2001-H 6528
Enacted 07/13/2001

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Introduced By:  Representatives Reilly, San Bento and Menard Date Introduced:   June 20, 2001

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Chapter 22-13 of the General Laws entitled "Auditor General" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:

22-13-10. Audit of information security systems. -- (a) The general assembly recognizes that the security of government computer systems is essential to ensuring the stability and integrity of vital information gathered and stored by government for the benefit of the citizenry and the breach of security over computer systems presents a risk to the health, safety, and welfare of the public. It is the intent of the legislature to insure that government computer systems and information residing on these systems are protected from unauthorized access, compromise, sabotage, hacking, viruses, destruction, illegal use, cyber attack or any other act which might jeopardize or harm the computer systems and the information stored thereon.

(b) In conjunction with the powers and duties outlined in this chapter, the auditor general may conduct reviews and assessments of the various government computer systems and the security systems established to safeguard these computer systems. Computer systems subject to this section shall include systems which pertain to federal, state, or local programs, and quasi-governmental bodies, and the computer systems of any entity or program which is subject to audit by the office of the auditor general. The auditor general's review may include an assessment of system vulnerability, network penetration, potential security breaches, and susceptibility to cyber attack and cyber fraud.

(c) In the event the review by the auditor general indicates a computer system is vulnerable, or security over the system is lacking, such findings shall not be disclosed publicly and shall not be considered public records. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary. The workpapers developed in connection with the review of the computer system and the security over the system shall not be deemed public records and are not subject to disclosure. The auditor general's findings may be disclosed at the discretion of the auditor general to the chief information officer of the state as well as the joint committee on legislative services. Unless the auditor general authorizes the release of information or findings gathered in the conduct of a review of computer system security, all such information shall be deemed classified, confidential, secret, and non-public.

(d) In order to maintain the integrity of the computer system, the auditor general may procure the services of specialists in information security systems or other contractors deemed necessary in conducting reviews under this section, and in procuring said services shall be exempt from the requirements of the state purchasing law or regulation.

(e) Any outside contractor or vendor hired to provide services in the review of the security of a computer system shall be bound by the confidentiality provisions of this section.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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