HBA-EDN S.B. 799 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 799 By: Duncan State Affairs 8/30/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, there are variations in the way state agencies capture and report data on the reasons employees terminate employment with the state. Given these variations, the validity of the data reported to the state auditor may be in question. Problems with the data may stem from a lack of standardization, a failure to collect the appropriate data, or failure to record it properly. Also, the reason for termination may be subject to interpretation by whomever is entering the data into the payroll and personnel systems at the employing agency. The state auditor reports that state employee turnover costs the state between $127 and $254 million in 1999. Efforts to reduce state employee turnover are hindered if the causes of such turnover cannot be determined. Senate Bill 799 requires each state agency to conduct an exit interview with an employee who leaves employment with the agency by having the employee access the questionnaire posted on the state auditor's Internet site and electronically submit the completed questionnaire to the state auditor. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 799 amends the Government Code to require each state agency to conduct an exit interview with an employee who leaves employment with the agency by having the employee access the questionnaire posted on the state auditor's Internet site and electronically submit the completed questionnaire to the state auditor. The bill requires the state agency to conduct the exit interview in a manner that allows the employee alone to describe the employee's reason for leaving employment and prohibits a state agency from altering the description stated by the employee. S.B. 799 requires the state auditor to develop the exit interview questionnaire in consultation with the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller) and representatives designated by the comptroller from small, medium, and large state agencies. Not later than the 15th day following the end of the calendar quarter, the state auditor is required to submit a report to each state agency containing the questionnaire responses, but prohibits such a report from containing the name or any other identifying information of an employee. The bill also prohibits the state agency from sharing questionnaire responses with another state agency. The bill provides that questionnaire responses are confidential and are not subject to disclosure under public information law and authorizes responses to be disclosed only to a law enforcement agency in a criminal investigation or on order of a court. The bill authorizes the state auditor to audit each state agency's records to determine whether the agency is complying with these requirements. S.B. 799 requires the state auditor, not later than December 15th of each year before a regular session of the legislature, to submit a report summarizing the findings of the exit interviews to the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives, and members of the Senate Committee on Finance and House Committee on Appropriations. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.