Payroll Public Records Exemption - Memo by mbl22215


									                  COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

           Office of the Comptroller                     Executive Office for Administration and Finance
          One Ashburton Place, Room 901                           Human Resources Division
            Boston, Massachusetts 02108                                One Ashburton Place
      Phone (617) 727-5000 FAX (617) 727-2163                       Boston, Massachusetts 02108


To:            Legislative Leadership, Judicial Branch Administrators, Elected Officials, Secretariats,
               Department Heads, Chief Fiscal Officers, MMARS Liaisons, Payroll Directors and Human
               Resource Directors

From:          Paul Dietl, Chief Human Resources Officer
               Martin J. Benison, Comptroller

Date:          August 28, 2007

Subject:       New Payroll Policy: Payroll Public Records Exemption

                                             Executive Summary

This policy is issued jointly by the Office of the Comptroller (CTR) and the Human Resources Division
(HRD) to provide guidance on the implementation of several exemptions limiting disclosure of employee
information under the Public Records Law. Chief Fiscal Officers (CFOs), Human Resource Directors
(HR Directors) and Public Information Officers are responsible for implementation of this policy.

                               Summary of Payroll Public Records Exemption Policy

This document outlines the policy and related procedures when public information requests are made for
employee information. Under the public records law G. L. c. 4, § 7(26), an employee’s name, title, salary and
department are considered public information. If a public information request is made to either a department, or a
statewide payroll request is made to the Office of the Comptroller (CTR), a department and CTR are mandated to
provide this information, including electronically. Under this law, a person making a public records request can
not be asked the reason for the request, nor can the Commonwealth control how that individual uses or publishes
this information.

The personal safety of certain victims of adjudicated crimes or domestic violence, sexual assault or rape may be
compromised when this type of information is released. There are exemptions under G. L. c. 66, § 10(d), which
state that the name, home address, home telephone number, place of employment or education for state
employees and family members who are also employed by the Commonwealth are exempt from public records
disclosure if the employee was a victim of an adjudicated crime or is a victim of domestic violence.

Payroll Public Records Exemption Form                                         Page 1 of 2
Departments have their own internal procedures related to responding to public records requests, including
payroll requests and will need to update these procedures to include this exemption. Departments will have to
take steps to ensure that any inquiries are properly redacted to remove the names and other required information
for employees who have claimed and been approved for these exemptions.

Each department is responsible for notifying employees of the availability of the new Public Records Exemption
Form in a manner determined by the department.

The Commonwealth is committed to upholding current public records statutes, including authorized exemptions.
HR Directors must coordinate with their CFOs and Public Information Officers for all payroll information
requests to ensure that this exemption is incorporated into their internal public records procedures. Requests
made directly to your department should be handled in accordance with your internal public records and payroll
records policy, which will require coordination between your CFO, HR Director and the Public Information

The complete policy can be found on the Human Resource Division and Comptroller web portals:

cc:    General Counsels
       Internal Distribution

Payroll Public Records Exemption Form                                         Page 2 of 2

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