Public Information FAQ

What is the cost of copies of public information?

Rules for charges

What is the Public Information Act?

The Public Information Act, formerly known as the Open Records Act, is located at Chapter 552 of the Government Code. The Act provides a mechanism for citizens to inspect or copy government records. It also provides for instances in which governmental bodies wish to, or are required by law, to withhold government records from the public.

What types of records are subject to the Public Information Act?

Any information collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a governmental body is subject to the Public Information Act. The format (paper, electronic, microfilm, etc.) of the record does not affect its status as a public record.

What should I say in my public information request?

You should make the request as clear and as specific as possible to enable the Public Information Officer to identify exactly what information you are requesting. You must provide a proper and complete mailing address for our response.

How long does the governmental body have to respond to my request for information?

The Act provides that we must respond "promptly" to a request for information. If we are unable to produce the requested information within ten business days, the officer for public information will send you correspondence certifying that he or she is unable to do so and will set a date and time when the records will be available to you.

When may a governmental body refuse to release the information I request?

If the information you request falls within one of the exceptions to disclosure found in the Public Information Act, the governmental body may refuse to release the information while it seeks an open records decision from the Attorney General. Unless the governmental body has a previous determination from a court or the Attorney General regarding the precise information requested, a governmental body cannot determine on its own to withhold information.