Texas 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. For more information about the Texas Public Information Act or rights of requestors, you may wish to refer to the Attorney General’s Public Information Handbook.
Public Information Act Information Request Form
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 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 itemized 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 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 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 General Services Commission. 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.
Responsibilities of Governmental Bodies
All governmental bodies responding to 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 shall give to the requestor 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 requestors of the estimated charges greater than $40 and any changes in the estimates above 20 percent of the original estimate, and confirm that the requestor accepts the charges, or has amended the request, in writing before finalizing the request;
- Inform the requestor if the information cannot be provided promptly and set a date and time to provide it within a reasonable time;
- 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 requestor;
- 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 governmental body;
- Respond in writing to all written communications from the General Services Commission regarding charges for the information. Respond to the Office of the Attorney General regarding complaints about violations of the Act.
Austin Community College is considered a “governmental body” and is subject to the Texas Public Information Act. The Act provides the public the right to access the College’s open records.
Charges for Requests
The Open Records Section of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) discharges the mandates set out in Government Code, Chapter 552, Subchapter A, Section 552.009; Subchapter D, Section 552.205; and Subchapter F, Sections 552.261 through 552.274. In general, if the number of copies in your request is less than 50 pages, the charge will be $0.10 per page; if the number of copies is more than 50 pages, the charge will be $0.10 per page plus personnel costs necessary to compile the documents, in addition to the postage.
In some instances requesting access to information may also result in a charge.
If the charge for fulfilling your requests exceeds $40, we will provide you with an itemized written estimate of the charges and indicate if a less costly alternative is available. You must respond in writing within 10 days after the estimate is sent that you will accept the costs, or that you desire any stated alternative, or your request will be considered withdrawn.
If the estimated charge is more than $100, the college may ask for a prepaid deposit before providing the information.
You may ask the college to determine whether providing the information primarily benefits the general public, resulting in a waiver or reduction of charges.
How to Access ACC’s Public Information
All requests must be written and should be emailed or mailed to the office listed below. You also may submit a request electronically using the form provided on this page. A confirmation receipt will be sent once your form or request is received.
Office of College Relations & Marketing
C/O Dahlia Anzaldua-Torres
Austin Community College District
ACC Highland Campus
6101 Highland Campus Dr.
Austin, Texas 78752
Please include the following information in your request to ensure you receive the information you want:
- Name and mailing address
- Phone number and email address
- A list or description of the information you want – be specific
- Specification of whether you want access to or copies of the information
Some of the information maintained by Austin Community College may not be considered public, such as the following:
- student information/records;
- medical information/records;
- drivers license and motor vehicle information;
- attorney-client communications;
- attorney work product;
- documents made confidential by statute;
- documents claimed to be proprietary by a third party (trade secret information).
Upon hire, employees have the opportunity to designate some information as confidential and it will not be released to the public including an employee’s home
address home telephone number, emergency contact information, or social security number, or information that reveals whether the person has family members.
If you want to review or get copies of the non-public information listed above, it will be necessary for the College to request an Attorney General’s opinion about this information. The Attorney General’s office has about 12 weeks to make a decision on whether the information is public or not public.
- Upon receiving the ORR, the Office of College Relations & Marketing (OCRM) assigns the request a submission number. This number is used to track progress of the request.
- Once a request is assigned a number, OCRM contacts the appropriate college office or department to process the request.
- Departments that receive ORRs from OCRM must respond in a timely manner and provide their response to OCRM for immediate follow-up.
- OCRM will then apply any charges associated with processing the request if applicable and will notify the requester that the ORR is complete and ready to be reviewed or retrieved.
- To pay for ORRs, please use the ACC Marketplace.
- All ORR-related information exchange is done through the OCRM. Once an exchange is complete, the ORR will be marked as “closed.”