The Public Information Act

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.

Procedures to Request Information

Complete an Open Records Request Form: PDF

Submit a request by mail, fax, email or in person according to a governmental body's reasonable procedures.

  1. Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the governmental body to accurately identify and locate the information requested.
  2. Cooperate with the governmental body's reasonable efforts to clarify the type or amount of information requested.

You may send your request:

Information to be released

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estimate of charges within 10 days of the date the governmental body sent it or the request is considered automatically withdrawn.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.