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GBAA - INFORMATION ACCESS:  REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION.. 1

OFFICER FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION.. 3

Public Information Officer 3

SIGN.. 3

ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION.. 4

Time for Response. 4

Location of Access. 4

Establishing Identity. 4

Treatment of Requests. 5

EXAMINATION.. 5

Electronic Data. 6

Requests Requiring Programming or Manipulation. 6

Response Time When Programming or Manipulation Is Required. 7

Further Action. 7

Processing of Requests. 7

Repetitious or Redundant Requests. 7

Procedures. 8

ATTORNEY GENERAL DECISIONS. 8

Calculating Timelines. 8

Previous Determinations. 9

Statement to Requestor 10

Submission to Attorney General 10

Failure to Raise Exceptions Before Attorney General 11

Additional Information. 11

Privacy or Property Interests. 12

Notice to Owner of Proprietary Information. 12

COSTS AND CHARGES. 12

50 Pages or Less. 12

Statement of Labor Costs. 12

Exemptions. 13

Copies for Parents. 13

Statement of Estimated Charges. 13

Requestor's Response. 14

Actual Charges. 14

Timing of Deadlines. 14

Deposit or Bond/Triggers Timeline. 15

Modified Request 15

Unpaid Amounts. 15

Waivers. 15

Government Publication. 16

INSPECTION OF PUBLIC INFORMATION.. 16

Redaction of Confidential Information. 16

Payment, Deposit or Bond. 16

Electronic Records. 16

PRESERVATION OF RECORDS. 17

FILING SUIT TO WITHHOLD INFORMATION.. 17

PARENT'S REQUEST FOR INFORMATION.. 18

Frequent Requests. 18

Request by Minor 18

Exception. 18

Written Statement of Personnel Time. 19

Written Estimate of Charges. 19

Acceptance of Charges. 20

Waived or Reduced Charges. 20

 

OFFICER FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION

The Director of Planning and Evaluation shall be the School’s public information officer.  Each department head shall be an agent of the officer for public information for complying with the Public Information Act (PIA) and the School’s policy on public records.  The public information officer shall:

  1. Make public information available for public inspection and copying.
  2. Carefully protect public information from deterioration, alteration, mutilation, loss, or unlawful removal.
  3. Repair, renovate, or rebind public information when necessary to maintain it properly.

The public information officer is responsible for the release of public information as required by Government Code Chapter 552.  The officer is not responsible for the use made of the information by the requestor or the release of the information after it is removed from a record as a result of an update, correction, or change of status of the person to whom the information pertains.

Gov't Code 552.201-552.204

Public Information Officer

Within 90 days after assuming office, a public information officer shall complete a course of training regarding the responsibilities under the PIA (Public Information Act).

The training shall be not less than one nor more than two hours. The attorney general may provide the training and may also approve other acceptable sources of training.

TSBVI shall maintain and make available for public inspection the record of a public information officer’s completion of the training.

Gov’t Code 552.012(b), (e)

SIGN

The public information officer shall prominently display a sign in the form prescribed by the attorney general that contains basic information about the rights of a requestor, the responsibilities the School, and the procedures for inspecting or obtaining a copy of public information under the PIA.  The officer shall display the sign at one or more places in the administrative offices of the School where it is plainly visible to:

  1. Members of the public who request public information in person; and
  2. Employees of the School whose duties include receiving or responding to public information requests.

Gov't Code 552.205

ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION

The School may promulgate reasonable procedures by which public information may be

inspected and copied efficiently, safely, and without delay.  These procedures may not be inconsistent with any provision of the PIA.  Gov't Code 552.230

Time for Response

The Superintendent or designee shall promptly produce public information for inspection, duplication, or both, in the School’s offices on application by any person. "Promptly" means as soon as possible under the circumstances, that is, within a reasonable time, without delay.  Gov’t Code 552.228, .230

Location of Access

The Superintendent or designee complies with such a request by:

  1. providing the information for inspection or duplication in the School’s offices or
  2. sending copies of the information by first class mail, if the requestor requests that the copies be provided and pays the postage and any other applicable charges that the requestor has accrued under Chapter 552, Subchapter F.
  3. referring a requestor to an exact Internet location or uniform resource locator (URL) address on a website maintained by TSBVI and accessible to the public if the requested information is identifiable and readily available on that website.

If the officer for the public information provided by e-mail an Internet location or URL address, the e-mail must contain a statement in a conspicuous font clearly indicating that the requestor may nonetheless access the requested information by inspection or duplication or by receipt through United States Mail, as described above.

Gov’t Code 552.221(b)-(b-2), .226

If the requested information is unavailable because it is in storage or active use, the Superintendent or designee shall certify this fact in writing to the requestor and set a date and hour within a reasonable time when the information will be available for inspection or duplication.  If the Superintendent or designee cannot produce the public information for inspection or duplication within ten business days after the date the information is requested, the superintendent or designee shall certify that fact in writing to the requestor and set a date and hour within a reasonable time when the information will be available for inspection or duplication.  An original copy of public information shall not be removed from School offices by a requestor.

