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INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS:

Click here for more information on Submitting a Data Exclusion Challenge. You may find it helpful to read the following description of data included and excluded from TOPS.

Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) 24-72.4-103 specifies the data that must be included, must be excluded, or may be excluded from the Transparency Online Project System (TOPS).   It requires TOPS:

  • to include State expenditures and revenues based on the State’s official book of record (COFRS),
  • to be accessible through a link from every State agency homepage,
  • to be updated every five days (TOPS data is currently updated for each day’s COFRS transactions),
  • reports to be available for download in a self-described machine readable format (such as XML),
  • to include a method for users to provide feedback about the system,
  • to include 10 years of historical data beginning with Fiscal Year 2009-10 (TOPS currently contains historical data beginning with Fiscal Year 2008-09).
The statute specifically directs the following data be excluded:
  • Information that is not a public record,
  • Information that is exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act,
  • Information that is confidential under state or federal law, and
  • Information contained in unstructured data fields (such as description fields where the State is unable to ensure the large number of accounting system technicians entering transactions do not enter protected information),

In compliance with these requirements, personal identifying information such as Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number, address, telephone number, and email address are excluded from TOPS reports.

CRS 24-72.4-103 allows a State agency’s upper management to exclude certain data when they determine that the potential injury to the public interest (which includes the privacy, safety, and security of individuals) outweighs the public interest in having the data easily accessible on TOPS.

CRS 24-72.4-103(2) provides a way for citizens to challenge the exclusion of data from TOPS. To get additional information on submitting a challenge click on this link: Submitting a Data Exclusion Challenge.

The statute’s requirements are consistent with the Executive Order that originally created TOPS.  The Governor's Executive Order required that TOPS "shall be developed in a manner that protects and respects citizen and vendor privacy, safety, and security". This last requirement is an ethical consideration agreed to by the elected officials supporting the Executive Order. In order to protect and respect citizen and vendor privacy, safety, and security, the State Controller in cooperation with the Attorney General's Office and the controllers of individual departments and agencies of the state developed a process to identify instances where the presentation of a vendor name would compromise the privacy, safety or security of a citizen.  In that process, the following record types were identified, and the related actual vendor names are excluded from presentation on TOPS by changing those vendor names to "CO - Confidential".

As required by CRS 24-72.4-103(1)(h), the following list provides a description of the data excluded from TOPS, the basis for excluding the data, and the agency requesting the data be excluded (contact information is provided). This information was provided by individual State agencies and has not been changed or edited in any way.

Department of Personnel and Administration (A**)

For the Department of Personnel and Administration, document identification numbers have been excluded from fiscal years 2009 and 2010 data extracts for certain object codes related to personal services; however, the underlying accounting data from the document is not excluded. During fiscal year 2010 the department changed its practice of using employee names in the document numbering for allocating payroll expenditures between agencies and funds. The document identification numbers, combined with the underlying transaction details could potentially disclose personally identifiable information beyond the scope of public information. Beginning with fiscal year 2011, there will be no exclusions for the department.

Contact:
Tanya Olsen, 303-866-2140

Governor’s Office – Office of Homeland Security (ESA)

Homeland Security data vendor names are identified as Confidential when Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII) is included in the data. PCII is a category of Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU) information that is afforded protections from (a) disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and similar State and local disclosure laws and (b) use in civil litigation or for regulatory purposes.

Contact:
Agency: Governor's Office of Homeland Security
Name: Sung Han Tjhan
Address: 9195 E. Mineral Avenue #234, Centennial, CO 80112
e-mail: sunghan.tjhan@state.co.us

Department of Human Services (I**)

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) has had the detail (Vendor Name) excluded for two object codes due to Protected Health Information (PHI) concerns under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  Summary dollar amounts are still available to provide the public with the amounts spent for these two functions.  The two object (expenditure) codes are patient and client care expenses called Care and Subsistence – Client Benefits and Care and Subsistence – Rent to Clients.  Both of these expenditure codes represent payments made directly to clients/patients.  The vendor (client/patient) name combined with the title of the object code identifies the vendor as a client/patient which is PHI and cannot be disclosed to the public without a release from the client/patient under the health information privacy law.  There are large fines for making protected health information available to the public.  By noting the vendor name as “confidential” for these two expenditure codes, all client/patient protected health information remains secure and the public still has access to the amounts paid using these expenditure codes. 

