Public Information Policy
The Texas Public Information Act gives you the right to access government records and government officials may not ask why you want them. All government information is presumed to be available to the public. Exceptions may apply to the disclosure of certain information. The Agency must promptly release requested information that is not confidential by law or information for which an exception to disclosure has been sought.
Rights of Requestors
You have the right to:
- Prompt access to information that is not confidential or otherwise protected;
- Receive treatment equal to all other requestors, including accommodation in accordance with American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements;
- Receive certain kinds of information without exceptions, like the voting record of public officials or information related to the receipt, expenditure or estimated need for public funds;
- Receive a written itemized statement of estimated charges, when charges exceed $40, in advance of work being started and an opportunity to modify your request if charges are too high;
- Choose whether to inspect the requested information (most often at no charge), receive copies of the information or both;
- A waiver or reduction of charges if the governmental body determines that access to the information primarily benefits the general public;
- Notice when the governmental body asks the Office of the Attorney General for a ruling on whether the information can be withheld under one of the accepted exceptions;
- Lodge a complaint about improper charges for public information with the Office of the Attorney General; or
- Lodge a complaint related to other possible violations of the Public Information Act with the county attorney, criminal district attorney, or Office of the Attorney General.
Responsibilities of the Agency
As a governmental body that responds to public information requests TALCB has the responsibility to:
- Establish reasonable procedures for inspecting and copying public information and inform requestors of these procedures;
- Treat all requestors equally, including accommodation in accordance with ADA requirements;
- Be informed about open records laws and educate employees on the requirements of those laws;
- Inform requestors of the estimated charges greater than $40 and any changes in the estimates, and confirm that the requestor agrees in writing to pay the costs before finalizing the request;
- Inform the requestor if the information cannot be provided promptly and establish a date and time to provide it within a reasonable time;
- Ask for a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General regarding any information to be withheld, and inform the requestor of this request for ruling;
- Segregate public information from information that might be withheld and provide that public information promptly;
- Make a good faith effort to inform third parties if their proprietary information is being requested from the governmental body;
- Respond in writing to all written communications from the Office of the Attorney General regarding complaints about violations of the Act.
Procedures to Obtain Information
To submit a request for public information, please review the steps for submitting a public information request.