Any individual, either personally or on behalf of an organization or governmental body, may request of a county or municipal ethics board, or, in the absence of a county or municipal ethics board, a county corporation counsel or attorney for a local governmental unit, an advisory opinion regarding the propriety of any matter to which the person is or may become a party. Any appointing officer, with the consent of a prospective appointee, may request of a county or municipal ethics board, or, in the absence of a county or municipal ethics board, a county corporation counsel or attorney for a local governmental unit an advisory opinion regarding the propriety of any matter to which the prospective appointee is or may become a party. The county or municipal ethics board or the county corporation counsel or attorney shall review a request for an advisory opinion and may advise the person making the request. Advisory opinions and requests therefor shall be in writing. It is prima facie evidence of intent to comply with this section or any ordinance enacted under this section when a person refers a matter to a county or municipal ethics board or a county corporation counsel or attorney for a local governmental unit and abides by the advisory opinion, if the material facts are as stated in the opinion request. A county or municipal ethics board may authorize a county corporation counsel or attorney to act in its stead in instances where delay is of substantial inconvenience or detriment to the requesting party. Except as provided in par. (b)
, neither a county corporation counsel or attorney for a local governmental unit nor a member or agent of a county or municipal ethics board may make public the identity of an individual requesting an advisory opinion or of individuals or organizations mentioned in the opinion.
A county or municipal ethics board, county corporation counsel or attorney for a local governmental unit replying to a request for an advisory opinion may make the opinion public with the consent of the individual requesting the advisory opinion or the organization or governmental body on whose behalf it is requested and may make public a summary of an advisory opinion issued under this subsection after making sufficient alterations in the summary to prevent disclosing the identities of individuals involved in the opinion. A person who makes or purports to make public the substance of or any portion of an advisory opinion requested by or on behalf of the person waives the confidentiality of the request for an advisory opinion and of any records obtained or prepared by the county or municipal ethics board, the county corporation counsel or the attorney for the local governmental unit in connection with the request for an advisory opinion.
Any county corporation counsel, attorney for a local governmental unit or statewide association of local governmental units may request the commission to issue an opinion concerning the interpretation of this section. The commission shall review such a request and may advise the person making the request.
Any person who violates sub. (1)
may be required to forfeit not more than $1,000 for each violation, and, if the court determines that the accused has violated sub. (1) (br)
, the court may, in addition, order the accused to forfeit an amount equal to the amount or value of any political contribution, service, or other thing of value that was wrongfully obtained.
Any person who violates sub. (1)
may be required to forfeit not more than $1,000 for each violation, and, if the court determines that a local public official has violated sub. (1) (br)
and no political contribution, service or other thing of value was obtained, the court may, in addition, order the accused to forfeit an amount equal to the maximum contribution authorized under s. 11.1101 (1)
for the office held or sought by the official, whichever amount is greater.
shall be enforced in the name and on behalf of the state by action of the district attorney of any county wherein a violation may occur, upon the verified complaint of any person.
In addition and supplementary to the remedy provided in sub. (7)
, the district attorney may commence an action, separately or in conjunction with an action brought to obtain the remedy provided in sub. (7)
, to obtain such other legal or equitable relief, including but not limited to mandamus, injunction or declaratory judgment, as may be appropriate under the circumstances.
If the district attorney fails to commence an action to enforce sub. (1) (a)
, or (c)
within 20 days after receiving a verified complaint or if the district attorney refuses to commence such an action, the person making the complaint may petition the attorney general to act upon the complaint. The attorney general may then bring an action under par. (a)
, or both.
No complaint alleging a violation of sub. (1) (br)
may be filed during the period beginning 120 days before a general or spring election, or during the period commencing on the date of the order of a special election under s. 8.50
, and ending on the date of that election, against a candidate who files a declaration of candidacy to have his or her name appear on the ballot at that election.
If the district attorney for the county in which a violation of sub. (1) (br)
is alleged to occur receives a verified complaint alleging a violation of sub. (1) (br)
, the district attorney shall, within 30 days after receipt of the complaint, either commence an investigation of the allegations contained in the complaint or dismiss the complaint. If the district attorney dismisses the complaint, with or without investigation, the district attorney shall notify the complainant in writing. Upon receiving notification of the dismissal, the complainant may then file the complaint with the attorney general or the district attorney for a county that is adjacent to the county in which the violation is alleged to occur. The attorney general or district attorney may then investigate the allegations contained in the complaint and commence a prosecution.
