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4369Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 20000111Primary Sponsor: KirshAll Sponsors: Kirsh, Altman, Stille, Carnell, LoftisDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\swb\5016djc00.docResiding Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Ways and Means Committee 30 HWMSubject: Voice mail system, government employee not to use unless caller provider access to attendant; TelephonesHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 20000126 Co-Sponsor added (Rule 5.2) by Rep. Loftis House 20000111 Introduced, read first time, 30 HWM referred to Committee House 19991229 Prefiled, referred to Committee 30 HWM Versions of This Bill
TO AMEND CHAPTER 15, TITLE 8, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO STATE AND LOCAL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, BY ADDING SECTION 8-15-70, SO AS TO PROVIDE NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY SHALL USE A VOICE MAIL SYSTEM WHEN THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS AT HIS REGULARLY ASSIGNED WORKSTATION WHERE HIS TELEPHONE IS FUNCTIONAL AND AVAILABLE FOR USE UNLESS THE VOICE MAIL SYSTEM PROVIDES THE CALLER WITH ACCESS TO A NONELECTRONIC ATTENDANT OR AUTOMATICALLY TRANSFERS THE CALLER TO A NONELECTRONIC ATTENDANT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina.
SECTION 1. Chapter 15, Title 8 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 8-15-70. (A) The General Assembly finds:
(1) that some telephone systems operated by state and local government agencies, and other entities performing governmental services, require callers to proceed through several menus to finally reach an individual extension, an arrangement that can be frustrating or intimidating to the caller;
(2) that some state and local government telephone systems also make it difficult to reach an attendant or operator at the agency;
(3) that, while automated telephone systems and voice mail are intended to improve the efficiency of government, the first duty of government is to serve the people, and efficiency should not impede the average citizen in attempting to contact a state or local government agency for service or information; and
(4) that state and local government agency telephone systems routing calls to multiple extensions should be reprogrammed to minimize the number of menus that a caller must go through to reach the desired extension and to allow the caller to reach an attendant or operator from the first menu when calling during normal business hours.
(B) For purposes of this section 'local government' or 'local government agency' means counties, municipalities, public colleges and universities, public school districts, public schools, public service districts, and special service districts providing one or more governmental service.
(C) No state or local government officer or employee shall use a voice mail system at his regularly assigned workstation where his telephone is functional and available for use unless the voice mail system provides the caller with access to a nonelectronic attendant or automatically transfers the caller to a nonelectronic attendant. All telephone menu options systems used by state and local government agencies, departments, or other government units must alert the caller to, and provide the caller with access to a nonelectronic attendant."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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