State Data Access Act

 AN ACT to ensure that study findings generated wholly or partially with funding from a State agency by a non-governmental entity and relied on by a State agency in proposing or promulgating a rule, regulation, guideline, or policy can be subjected to scrutiny for purposes of validation, correction, or rejection by making available to the public the study and the data underlying the study findings.

Be it enacted by ____________________________ of the ______________________.

Sec. 1.  Short Title.

This Act may be cited as the “Data Access Act.”

Sec. 2.  Purposes.

The purposes of this Act are to –

(a) Ensure and maximize the quality of rules, regulations, guidelines, and policies promulgated by State agencies which are supported by study findings generated wholly or partially with State funding by a non-governmental entity;

(b) allow such study findings to be subjected to public scrutiny for purposes of validation, correction, or rejection by making available to the public the study and the data underlying the study findings;

(c) ensure that such underlying data is made available while preserving existing rights to confidentiality and intellectual property.

Sec. 3.  Agency Responsibilities

Each agency shall –

(a) When proposing or promulgating a rule, regulation, guideline, or policy which is supported by study findings generated by a non-governmental entity, provide in the rule, regulation, guideline, or policy statement an accurate reference to the study, identify the entity that generated the study,  provide the study to members of the public on request at a reasonable cost, and make the study available for inspection and reproduction;

(b) make available the underlying data on which the study findings were based, either on request or by making it available at the same location as the study, subject to applicable limitations on release of all or some of such data based on the need to protect homeland security, or avoid an unwarranted invasion of privacy or a violation of other rights protected by law; provided, that the agency shall withhold only such data as is clearly subject to such limitations and shall provide or make available the remainder of the data after redacting those portions subject to the limitations, and if data are withheld based on such limitations, the agency shall specify the reasons for so withholding;

(c) identify a designee who shall receive and act on requests for, and make available, studies and data pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section;

(d) require, in contracting with a non-governmental entity to conduct, or awarding funds wholly or partially in support of, a study, as a condition or term of such contract or award that the entity shall provide to the agency the study and, at the agency’s request, any underlying data not subject to the limitations in subsection (b) of this section;

(e) issue, within one hundred and twenty days after enactment, guidelines for the public specifying how to submit requests for underlying data.

Sec. 4.  Definitions

(a) “Non-governmental entity” means any person, institution, or other organization which is not an agency of this State and which has the power and authority to contract with, or accept awards from, an agency of this State to conduct studies.

(b) “Underlying data” means recorded factual data used to generate or support study findings, which may include preliminary analyses, drafts, plans for future research or study, peer review comments, communications with colleagues, and physical objects such as laboratory samples, but excluding any data subject to the limitations in subsection (b) of section 3.

Sec. 5.  Effective Date.

This Act shall become effective one hundred and twenty days after enactment.

 Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on April 2003.

Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors on January 28, 2013.

Keyword Tags: Transparency