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Give an example of an exemption/exception to requesting records under Florida’s public record’s law (Section 119, Florida Statutes). Please explain why you think the legislature decided to exempt the information from disclosure.
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Assignment: Read Chapter 10.
Chapter 10: Accountability Through Accessibility.
As you learned previously, administrative agencies have the power to regulate and conduct inspections and require records to be kept. But what public rights do citizens have to keep the administrative agency in check?
Most state agencies have some form of public records law that permits citizens the right to inspect administrative agency records. In Florida, the public records law can be found in chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes. In the federal system, use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can be very helpful.
Typically, a citizen can request information that is not confidential and exempt from disclosure by simply submitting the request in writing to the particular administrative agency. The agency must produce the documents, if available, in a timely fashion.
However, as noted above, most state statutes as well as the (FOIA) exempt certain records from disclosure. Records that are exempt will vary from state to state, however, common to all exempt records will be medical, personal and private information, law enforcement records, and financial institution records.
Another form of information that can be gathered from administrative agencies is found in the “Government in the Sunshine” law. This statute provides that under certain circumstances agency meetings are open to the public. Examples in Florida would be County Commission, Education, and City Commission meetings. All of these meetings are noticed to the public and open for all to attend. You may have also noticed that on the public service TV channels, the meetings are played as they happen and replayed throughout the following weeks.
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