Texas Public Information Act

Under the Texas Public Information Act (the "Act"), each person is entitled to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees, unless otherwise expressly provided by law. An open records request is a request for public information contained in the files or records of a Texas governmental agency.

For more information about the Act or open records requests, you may wish to refer to the Office of the Attorney General's 2014 Public Information Handbook.

Rights of Requestors

All individuals who request public information 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 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements
  • Receive certain kinds of information without exception, such as the voting record of public officials
  • Receive a written statement of estimated charges, when charges will exceed $40, in advance of work commencing and an opportunity to modify the request in response to an itemized statement
  • Choose whether to inspect the requested information (most often at no charge), receive a copy 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
  • Receive a copy of the communication from the governmental body requesting a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General (the “OAG”) regarding whether information may or must be withheld, or if the communication discloses the requested information, a redacted copy
  • Lodge a written complaint with the OAG regarding overcharges for public information. Complaints of other possible violations of the Act may be filed with the OAG, county attorney or criminal district attorney, as appropriate

Responsibilities of Governmental Bodies

All governmental bodies responding to public information requests have the responsibility to:

  • Establish reasonable procedures for inspecting or copying public information and inform requestors of these procedures
  • Treat all requestors uniformly and provide all reasonable comfort and facility, including accommodation in accordance with ADA requirements
  • Participate in open records training as required by law and educate employees on the requirements of open records laws
  • Inform requestors of estimated charges greater than $40 and any changes in the estimates above 20% of the original estimate, and confirm that the requestor accepts the charges, or has amended the request, before the charges are incurred
  • Inform the requestor if the information cannot be provided promptly and set a date and time to provide it within a reasonable time
  • Provide the requestor with a copy of the communication from the governmental body to the OAG requesting a ruling on whether information may or must be withheld or, if the communication discloses the requested information, a redacted copy
  • Segregate public information from information that may or must be withheld and provide the public information to the requestor promptly
  • Make a good faith attempt to inform third parties when their proprietary information is being requested from the governmental body
  • Respond to the OAG regarding charges for information or complaints about alleged violations of the Act
To request public information, please follow the instructions on our Open Records page.