Contact: Valri Gimple, 303-866-5688

Judicial Department (JAA)

The Colorado Judicial Department requests that the juror names associated with payments to jurors be excluded from TOPS.  The reasons for this are:

  1.  Juror names could be either jurors for petit jury duty or for grand jury duty.
  2. Section 13-71-136, C.R.S. controls the availability of juror information for petit juries.  Upon a court order, juror names are not available for public inspection. 
  3. Section 13-72-103, C.R.S., states the court may enter an order to preserve the confidentiality of all information that might identify grand jurors.
  4. The COFRS system would not be able to identify those jurors for whom the court had entered an order suppressing the names of the jurors from public disclosure.
Because the court may order juror information suppressed in any trial or grand jury proceeding, juror names cannot be displayed in the TOPS program.

Contact:
Myra Dukes, 303-837-3693

Judicial Department – Public Defender (JCA)

Confidential – Experts and/or Witnesses in Judicial Proceedings

Basis: Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6
CRS 13-90-107
CRS 21-1-101(1)
CRS 24-72-204(1)(c)

Contact:
Office of the State Public Defender
1290 Broadway Suite 900
Denver, CO  80203

Judicial Department – Supreme Count Grievance (JDA)

The lawyer and judicial regulation systems do not rely on any tax or public funds. Rather, the systems are funded through attorney registration fees paid by all Colorado lawyers.  Because of significant privacy concerns the information is excluded.

Contact:
John S. Gleason, 303-866-6444

Judicial Department – Alternate Defense Counsel (JEA)

Confidential – Experts and/or witnesses in judicial proceedings.

Contact:
Gaylene Wagoner, 303-832-5301

Judicial Department - Office of the Child’s Representative (JFA)

For the Judicial Branch the names are changed on "vendors" related to payments to jurors in order to protect their personal security. Payments to experts or to witnesses in judicial proceedings also have their names changed to the generic titles. Vendor names are changed for payments to attorneys under contract with the Judicial Branch in order to preserve the integrity of the attorney-client privilege.

Contact:
Lynne Winchell, 303-860-1517 ext. 101

Department of Law (LAA)

For the Department of Law vendor names are changed for payments to attorneys under contract in order to preserve the integrity of the attorney-client privilege.

Contact: 
Flo Nath, 303-8664435

Department of Public Safety (RAA)

Fund 269:  Witness Protection Fund [CRS 24-33.5-106]
Description of Exclusion:  Vendor information has been excluded from Transparency Online Project System.
Basis for Exclusion:  This fund accounts for payments to individuals in the Witness Protection Program and disclosure of a witness's name could impact their personal safety, as well as the safety of family members.  Monies expended are made in connection with protecting the safety of a witness “…during or subsequent to an official proceeding or investigation that involves great public interest…” Since the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act covers records of all law enforcement agencies, not just those within the CDPS, witness protection fund records are properly outside the objectives of Transparency Online Project System and should be excluded.  The Department is statutorily required to submit an annual report to the General Assembly, and upon submission, the report becomes a public record on deposit with the Colorado State Publications Library.

Fund 206:  State Patrol Contraband Fund [CRS 24-33.5-225]
Description of Exclusion:  Vendor information has been excluded from Transparency Online Project System.
Basis for Exclusion:  Statute requires the Department to submit a report annually on contraband funds and limits the reporting to object codes.  The published report does not reflect vendor names, amounts, or dates of transactions.  This financial data should be excluded from the Transparency Online Project System, as the annual report required by statute is already a public record on deposit with the Colorado State Publications Library.

Fund 12D:  Colorado Bureau of Investigation Contraband Fund [CRS 24-33.5-415.2]
Description of Exclusion:  Vendor information has been excluded from Transparency Online Project System.
Basis for Exclusion:  Statute requires the Department to submit a report annually on contraband funds and limits the reporting to object codes.  The published report does not reflect vendor names, amounts, or dates of transactions.  This financial data should be excluded from the Transparency Online Project System, as the annual report required by statute is already a public record on deposit with the Colorado State Publications Library.

