Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, gives you the right to
access government records; and an officer for public information and the
officer's agent may not ask why you want them. All government information is
presumed to be available to the public. Certain exceptions may apply to the
disclosure of the information. Governmental bodies shall promptly release
requested information that is not confidential by law, either constitutional,
statutory, or by judicial decision, or information for which an exception to
disclosure has not been sought.
Rights of Requesters
You have the right to:
· Prompt access to information that is not
confidential or otherwise protected;
· Receive treatment equal to all other requesters,
including accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements;
· Receive certain kinds of information without
exceptions, like the voting record of public officials, and other information;
· Receive a written statement of estimated
charges, when charges will exceed $40, in advance of work being started and
opportunity to modify the request in response to the itemized statement;
· Choose whether to inspect the requested
information (most often at no charge), receive copies of the information or
· 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 asking the Office of the Attorney General for a ruling on
whether the information can be withheld under one of the accepted exceptions,
or if the communication discloses the requested information, a redacted copy;
· Lodge a written complaint about overcharges for
public information with the Attorney General Office. Complaints of other possible violations may
be filed with the county or district attorney of the county where the governmental
body, other than a state agency, is located.
If the complaint is against the county or district attorney, the
complaint must be filed with the Office of the Attorney General.
All governmental bodies responding to information requests
have the responsibility to:
· Establish reasonable procedures for inspecting
or copying public information and inform requesters of these procedures;
· Treat all requesters uniformly and shall give to
the requesters all reasonable comfort and facility, including accommodation in accordance with ADA requirements;
· Be informed about open records laws and educate
employees on the requirements of those laws;
· Inform requesters of the estimated charges
greater than $40 and any changes in the estimates above 20 percent of the
original estimate, and confirm that the requester accepts the charges, or has
amended the request, in writing before finalizing the request;
· Inform the requester if the information cannot
be provided promptly and set a date and time to provide it within a reasonable
· Request a ruling from the Office of the Attorney
General regarding any information the governmental body wishes to withhold, and send a copy of the request for ruling, or a redacted copy, to the requester;
· Segregate public information from information
that may be withheld and provide that public information promptly;
· Make a good faith attempt to inform third
parties when their proprietary information is being requested from the
· Respond in writing to all written communications
from the Office of the Attorney General regarding charges for the
Respond to the Office of
the Attorney General regarding complaints about violations of the Act.
Procedures to Obtain
· Submit a written request by mail, fax, email or
in person according to a governmental body's reasonable procedures.
· Include enough description and detail about the
information requested to enable the governmental body to accurately identify
and locate the information requested.
· Cooperate with the governmental body's
reasonable efforts to clarify the type or amount of information requested.
Information to be
You may review it promptly, and if it cannot be produced
within 10 working days the public information officer will notify you in
writing of the reasonable date and time when it will be available. Keep all
appointments to inspect records and to pick up copies. Failure to keep appointments may result in
losing the opportunity to inspect the information at the time requested.
Cost of Records
You must respond to any written estimate of charges within
10 days of the date the governmental body sent it or the request is considered
automatically withdrawn. If estimated costs exceed $100.00 (or $50.00 if a
governmental body has fewer than 16 full time employees) the governmental body
may require a bond, prepayment or deposit. You may ask the governmental body to
determine whether providing the information primarily benefits the general public,
resulting in a waiver or reduction of charges. Make a timely payment for all
mutually agreed charges. A governmental body can demand payment of overdue
balances exceeding $100.00, or obtain a security deposit, before processing
additional requests from you.
Information that may
be withheld due to an exception
By the 10th business day after a governmental
body receives your written request, a governmental body must:
a. request an Attorney General opinion and state
which exceptions apply;
b. notify the requester of the referral to the
Attorney General; and
c. notify third parties if the request involves
their proprietary information.
· Failure to request an Attorney General opinion
and notify the requester within 10 business days will result in a presumption
that the information is open unless there is a compelling reason to withhold
· Requesters may send a letter to the Attorney
General arguing for release, and may review arguments made by the governmental
body. If the arguments disclose the
requested information, the requester may obtain a redacted copy.
· The Attorney General must issue a decision no
later than the 45th working day from the day after the attorney general
received the request for a decision. The
attorney general may request an additional 10 working day extension.
· Governmental bodies may not ask the Attorney
General to "reconsider" an opinion.
To request information from this governmental body, please
The Office of the Superintendent
You may send your request:
· By submitting online form: Open Records Request
· By mail to: Mike Jackson, Open Records
Administrator, 285 Uptown Blvd. #300 Cedar Hill, Texas 75104
· By e-mail to: email@example.com
· By fax to: 972.291.5231
· In person at: 285 Uptown Blvd. #300 Cedar Hill,
For complaints regarding failure to release public
information please contact your local County or District Attorney - for Dallas
County, you may call 214.653.3600 (Dallas County District Attorney).
You may also contact the Office of the Attorney General,
Open Records Hotline, at 512-478-6736 or toll-free at 1-877-673-6839.
For complaints regarding overcharges, please contact the AG
Cost Rules Administrator at 512-475-2497.
If you need special accommodation pursuant to the Americans
With Disabilities Act (ADA), please contact our ADA coordinator, Holly
Cunningham, 972-291-1581 ext. 4070