Bill Text - HB1506 (2012)

Relative to the right-to-know exemption for public employee personnel files.

Revision: Dec. 14, 2011, midnight






AN ACT relative to the right-to-know exemption for public employee personnel files.

SPONSORS: Rep. Lambert, Hills 27; Rep. Bowers, Sull 3; Rep. Manuse, Rock 5

COMMITTEE: Judiciary


This bill removes personnel records from the exemption to the right-to-know law.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve

AN ACT relative to the right-to-know exemption for public employee personnel files.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Right-to-Know; Exemption for Personnel Files. Amend RSA 91-A:5, IV to read as follows:

IV. [Records pertaining to internal personnel practices;] Confidential, commercial, or financial information; test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment, or academic examinations; and [personnel,] medical, welfare, library user, videotape sale or rental, and other files whose disclosure would constitute invasion of privacy. Without otherwise compromising the confidentiality of the files, nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a public body or agency from releasing information relative to health or safety from investigative files on a limited basis to persons whose health or safety may be affected.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2013.





AN ACT relative to the right-to-know exemption for public employee personnel files.


      The Department of Administrative Services, New Hampshire Association of Counties, and the New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill will have an indeterminable impact on state, county, and local revenues and expenditures in FY 2013 and each year thereafter.


    The Department of Administrative Services states this bill would create a high volume of requests for access to state employee personnel records. The Department states although there is a fee charged for the actual copies, it believes there would be an indeterminable cost associated with staff time to do the retrieval and copying of files, as well as necessary review to ensure only appropriate components of the personnel file are being released.

    The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill removes the exemption for employee personnel files from the “right-to-know” law. The Association expects requests to be made for inspection or copies of county personnel files, which would result in work time expended by county employees to copy and/or produce files to the requestor within prescribed statutory timeframe. The Association states to that extent, county expenditures would increase beyond the reimbursement for the actual cost of copies. The Association states it is unable to determine the actual increase in costs as total number of requests that may result from this bill is not known.

    The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill would eliminate the exemption of internal personnel practices and certain personnel records from the “right-to-know” law. The Association states this bill will likely lead to more requests for such records, resulting in the need for municipal employees to spend more time responding to such requests, which could lead to increased personnel costs in some municipalities. The Association is unable to predict potential increase in costs as a result of this bill.