Member Login

Forgot Password?
Need Login?

You are here: Home > News & Events > News > Senate Select Committee…
Welcome, guest: Login to your account

Senate Select Committee on Open Government to hold Nov. 26 hearing

The Senate Select Committee on Open Government will hold a Nov. 26 hearing to consider its interim charges issued by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Last month, Dewhurst named Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, chairman of the committee. The committee’s previous chairman, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, lost his bid for re-election this year and will not be returning for the 83rd Texas Legislature.

Ellis has served on the committee since its inception in 2011.

Other current members are Wentworth; Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth; Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler; and outgoing Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano;

In the interim charges issued by Dewhurst, 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.

The committee has not met sooner this year as Wentworth was involved in a contentious primary battle to save his seat which he ultimately lost.

In other interim charges 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 was also asked to 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.

Wentworth had asked Dewhurst for a charge to study ways to define and address “frivolous and/or overly-burdensome” TPIA requests.

This charge was to 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.

« Back to News Archive
« Back to Latest News