84-305. Public entity; access to records; procedure; Auditor of Public Accounts; powers; nonpublic information shall not be made public.

(1) The Auditor of Public Accounts shall have access to any and all information and records, confidential or otherwise, of any public entity, in whatever form or mode the records may be, unless the auditor is denied such access by federal law or explicitly named and denied such access by state law. If such a law exists, the public entity shall provide the auditor with a written explanation of its inability to produce such information and records and, after reasonable accommodations are made, shall grant the auditor access to all information and records or portions thereof that can legally be reviewed.

(2) Upon receipt of a written request by the Auditor of Public Accounts for access to any information or records, the public entity shall provide to the auditor 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 auditor to modify or prioritize the items within the request. No delay due to the significant difficulty or the extensiveness of any request for access to information or records shall exceed three calendar weeks after actual receipt of such request by any public entity. 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) When any employee of the Auditor of Public Accounts conducts an audit or examination of any public entity, the public entity shall provide suitable accommodations for such employee of the auditor at the location where the requested information and records are kept or stored. Such accommodations shall include desks or tables and chairs, electrical outlets, and Internet access if such access is available.

(4) The Auditor of Public Accounts may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of any papers, books, accounts, documents, and testimony, and cause the depositions of witnesses either residing within or without the state to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for taking depositions in civil actions in the district court.

(5) In case of disobedience on the part of any person to comply with any subpoena issued by the Auditor of Public Accounts or of the refusal of any witness to testify on any matters regarding which he or she may be lawfully interrogated, the district court of Lancaster County or the judge thereof, on application of the Auditor of Public Accounts, shall compel obedience by proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from such court or a refusal to testify therein.

(6) If a witness refuses to testify before the Auditor of Public Accounts on the basis of the privilege against self-incrimination, the Auditor of Public Accounts may request a court order pursuant to sections 29-2011.02 and 29-2011.03.

(7) No provisions of state law shall be construed to change the nonpublic nature of the data obtained as a result of the access. When an audit or investigative finding emanates from nonpublic data which is nonpublic pursuant to federal or state law, all the nonpublic information shall not be made public.

Source:Laws 1995, LB 509, § 4; Laws 2015, LB539, § 10; Laws 2017, LB151, § 9.
Effective Date: April 28, 2017