HB 330: "An Act authorizing the commissioner of natural resources to disclose confidential information in an investigation or proceeding, including a lease royalty audit, appeal, or request for reconsideration and issue a protective order limiting the persons who have access to the confidential information."

00                             HOUSE BILL NO. 330                                                                          
01 "An Act authorizing the commissioner of natural resources to disclose confidential                                      
02 information in an investigation or proceeding, including a lease royalty audit, appeal, or                              
03 request for reconsideration and issue a protective order limiting the persons who have                                  
04 access to the confidential information."                                                                                
05 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
06    * Section 1. AS 38.05.020(b) is amended to read:                                                                   
07            (b)  The commissioner may                                                                                    
08                 (1)  establish reasonable procedures and adopt reasonable regulations                                   
09       necessary to carry out this chapter and, whenever necessary, issue directives or orders                           
10 to the director to carry out specific functions and duties; regulations adopted by the                                  
11 commissioner shall be adopted under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act);                                            
12 orders by the commissioner classifying land, issued after January 3, 1959, are not                                      
13       required to be adopted under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act);                                             
14                 (2)  enter into agreements considered necessary to carry out the                                        
01       purposes of this chapter, including agreements with federal and state agencies;                                   
02                 (3)  review any order or action of the director;                                                        
03                 (4)  exercise the powers and do the acts necessary to carry out the                                     
04       provisions and objectives of this chapter;                                                                        
05 (5)  notwithstanding the provisions of any other section of this chapter,                                               
06 grant an extension of the time within which payments due on any exploration license,                                    
07 lease, or sale of state land, minerals, or materials may be made, including payment of                                  
08 rental and royalties, on a finding that compliance with the requirements is or was                                      
09       prevented by reason of war, riots, or acts of God;                                                                
10                 (6)  classify tracts for agricultural uses;                                                             
11 (7)  after consulting with the Board of Agriculture and Conservation                                                    
12 (AS 03.09.010), waive, postpone, or otherwise modify the development requirements                                       
13       of a contract for the sale of agricultural land if                                                                
14                      (A)  the land is inaccessible by road; or                                                          
15 (B)  transportation, marketing, and development costs render                                                            
16            the required development uneconomic;                                                                         
17 (8)  reconvey or relinquish land or an interest in land to the federal                                                  
18       government if                                                                                                     
19 (A)  the land is described in an amended application for an                                                             
20            allotment under 43 U.S.C. 1617; and                                                                          
21                      (B)  the reconveyance or relinquishment is                                                         
22                           (i)  for the purposes provided in 43 U.S.C. 1617; and                                         
23                           (ii)  in the best interests of the state;                                                     
24 (9)  lead and coordinate all matters relating to the state's review and                                                 
25       authorization of resource development projects;                                                                   
26 (10)  enter into commercial agreements with a duration of not more                                                      
27       than two years for project services related to a North Slope natural gas project;                                 
28 (11)  in consultation with the commissioner of revenue, participate in                                                  
29 the negotiation of agreements that include balancing, marketing, disposition of natural                                 
30 gas, and offtake and contracts and development of terms for inclusion in those                                          
31 proposed agreements and contracts associated with a North Slope natural gas project;                                    
01 an agreement or contract negotiated under this paragraph to which the state is a party                                  
02 is not effective unless the legislature authorizes the governor to execute the agreement                                
03       or contract;                                                                                                      
04 (12)  enter into confidentiality agreements to maintain the                                                             
05 confidentiality of information related to contract negotiations and contract                                            
06 implementation associated with a North Slope natural gas project; information under                                     
07 those confidentiality agreements is not subject to AS 40.25.100 - 40.25.295 (Alaska                                     
08       Public Records Act), except that                                                                                  
09 (A)  the terms of a proposed contract that the commissioner                                                             
10 presents to the legislature for the purpose of obtaining authorization for the                                          
11 governor to execute are not confidential and must be made available to the                                              
12            public at least 90 days before the proposed effective date for the terms; and                                
13 (B)  the commissioner may share confidential information                                                                
14 obtained under this paragraph with members of the legislature, their agents,                                            
15 and contractors on request under confidentiality agreements, either in                                                  
16            committees held in executive session or individually;                                                        
17 (13)  consult with the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation in the                                                    
18 development of agreements or contracts under (10) or (11) of this subsection for                                        
19 project services related to a gas treatment plant, pipeline, liquefaction facility, marine                              
20 terminal, or marine transportation services necessary to transport natural gas to                                       
21       market;                                                                                                           
22 (14)  in consultation with the commissioner of revenue, take custody of                                                 
23 gas delivered to the state under AS 43.55.014(b) and manage the project services and                                    
24       disposition and sale of that gas;                                                                                 
25 (15)  in an investigation or proceeding of the department, including                                                
26 a lease audit, appeal, or request for reconsideration, disclose confidential                                        
27 information, including information under AS 38.05.035(a)(8) and 38.05.036, to                                       
28 the parties if the lease requires disclosure or, in the commissioner's discretion,                                  
29 the commissioner determines that the disclosure is necessary; before disclosing                                     
30       confidential information, the commissioner shall                                                              
31 (A)  provide notice and an opportunity to be heard to all                                                           
01            parties to the investigation or proceeding and any third party whose                                     
02            information will be disclosed under a protective order; and                                              
03                      (B)  issue a protective order limiting the persons who may                                     
