1998 Regular Session
To: Fees, Salaries and Administration
By: Senator(s) Hawks, Minor
Senate Bill 2701
AN ACT ENTITLED THE "MISSISSIPPI PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT OF 1998"; TO REDUCE PAPERWORK REQUIRED BY STATE AGENCIES AND ENHANCE THE ECONOMY AND EFFICIENCY OF STATE AGENCIES AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR BY IMPROVING STATE INFORMATION POLICY MAKING; TO ESTABLISH WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION AN OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS AND PROVIDE FOR AN ADMINISTRATOR OF THE OFFICE TO BE APPOINTED BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT; TO PRESCRIBE THE AUTHORITY AND FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS IN DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING INFORMATION POLICIES, STANDARDS, GUIDELINES AND SPECIFIC PAPERWORK CONTROL FUNCTIONS; TO ESTABLISH THE GOAL OF REDUCING THE BURDEN OF STATE AGENCY COLLECTIONS OF INFORMATION BY 15% BY THE YEAR 2000 AND BY 10% IN THE FOLLOWING YEAR; TO DIRECT STATE AGENCIES TO DESIGNATE SENIOR PERSONNEL TO ADHERE TO THE PAPERWORK POLICIES ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS; TO AUTHORIZE A CENTRAL COLLECTION AGENCY TO OBTAIN INFORMATION NEEDED BY TWO OR MORE AGENCIES; TO REQUIRE CERTAIN REPORTS TO THE LEGISLATURE REGARDING AGENCY PAPERWORK REDUCTION AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The purposes of this act are to:
(a) Minimize the paperwork burden for individuals, small businesses, educational and nonprofit institutions, state contractors, local governments and other persons resulting from the collection of information by or for the Mississippi government;
(b) Ensure the greatest possible public benefit from and maximize the utility of information created, collected, maintained, used, shared and disseminated by or for the Mississippi government;
(c) Coordinate, integrate and to the extent practicable and appropriate, make uniform Mississippi information resources management policies and practices as a means to improve the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of government programs, including the reduction of information collection burdens on the public and the improvement of service delivery to the public;
(d) Improve the quality and use of Mississippi information to strengthen decision making, accountability and openness in government and society;
(e) Minimize the cost to the Mississippi government of the creation, collection, maintenance, use, dissemination and disposition of information;
(f) Strengthen the partnership between the Mississippi government and local governments by minimizing the burden and maximizing the utility of information created, collected, maintained, used, disseminated and retained by or for the Mississippi government;
(g) Provide for the dissemination of public information on a timely basis, on equitable terms and in a manner that promotes the utility of the information to the public and makes effective use of information technology;
(h) Ensure that the creation, collection, maintenance, use, dissemination and disposition of information by or for the Mississippi government is consistent with applicable laws, including laws relating to privacy and confidentiality;
(i) Ensure the integrity, quality and utility of the Mississippi statistical system;
(j) Ensure that information technology is acquired, used and managed to improve performance of agency missions, including the reduction of information collection burdens on the public; and
(k) Improve the responsibility and accountability of all state agencies to the Legislature and to the public for implementing the information collection review process, information resources management and related policies and guidelines established under this act.
SECTION 2. As used in this act:
(a) The term "agency" means any executive department, military department, government corporation, government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the government (including the Executive Office of the Governor, or any independent regulatory agency;
(b) The term "burden" means time, effort or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain or provide information to or for a Mississippi agency, including the resources expended for:
(i) Reviewing instructions;
(ii) Acquiring, installing and utilizing technology and systems;
(iii) Adjusting the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements;
(iv) Searching data sources;
(v) Completing and reviewing the collection of information; and
(vi) Transmitting or otherwise disclosing the information;
(c) The term "collection of information" means the obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting or requiring the disclosure to third parties or the public, of facts or opinions by or for an agency, regardless of form or format, calling for either:
(i) Answers to identical questions posed to, or identical reporting or record keeping requirements imposed on, ten (10) or more persons, other than agencies, instrumentalities or employees of the State of Mississippi; or
(ii) Answers to questions posed to agencies, instrumentalities or employees of the State of Mississippi which are to be used for general statistical purposes;
(d) The term "director" means the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration;
(e) The term "information collection request" means a written report form, application form, schedule, questionnaire, reporting or record keeping requirement, or other similar method calling for the collection of information;
(f) The term "information systems" means management information systems;
(g) The term "person" means an individual, partnership, association, corporation, business trust, or legal representative, an organized group of individuals, a state, territorial or local government or branch thereof, or a political subdivision of a state, territory or local government or a branch of a political subdivision;
(h) The term "practical utility" means the ability of an agency to use information it collects, particularly the capability to process such information in a timely and useful fashion; and
(i) The term "record keeping requirement" means a requirement imposed by an agency on persons to maintain specified records.
SECTION 4. (1) There is established in the Department of Finance and Administration an office to be known as the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
(2) There shall be at the head of the office and administrator who shall be appointed by, and who shall report directly to, the director. The director shall delegate to the administrator the authority to administer all functions under this act, except that any such delegation shall not relieve the director of responsibility for the administration of such functions. The administrator shall serve as principal adviser to the director on information policy.
SECTION 5. (1) The director shall develop and implement State of Mississippi information policies, principles, standards and guidelines and shall provide direction and oversee the review and approval of information collection requests, the reduction of the paperwork burden, Mississippi statistical activities, records management activities, privacy of records, interagency sharing of information and acquisition and use of automatic data processing telecommunications, and other technology for managing information resources. The authority under this section shall be exercised consistent with applicable law.
