Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 122154
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File Number: 122154 File Type: Resolution Status: Before the Board
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: WEBSITE SALARIES RE: COUNTY EMPLOYEES Introduced: 10/24/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/4/2012
Agenda Date: 12/4/2012 Agenda Item Number: 11A5
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION REQUESTING AND DIRECTING THE MAYOR TO REMOVE FROM THE COUNTY’S WEBSITE ANY AND ALL POSTINGS AND/OR LINKS RELATED TO THE SALARY OF COUNTY EMPLOYEES
Indexes: EMPLOYEES
  SALARY
Sponsors: Barbara J. Jordan, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/4/2012 11A5 Adopted as amended F

Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 11/14/2012 2D Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Commissioner Jordan explained that pubic employee salaries were public information; however, the number of years of service, qualifications, duties and responsibilities that contributed to an employee’s salary was not provided. She also noted instances where employees had been taken to court because salary information was placed on-line. Commissioner Jordan said that salary and other information could be made available through a public records request at any time. Commissioner Diaz noted salary information was placed on-line for transparency purposes. He said it was anyone’s right to request public records and when doing so, they should receive all applicable information. Commissioner Diaz noted he was opposed to using personal data for marketing purposes and lawsuits. He said that although elected officials needed to be transparent, every employee did not. Commissioner Edmonson noted legislation was enacted in January 2012 to place public records on-line; however, it did not include salaries. She further noted additional legislation was enacted in April 2012 requiring that printed reports were made available in the regional libraries. Commissioner Edmonson said someone made a decision to place information on-line rather than to print reports. She noted her support for the foregoing proposed resolution and proceeded to question how salary information was placed on-line when not approved by the County Commission. Mr. Angel Petisco, Director, Information Technology Department, clarified that the original legislation requiring that a check register for County transactions with vendors be placed on-line was sponsored by Commissioner Barreiro. He said an additional item sponsored by Commissioner Souto requested that County employees’ salaries be placed at all libraries. Mr. Petisco said that Mayor Gimenez submitted a report dated August 2012 indicating that County employees’ salaries were available to be placed on-line. He noted that approximately 195,000 people have accessed salary data since posted on-line. Commissioner Bovo clarified that the County Commission did not direct Administration to place employee salary information on-line. Commissioner Jordan clarified that Commissioner Souto’s item indicated that the information was to be maintained only at regional libraries, not every library. Commissioner Bovo questioned whether any other information was provided other than the employees name and salary that could affect an employee’s privacy. Mr. Petisco responded that the employees name, gross salary and adjusted gross salary were provided in the on-line information. He clarified that the employees name was included in the on-line information and not the position title. Commissioner Bovo said that the public had the right to this information; that he supported including only the position title and salary; and that Administration should respond as to their rationale for placing this information, including employee names, on-line. He said it was the County Commission’s obligation to protect County employees from cyber crime and identity theft, while at the same time making in easier for people to access information. Commissioner Bovo noted he supported the foregoing proposed resolution; however, the public should continue to be informed. Chairwoman Bell noted that she supported the proposed resolution for further discussion by the County Commission. She said a delicate balance was needed between the public’s right to know and the employees’ right for privacy. She suggested including the position, title, years of experience and salary. Commissioner Jordan noted that the public had the right to receive information through public records requests. She said that even though providing information was for a good intention in terms of open government, people could still take this information and use it for unintended purposes. Commissioner Jordan noted that employee salary information was available through a public records request without subjecting employees to the possibility of others imposing upon their privacy. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote on this proposed resolution as corrected. Commissioner Jordan asked that this proposed resolution be considered at the November 20, 2012 Board of County Commissioners meeting. Chairwoman Bell asked Deputy Mayor Ed Marquez to prepare an appropriate memorandum asking Board of County Commissioners’ Chairman Joe A. Martinez to waive the Board’s rules and procedures to allow this resolution to be heard at the November 20, 2012 meeting.

County Attorney 10/24/2012 Referred Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 11/14/2012

County Attorney 10/24/2012 Assigned Juliette Antoine 10/29/2012

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION REQUESTING AND DIRECTING THE MAYOR TO REMOVE FROM THE COUNTY’S WEBSITE ANY AND ALL POSTINGS AND/OR LINKS RELATED TO THE SALARY OF COUNTY EMPLOYEES

BODY



WHEREAS, this Board embraces the ideals of government-in-the-sunshine and transparency in government administration and operations; and
WHEREAS, the Constitution and the laws of Florida make most of the records of the County government public records that are and should be open for the inspection and copying of members of the public; and
WHEREAS, the County has recently begun to post the salary information of its employees on the County’s Website; and
WHEREAS, the ease with which the salary information of County employees may be accessed could potentially pose a safety risk to such employees and make them a target for potential wrongdoing; and
WHEREAS, the salary information, absent additional information about the individual’s work experience and educational background fails to provide a clear picture of why such a salary is merited and is therefore misleading to the general public; and
WHEREAS, prior to the posting of salary information on the County’s website, any individual who wished to know an employee’s salary would file a public records request and obtain such information; and

WHEREAS, in light of the fact that there is an alternative for accessing employee salary information, the County must counterbalance the need for transparency with the safety of its employees and the need to refrain from providing information which, when taken out of context, would mislead the public,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that the Mayor is requested and directed to remove any postings and/or link on the County’s website relating to the salary of the County’s employees. Any request for information relating to an employee’s salary shall be provided only to those individuals or entities which have made a valid public records request of the County.



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