Contact: 
Tom Jagow, 303-239-4489 or
Jane Crisman, 303-239-4412

Department of Regulatory Agencies (SJ* & SK*)

The Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Registrations, provides aggregate data regarding its expert witness expenditures for each of its 31 listed programs.  Names of the experts retained in individual cases are excluded from the Transparency Online Project System (“TOPS”) for the reasons set forth below. Instead, the aggregate data for each program is identified through TOPS under purchased services, personal services, professional, co-confidential. 

The Division of Registrations relies on § 24-72.4-103(1)(g)(I), (II), and (IV), C.R.S., for this exclusion.

Section 24-72.4-103(1)(g)(I) requires exclusion from TOPS of information that is not a public record or that is exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act.  Many of the organic acts governing programs within the Division of Registrations provide that investigations of individual disciplinary cases are not a matter of public record.  See, e.g., §§ 12-32-108.3(12) (Podiatry Board), 12-35-129(7)(e) (Board of Dental Examiners), 12-36-118(10) (Board of Medicine), 12-38-116.5(9) (Board of Nursing), 12-38.1-114(13) (Nurse Aide Advisory Committee), and 12-43-224(4) (Mental Health programs), C.R.S.  Where needed, retention of an expert is part of the investigatory process for the programs within the Division of Registrations.

Section 24-72.4-103(1)(g)(II) requires exclusion from TOPS of information that is confidential pursuant to state or federal law.  State and federal law provide that where an expert has been retained or specially employed in anticipation of litigation or preparation for trial and is not expected to be called as a witness at a trial, discovery regarding that expert is permitted only under exceptional circumstances.  See CRCP 26(b)(4); Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(4). 

Section 24-72.4-103(1)(g)(IV) requires exclusion from TOPS of information that the director of the agency has requested to not be disclosed because the potential injury to the public interest arising from the disclosure of such information through TOPS outweighs the public interest in having such information publicly available through TOPS.  The director of the Division of Registrations has made such a request because the disclosure of the information through TOPS would negatively impact the ability of the programs within her Division to regulate professionals effectively.  For a variety of reasons, many experts who agree to review cases for the professional boards within the Division of Registrations wish to keep their identities confidential unless and until disclosure is required by the Rules of Civil Procedure. By respecting confidentiality, the Division of Registrations is able to retain in-state, high quality expert consultants to opine on the standard of practice for compensation that is well below market rates. With the assistance of such professionals, the programs are able, within their limited budgets, to determine where disciplinary action is warranted.  These programs protect the public by identifying and disciplining problematic practitioners, and then making that disciplinary information available to consumers and the public.

The data regarding the cost of experts retained by the Division of Registrations is not excluded. Instead, each program provides aggregate data as described above.  Section 24-72.4-103(1)(i)(I) permits the Division through TOPS to provide aggregated information where access to each individual transaction is likely to hinder, rather than foster, the goal of accountability and transparency.  As described above, the goal of accountability and transparency would be hindered rather than fostered if the identities of individual experts were disclosed through TOPS. 

Contact: 
Rosemary McCool, Director, 303-894-7729

Department of Revenue (TGA)

For the Division of Gaming in the Department of Revenue, the vendors related to gaming licensee background investigations are changed based on C.R.S. 24-72-204(1)(a) and (2)(a)(VIII)(B), the Colorado Open Records Act, which states that records of the expenditure of public moneys on investigations is denied inspection.  Also refer to C.R.S. 12-47.1-527(1), which states that any information relating to the background investigations of licensees, including credit or financial information, is confidential. 

Contact:
dburmania@dor.state.co.us

Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (UHA)

For the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, vendor names which could identify a client of the Department are protected under HIPAA.

Contact:
Erika Bol, Privacy Officer, 303-866-2958
erika.bol@state.co.us

Department of Treasury (WAA/WBA)

Unclaimed Property vendor names for recipients are listed as confidential to protect the interests of the claimant.

For The Department of Treasury, vendor names for deferred property tax interest refunds.

Contact: 
Charles Scheibe, 303-866-5826

Statewide (***)

For all state agencies, the vendor name is changed when expenditure code 4117 - Reportable Claims Against the State is used. These payments represent settlements where the settlement agreement provides that the terms of the agreement shall remain confidential.

For all state agencies, the vendor name is changed when expenditure code 4112 - ACTUAL DAMAGES - PHYSICAL INJURIES/ILLNESS is used. These payments represent settlements that could disclose information required to remain confidential by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Contact: 
Bob Jaros, 303-866-3765

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

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