If the district attorney prevails in such an action, the court shall award any forfeiture recovered together with reasonable costs to the county wherein the violation occurs. If the attorney general prevails in such an action, the court shall award any forfeiture recovered together with reasonable costs to the state.
PERSONAL INFORMATION PRACTICES
In this subchapter:
“Internet protocol address" means an identifier for a computer or device on a transmission control protocol-Internet protocol network.
“Matching program" means the computerized comparison of information in one records series to information in another records series for use by an authority or a federal agency to establish or verify an individual's eligibility for any right, privilege or benefit or to recoup payments or delinquent debts under programs of an authority or federal agency.
“Personally identifiable information" means information that can be associated with a particular individual through one or more identifiers or other information or circumstances.
“Records series" means records that are arranged under a manual or automated filing system, or are kept together as a unit, because they relate to a particular subject, result from the same activity or have a particular form.
“State authority" means an authority that is a state elected official, agency, board, commission, committee, council, department or public body corporate and politic created by constitution, statute, rule or order; a state governmental or quasi-governmental corporation; the supreme court or court of appeals; or the assembly or senate.
Rules of conduct; employee training; and security.
An authority shall do all of the following:
Develop rules of conduct for its employees who are involved in collecting, maintaining, using, providing access to, sharing or archiving personally identifiable information.
Ensure that the persons identified in sub. (1)
know their duties and responsibilities relating to protecting personal privacy, including applicable state and federal laws.
History: 1991 a. 39
Data collection. 19.67(1)(1)
Collection from data subject or verification.
An authority that maintains personally identifiable information that may result in an adverse determination about any individual's rights, benefits or privileges shall, to the greatest extent practicable, do at least one of the following:
Collect the information directly from the individual.
Verify the information, if collected from another person.
History: 1991 a. 39
Collection of personally identifiable information from Internet users.
No state authority that maintains an Internet site may use that site to obtain personally identifiable information from any person who visits that site without the consent of the person from whom the information is obtained. This section does not apply to acquisition of Internet protocol addresses.
History: 2001 a. 16
Computer matching. 19.69(1)(1)
A state authority may not use or allow the use of personally identifiable information maintained by the state authority in a match under a matching program, or provide personally identifiable information for use in a match under a matching program, unless the state authority has specified in writing all of the following for the matching program:
The purpose and legal authority for the matching program.
The justification for the program and the anticipated results, including an estimate of any savings.
A description of the information that will be matched.
(2) Copy to public records board.
A state authority that prepares a written specification of a matching program under sub. (1)
shall provide to the public records board a copy of the specification and any subsequent revision of the specification within 30 days after the state authority prepares the specification or the revision.
Except as provided under par. (b)
, a state authority may not take an adverse action against an individual as a result of information produced by a matching program until after the state authority has notified the individual, in writing, of the proposed action.
A state authority may grant an exception to par. (a)
if it finds that the information in the records series is sufficiently reliable.
This section does not apply to any matching program established between the secretary of transportation and the commissioner of the federal social security administration pursuant to an agreement specified under s. 85.61 (2)
Rights of data subject to challenge; authority corrections. 19.70(1)(1)
Except as provided under sub. (2)
, an individual or person authorized by the individual may challenge the accuracy of a record containing personally identifiable information pertaining to the individual that is maintained by an authority if the individual is authorized to inspect the record under s. 19.35 (1) (a)
and the individual notifies the authority, in writing, of the challenge. After receiving the notice, the authority shall do one of the following:
Concur with the challenge and correct the information.
Deny the challenge, notify the individual or person authorized by the individual of the denial and allow the individual or person authorized by the individual to file a concise statement setting forth the reasons for the individual's disagreement with the disputed portion of the record. A state authority that denies a challenge shall also notify the individual or person authorized by the individual of the reasons for the denial.
This section does not apply to any of the following records:
Any record pertaining to an individual if a specific state statute or federal law governs challenges to the accuracy of the record.
History: 1991 a. 269
; 2013 a. 171
; Stats. 2013 s. 19.70.
Sale of names or addresses.
An authority may not sell or rent a record containing an individual's name or address of residence, unless specifically authorized by state law. The collection of fees under s. 19.35 (3)
is not a sale or rental under this section.
History: 1991 a. 39
Summary of case law and attorney general opinions.
Annually, the attorney general shall summarize case law and attorney general opinions relating to due process and other legal issues involving the collection, maintenance, use, provision of access to, sharing or archiving of personally identifiable information by authorities. The attorney general shall provide the summary, at no charge, to interested persons.
