Open Government advocates, the committee will 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.

The committee will consider the benefits and disadvantages of creating a uniform record retention policy.

In a move sought by Chairman Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, the committee will study ways to define and address “frivolous and/or overly-burdensome” TPIA requests.

This charge will 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.

Like all other committees considering interim charges, the committee will review implementation of legislation addressed by the committee when it met during the last Legislature and its subsequent special session.

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