(2) The general information policy functions of the director shall include:
(a) Developing and implementing uniform and consistent information resources management policies and overseeing the development of information management principles, standards, and guidelines and promoting their use;
(b) Initiating and reviewing proposals for changes in legislation, regulations and agency procedures to improve information practices, and informing the Governor and the Legislature on the progress made therein;
(c) Coordinating, through the review of budget proposals and as otherwise provided in this section, agency information practices;
(d) Promoting, through the use of the Mississippi Information Locator System, the review of budget proposals and other methods, greater sharing of information by agencies;
(e) Evaluating agency information management practices to determine their adequacy and efficiency, and to determine compliance of such practices with the policies, principles, standards and guidelines promulgated by the director; and
(f) Overseeing planning for, and conduct of research with respect to, state collection, processing, storage, transmission and use of information.
(3) The information collection request clearance and other paperwork control functions of the director shall include:
(a) Reviewing and approving information collection requests proposed by agencies;
(b) Determining whether the collection of information by an agency is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility for the agency;
(c) Ensuring that all information collection requests:
(i) Are inventoried, display a control number and, when appropriate, an expiration date;
(ii) Indicate the request is in accordance with the clearance requirements; and
(iii) Contain a statement to inform the person receiving the request why the information is being collected, how it is to be used, and whether responses to the request are voluntary, required to obtain a benefit or mandatory;
(d) Designating as appropriate, a collection agency to obtain information for two (2) or more agencies;
(e) Setting goals for reduction of the burdens of Mississippi information collection requests.
SECTION 5. In carrying out the functions under this act, the director shall:
(a) Set a goal to reduce the then existing burden of Mississippi collections of information by fifteen percent (15%) by October 1, 2000, and for the year following, set a goal to reduce the burden which existed upon enactment by an additional ten percent (10%).
(b) Within one (1) year after the effective date of this act:
(i) Establish standards and requirements for agency audits of all major information systems and assign responsibility for conducting government-wide or multi-agency audits;
(ii) Identify areas of duplication in information collection requests and develop a schedule and methods for eliminating duplication.
(c) Within two (2) years after the effective date of this act:
(i) Establish a schedule and a management control system to ensure that practices and programs of information handling disciplines, including records management, are appropriately integrated with the information policies mandated by this act;
(ii) Identify initiatives to improve productivity in Mississippi operations using information processing technology;
(iii) Develop, in consultation with the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services, a five-year plan for meeting the automatic data processing and telecommunications needs of the Mississippi government; and
(iv) Submit to the Governor and the Legislature legislative proposals to remove inconsistencies in laws and practices involving privacy, confidentiality and disclosure of information.
SECTION 6. (1) Each agency shall be responsible for carrying out its information management activities in an efficient, effective and economical manner, and for complying with the information policies, principles, standards and guidelines prescribed by the director.
(2) The head of each agency shall designate, within three (3) months after the effective date of this act, a senior official to carry out the responsibilities of the agency under this act.
(3) Each agency shall:
(a) Systematically inventory its major information systems and periodically review its information management activities, including planning, budgeting, organizing, directing, training, promoting, controlling and other managerial activities involving the collection, use and dissemination of information;
(b) Ensure its information systems do not overlap each other or duplicate the systems of other agencies;
(c) Develop procedures for assessing the paperwork and reporting burden of proposed legislation affecting such agency; and
(d) Assign to the official designated under subsection (2) the responsibility for the conduct of and accountability for any acquisitions made pursuant to a delegation of authority.
SECTION 7. The director may designate a central collection agency to obtain information for two (2) or more agencies if the director determines that the needs of such agencies for information will be adequately served by a single collection agency, and such sharing of data is not inconsistent with any applicable law. In such cases the director shall prescribe (with reference to the collection of information) the duties and functions of the collection agency so designated and of the agencies for which it is to act as agent (including reimbursement for costs). While the designation is in effect, an agency covered by it may not obtain for itself information which it is the duty of the collection agency to obtain. The director may modify the designation from time to time as circumstances require.
SECTION 8. (1) The director may direct an agency to make available to another agency, or an agency may make available to another agency, information obtained pursuant to an information collection request if the disclosure is not inconsistent with any applicable law.
(2) If information obtained by an agency is released by that agency to another agency, all the provisions of law (including penalties which relate to the unlawful disclosure of information) apply to the officers and employees of the agency to which information is released to the same extent and in the same manner as the provisions apply to the officers and employees of the agency which originally obtained the information. The officers and employees of the agency to which the information is released, in addition, shall be subject to the same provisions of law, including penalties, relating to the unlawful disclosure of information as if the information had been collected directly by that agency.
SECTION 9. (1) The director shall keep the Legislature and its committees fully and currently informed of the major activities under this act and shall submit a report thereon to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives annually and at such other times as the director determines necessary. The director shall include in any such report:
(a) Proposals for legislative action needed to improve Mississippi information management, including, with respect to information collection, recommendations to reduce the burden on individuals, small businesses, local governments and other persons;
(b) A compilation of legislative impediments to the collection of information which the director concludes that an agency needs but does not have authority to collect;
(c) An analysis by agency, and by categories the director finds useful and practicable, describing the estimated reporting hours required of persons by information collection requests, including to the extent practicable the direct budgetary costs of the agencies and identification of statutes and regulations which impose the greatest number of reporting hours;
(d) A summary of accomplishments and planned initiatives to reduce burdens of information collection requests;
(e) A tabulation of areas of duplication in agency information collection requests identified during the preceding year and efforts made to preclude the collection of duplicate information, including designations of central collection agencies; and
(f) A list of all violations of provisions of this act and rules, regulations, guidelines, policies and procedures issued pursuant to this act.
SECTION 10. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.