History: 1991 a. 39
Any person employed by an authority who violates this subchapter may be discharged or suspended without pay.
Any person who willfully collects, discloses or maintains personally identifiable information in violation of federal or state law may be required to forfeit not more than $500 for each violation.
Any person who willfully requests or obtains personally identifiable information from an authority under false pretenses may be required to forfeit not more than $500 for each violation.
History: 1991 a. 39
OPEN MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENTAL BODIES
Declaration of policy. 19.81(1)(1)
In recognition of the fact that a representative government of the American type is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to be the policy of this state that the public is entitled to the fullest and most complete information regarding the affairs of government as is compatible with the conduct of governmental business.
To implement and ensure the public policy herein expressed, all meetings of all state and local governmental bodies shall be publicly held in places reasonably accessible to members of the public and shall be open to all citizens at all times unless otherwise expressly provided by law.
In conformance with article IV, section 10
, of the constitution, which states that the doors of each house shall remain open, except when the public welfare requires secrecy, it is declared to be the intent of the legislature to comply to the fullest extent with this subchapter.
This subchapter shall be liberally construed to achieve the purposes set forth in this section, and the rule that penal statutes must be strictly construed shall be limited to the enforcement of forfeitures and shall not otherwise apply to actions brought under this subchapter or to interpretations thereof.
History: 1975 c. 426
; 1983 a. 192
Subsequent to the presentation of evidence by the taxpayer, a board of review's consideration of testimony by the village assessor at an executive session was contrary to the open meeting law. Although it was permissible for the board to convene a closed session for the purpose of deliberating after a quasi-judicial hearing, the proceedings did not constitute mere deliberations but were a continuation of the quasi-judicial hearing without the presence of or notice to the objecting taxpayer. Dolphin v. Board of Review, 70 Wis. 2d 403
, 234 N.W.2d 277
The open meeting law is not applicable to the judicial commission. State ex rel. Lynch v. Dancey, 71 Wis. 2d 287
, 238 N.W.2d 81
A regular open meeting, held subsequent to a closed meeting on another subject, does not constitute a reconvened open meeting when there was no prior open meeting on that day. 58 Atty. Gen. 41.
Consideration of a resolution is a formal action of an administrative or minor governing body and, when taken in proper closed session, the resolution and result of the vote must be made available for public inspection, pursuant to s. 19.21, absent a specific showing that the public interest would be adversely affected. 60 Atty. Gen. 9.
Joint apprenticeship committees, appointed pursuant to Wis. Adm. Code provisions, are governmental bodies and subject to the requirements of the open meeting law. 63 Atty. Gen. 363.
Voting procedures employed by worker's compensation and unemployment advisory councils that utilized adjournment of public meeting for purposes of having members representing employers and members representing employees or workers to separately meet in closed caucuses and to vote as a block on reconvening was contrary to the open records law. 63 Atty. Gen. 414.
A governmental body can call closed sessions for proper purposes without giving notice to members of the news media who have filed written requests. 63 Atty. Gen. 470.
Discussing the meaning of “communication" with reference to giving the public and news media members adequate notice. 63 Atty. Gen. 509.
The posting in the governor's office of agenda of future investment board meetings is not sufficient communication to the public or the news media who have filed a written request for notice. 63 Atty. Gen. 549.
A county board may not utilize an unidentified paper ballot in voting to appoint a county highway commissioner but may vote by ayes and nays or show of hands at an open session if some member does not require the vote to be taken in such manner that the vote of each member may be ascertained and recorded. 63 Atty. Gen. 569.
NOTE: The following annotations refer to ss. 19.81 to 19.98.
When the city of Milwaukee and a private non-profit festival organization incorporated the open meetings law into a contract, the contract allowed public enforcement of the contractual provisions concerning open meetings. Journal/Sentinel, Inc. v. Pleva, 155 Wis. 2d 704
, 456 N.W.2d 359
Sub. (2) requires that a meeting be held in a facility that gives reasonable public access, not total access. No person may be systematically excluded or arbitrarily refused admittance. State ex rel. Badke v. Village Board, 173 Wis. 2d 553
, 494 N.W.2d 408
Discussing this subchapter. 65 Atty. Gen. preface.
Discussing public notice requirements for meetings of a city district school board under this subchapter and former s. 120.48, 1983 stats. 66 Atty. Gen. 93.