Amending Sec. 119.0701, this legislation seeks to discourage litigation arising from abusive public records requests to government contractors. SB 224 received its first hearing in the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee, where an amended version of the bill received a 5-0 favorable vote. The amendment requires that public records requests related to a public agency’s contract be made directly to the public agency. The contractor may retain the records after the completion of a contract, but failure to produce the records in a reasonable time would subject the contractor to penalties. Prior to the award of attorney’s fees against the contractor of the government entity, the party filing the action is required to provide written notice of the request via certified mail at least 3 days before the action is filed. This notice must also be provided to the contractor if the contractor is a named party in the action. FAC staff is working with the League of Cities and other stakeholders and appreciates the member responses provided on this issue.
For any questions related to this issue, please contact Laura Youmans, FAC Public Safety Advocate.