04            have access to the information and purposes for which it may be used;                                    
05                 (16)  exercise the powers and do the acts necessary to carry out the                                
06       provisions and objectives of AS 43.90 that relate to this chapter.                                                
07    * Sec. 2. AS 38.05.035(a) is amended to read:                                                                      
08            (a)  The director shall                                                                                      
09                 (1)  have general charge and supervision of the division and may                                        
10 exercise the powers specifically delegated to the director; the director may employ and                                 
11 fix the compensation of assistants and employees necessary for the operations of the                                    
12 division; the director is the certifying officer of the division, with the consent of the                               
13 commissioner, and may approve vouchers for disbursements of money appropriated to                                       
14       the division;                                                                                                     
15 (2)  manage, inspect, and control state land and improvements on it                                                     
16       belonging to the state and under the jurisdiction of the division;                                                
17 (3)  execute laws, rules, regulations, and orders adopted by the                                                        
18       commissioner;                                                                                                     
19 (4)  prescribe application procedures and practices for the sale, lease, or                                             
20       other disposition of available land, resources, property, or interest in them;                                    
21 (5)  prescribe fees or service charges, with the consent of the                                                         
22       commissioner, for any public service rendered;                                                                    
23 (6)  under the conditions and limitations imposed by law and the                                                        
24 commissioner, issue deeds, leases, or other conveyances disposing of available land,                                    
25       resources, property, or any interests in them;                                                                    
26 (7)  have jurisdiction over state land, except that land acquired by the                                                
27 Alaska World War II Veterans Board and the Agricultural Loan Board or the                                               
28 departments or agencies succeeding to their respective functions through foreclosure                                    
29 or default; to this end, the director possesses the powers and, with the approval of the                                
30 commissioner, shall perform the duties necessary to protect the state's rights and                                      
31 interest in state land, including the taking of all necessary action to protect and enforce                             
01       the state's contractual or other property rights;                                                                 
02 (8)  maintain the records the commissioner considers necessary,                                                         
03 administer oaths, and do all things incidental to the authority imposed; the following                                  
04 records and files shall be kept confidential upon request of the person supplying the                                   
05       information:                                                                                                      
06                      (A)  the name of the person nominating or applying for the sale,                                   
07            lease, or other disposal of land by competitive bidding;                                                     
08                      (B)  before the announced time of opening, the names of the                                        
09            bidders and the amounts of the bids;                                                                         
10 (C)  all geological, geophysical, and engineering data supplied,                                                        
11 whether or not concerned with the extraction or development of natural                                                  
12            resources;                                                                                                   
13 (D)  except as provided in AS 38.05.020 and 38.05.036                                                               
14 [AS 38.05.036], cost data and financial information submitted in support of                                             
15            applications, bonds, leases, and similar items;                                                              
16                      (E)  applications for rights-of-way or easements;                                                  
17 (F)  requests for information or applications by public agencies                                                        
18            for land that is being considered for use for a public purpose;                                              
19 (9)  account for the fees, licenses, taxes, or other money received in the                                              
20 administration of this chapter including the sale or leasing of land, identify their                                    
21 source, and promptly transmit them to the proper fiscal department after crediting                                      
22 them to the proper fund; receipts from land application filing fees and charges for                                     
23 copies of maps and records shall be deposited immediately in the general fund of the                                    
24       state by the director;                                                                                            
25 (10)  select and employ or obtain at reasonable compensation cadastral,                                                 
26 appraisal, or other professional personnel the director considers necessary for the                                     
27       proper operation of the division;                                                                                 
28 (11)  be the certifying agent of the state to select, accept, and secure by                                             
29 whatever action is necessary in the name of the state, by deed, sale, gift, devise,                                     
30 judgment, operation of law, or other means any land, of whatever nature or interest,                                    
31 available to the state; and be the certifying agent of the state, to select, accept, or                                 
01 secure by whatever action is necessary in the name of the state any land, or title or                                   
02 interest to land available, granted, or subject to being transferred to the state for any                               
03       purpose;                                                                                                          
04 (12)  on request, furnish records, files, and other information related to                                              
05 the administration of AS 38.05.180 to the Department of Revenue for use in                                              
06 forecasting state revenue under or administering AS 43.55, whether or not those                                         
07 records, files, and other information are required to be kept confidential under (8) of                                 
08 this subsection; in the case of records, files, or other information required to be kept                                
09 confidential under (8) of this subsection, the Department of Revenue shall maintain                                     
10 the confidentiality that the Department of Natural Resources is required to extend to                                   
11       records, files, and other information under (8) of this subsection;                                               
12 (13)  when reasonably possible, give priority to and expedite the                                                       
13 processing of an application for a lease or assignment of a lease of state land for                                     
14 development and operation of a gas storage facility, for a right-of-way to a gas storage                                
15 facility, for a change to the allocation of production within a unit, and for a permit                                  
16 necessary for the operation of a gas storage facility; in this paragraph, "gas storage                                  
17       facility" has the meaning given in AS 31.05.032.                                                                  
18    * Sec. 3. AS 38.05.036(f) is amended to read:                                                                      
19 (f)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, as authorized under                                              
20 AS 38.05.020, or in connection with official investigations, including lease royalty                            
21 audits, appeals, or proceedings of the department, it is unlawful for a current or                                  
22 former officer, employee, or agent of the state to divulge information obtained by the                                  
23 department as a result of an audit under this section that is required by an agreement                                  
24       with the department or by AS 38.05.035(a)(8) to be kept confidential.