Five more public records requests have been sent in to the district office by a Polk County resident. He has requested all written data, emails, and any public records pertaining to his initial request from back in November.
(see http://jeffbergoshblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/huge-public-records-request-made-of.html and http://jeffbergoshblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/official-response-to-joel-e-chandler.html )
This individual has also requested specific information about me (my expense reports, salary, travel records, etc.) No problem, this information is open, cut and dry and we'll be sending it right in. (my issue with release of information is not about employee information, but rather handing out names, addresses, ages, and telephone numbers of minor dependents. My feeling is that this information on minors needs to be exempted, and a movement is afoot in the legislature to make this the law.)
My issue is also not with public records requests per se, we deal with them on a regular basis and comply with the letter of the law in every instance. The large request made late last year is still not settled, though, because there are questions unanswered regarding the legality of the release of this information if it includes personal information which would potentially put our district (self-- insuring) in violation of the Federal HIPAA law.
This week, the Manatee County School District asked a Federal Judge to answer this very question, and Escambia County will be watching the outcome with great interest.
Form the Bradenton Herald:
"The Manatee County school board took a preemptive legal strike against a man who is gaining recognition in the state as a public records advocate.
In a court complaint filed Friday, the school board asked a judge to decide whether Joel E. Chandler has the right to get up to 6,000 names, addresses and telephone numbers of employees and their dependents enrolled in the district’s health insurance plan...In the complaint, Manatee School Board Attorney John Bowen asked a 12th Circuit Court judge to decide whether Chandler’s request is exempted under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Bowen argued Manatee schools are self-insured and covered under the act’s privacy rule. He also included another attorney"
Full Article Here:
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.