[ Text of section added by 2011, 93, Sec. 1 effective July 1, 2011. See 2011, 93, Sec. 138.]
Section 3A. Recommendations for employment submitted in support of candidates who are hired by the commonwealth, or any political subdivision of the commonwealth, in the position to which the recommendations were applicable, shall be considered public records under section 7 of chapter 4 and this chapter; provided, however that this shall not apply to internal communications. Recommendations for employment submitted in support of candidates applying for employment by the commonwealth, or any political subdivision of the commonwealth, shall not be considered by a hiring authority until the applicant has met all other qualifications and requirements for the position to be filled; provided, however, that a hiring authority may, in accordance with said agency's regular practice for conducting reference checks, contact and speak with a reference provided to it by a candidate for employment, or contact and speak with any person who has submitted a written recommendation on behalf of a candidate for employment with said agency.