Nebraska Revised Statute 50-1213

Chapter 50

50-1213.

Office; access to information and records; agency duties; prohibited acts; penalty; proceedings; not reviewable by court; committee or office employee; privilege; working papers; not public records.

(1) The office shall have access to any and all information and records, confidential or otherwise, of any agency, in whatever form they may be, including, but not limited to, direct access to all agency data bases containing relevant program information or data, unless the office is denied such access by federal law or explicitly named and denied such access by state law. If such a law exists, the agency shall provide the committee with a written explanation of its inability to produce such information and records and, after reasonable accommodations are made, shall grant the office access to all information and records or portions thereof that can legally be reviewed. Accommodations that may be negotiated between the agency and the committee include, but are not limited to, a requirement that specified information or records be reviewed on agency premises and a requirement that specified working papers be securely stored on agency premises.

(2) Upon receipt of a written request by the office for access to any information or records, the agency shall provide to the office as soon as is practicable and without delay, but not more than three business days after actual receipt of the request, either (a) the requested materials or (b)(i) if there is a legal basis for refusal to comply with the request, a written denial of the request together with the information specified in subsection (1) of this section or (ii) if the entire request cannot with reasonable good faith efforts be fulfilled within three business days after actual receipt of the request due to the significant difficulty or the extensiveness of the request, a written explanation, including the earliest practicable date for fulfilling the request, and an opportunity for the office to modify or prioritize the items within the request. No delay due to the significant difficulty or the extensiveness of a request for access to information or records shall exceed three calendar weeks after actual receipt of such request by any agency. The three business days shall be computed by excluding the day the request is received, after which the designated period of time begins to run. Business day does not include a Saturday, a Sunday, or a day during which the offices of the custodian of the public records are closed.

(3) Except as provided in this section, any confidential information or confidential records shared with the office shall remain confidential and shall not be shared by an employee of the office with any person who is not an employee of the office, including any member of the committee.

(4) Except as provided in subsection (11) of section 77-2711 and subdivision (10)(d) of section 77-27,119, if any employee or former employee of the office knowingly divulges or makes known, in any manner not permitted by law, confidential information or confidential records, he or she shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor and, in the case of an employee, shall be dismissed.

(5) No proceeding of the committee or opinion or expression of any member of the committee or office employee acting at the direction of the committee shall be reviewable in any court. No member of the committee or office employee acting at the direction of the committee shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding concerning matters relating to the work of the office except in a proceeding brought to enforce the Legislative Performance Audit Act.

(6) Pursuant to sections 84-712 and 84-712.01 and subdivision (5) of section 84-712.05, the working papers obtained or produced by the committee or office shall not be considered public records. The committee may make the working papers available for purposes of an external quality control review as required by generally accepted government auditing standards. However, any reports made from such external quality control review shall not make public any information which would be considered confidential when in the possession of the office.