Gov't Code 552.221, 552.226; Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD-664 (2000)

Establishing Identity

The public information officer shall not make an inquiry of any requestor, except to establish proper identification or to ask the requestor to clarify.  If a large amount of information has been requested, the officer may discuss with the requestor how the scope of the request might be narrowed, but the officer may not inquire into the purpose for which the information will be used.  All reasonable comfort and facility shall be extended to the requestor.  Gov't Code 552.222, 552.224

The public information officer shall treat all requests for information uniformly without regard to the position or occupation of the requestor, the person on whose behalf the request is made, or the status of the individual as a member of the media.  Gov't Code 552.223

Treatment of Requests

If a large amount of information has been requested, the School may discuss with the requestor how the scope of the request might be narrowed, but the officer may not inquire into the purpose for which the information will be used.  If what information is requested is unclear, the officer may ask the requestor to clarify.

If the request included the requestor’s physical or mailing address, the officer must send the request for discussion or clarification to that address by certified mail.  The written request for discussion or clarification must include a statement as to the consequences of failure by the requestor to timely respond.

If the requestor’s request for public information was sent by electronic mail, the officer may send the request for clarification or discussion or the written request for additional information by electronic mail to the same electronic mail address from which the original request was sent or to another electronic mail address provided by the requestor.

If the officer does not receive a written response or a response by electronic mail, as applicable, by the 61st day after the School sends the written request, the underlying request for public information is considered to have been withdrawn by the requestor.

Gov’t Code 552,222(b), (d)-(g)

EXAMINATION

A requestor shall complete the examination of the information not later than the tenth business day after the date the officer for public information makes it available.  If the requestor does not complete the examination of the information within ten business days after the date the information is made available and does not file a request for additional time, the requestor is considered to have withdrawn the request.  The officer shall extend the initial examination period by an additional ten business days if, within the initial period, the requestor files with the officer a written request for additional time.  The officer shall permit a second additional ten business day examination period if, within the first additional period, the requestor files with the officer a second written request for time.  The time during which a person may examine information may be interrupted by the officer if the information is needed for use by the School.

The period of interruption is not considered to be a part of the time during which the person may examine the information. Gov't Code 552.225

A request is considered to have been withdrawn if the requestor fails to inspect or duplicate the public information in the offices of the governmental body on or before the 60th day after the date the information is made available or fails to pay the postage and any other applicable charges accrued under Government Code, Chapter 552, Subchapter F on or before the 60th day after the date the requestor is informed of the charges.

Gov’t Code 552.221(e)

Electronic Data

If public information exists in an electronic or magnetic medium, the requestor may request a copy in an electronic medium, such as on diskette or on magnetic tape.  TSBVI shall provide a copy in the requested medium:

  1. If the School has the technological ability to produce the information in the requested medium;
  2. If the School is not required to purchase any software or hardware to accommodate the request; and
  3. Providing the copy will not violate any copyright agreement between the School and a third party.

If the School is unable to comply with a request to produce a copy of information in a requested medium for any of these reasons, TSBVI shall provide a copy in another medium that is acceptable to the requestor.  TSBVI is not required to copy information onto a diskette or other material provided by the requestor but may use School supplies.

Gov’t Code 552.228

Requests Requiring Programming or Manipulation

If the officer determines that responding to a request for information will require programming or manipulation of data and that compliance with the request is not feasible or will result in substantial interference with operations or the information could be made available in the requested form only at a cost that covers the programming and manipulation of data, it shall provide to the requestor a written statement that includes all of the following information:

  1. A statement that the information is not available in the requested form;
  2. A description of the form in which the information is available;
  3. A description of any contract or services that would be required to provide the information in the requested form;
  4. A statement of the estimated cost of providing the information in the requested form, as determined in accordance with the rules established by the attorney general; and 
  5. A statement of the anticipated time required to provide the information in the requested form.

Response Time When Programming or Manipulation Is Required

The officer shall provide the written statement to the requestor within 20 days after the date the officer receives the request. The officer has an additional ten days to provide the statement if the officer gives written notice to the requestor within 20 days after receiving the request that additional time is needed.

Further Action

After providing the written statement described above, the officer has no further obligation to provide the information in the requested form or in the form in which it is available, unless within 30 days the requestor writes to the officer stating that the requestor wants the information in the requested form according to the time and cost parameters set out in the officer's statement or that the requestor wants the information in the form in which it is available.  If a requestor does not make a timely written response, the requestor is considered to have withdrawn the request for information.

Processing of Requests

The public information officer shall establish policies that assure the expeditious and accurate processing of requests for information that require programming or manipulation of data.  The Board shall maintain a readily accessible file containing all written statements issued concerning requests for information that require programming or manipulation of data.

Gov't Code 552.231

Repetitious or Redundant Requests

If the officer determines that a requestor has made a request for information for which the School has previously furnished or made copies available to the requestor on payment of applicable charges, the officer shall respond to the request for information for which copies have been already furnished or made available, except that:

  1. The School is not prohibited from furnishing the information or making the information available to the requestor again in accordance with the request; and
  2. The School is not required to comply with the procedures described below in relation to information that the School simply furnishes or makes available to the requestor again in accordance with the request.

Gov’t Code 552.232(a)

Information for which the School has not previously furnished copies or made copies available to the requestor on payment of applicable charges, information that was redacted from information provided earlier, or that did not exist at the time of an earlier request, shall be treated in the same manner as any other request for public information.

Gov’t Code 552.232(d)

Procedures

The officer shall, free of charge, certify to the requestor that copies of all or part of the requested

information were previously furnished or made available to the requestor on payment of applicable charges.  The certification must include:

  1. A description of the information for which copies have been previously furnished or made available to the requestor.
  2. The date that the School received the requestor's original request for that information.
  3. The date that the School previously furnished copies of or made available copies of the information to the requestor.
  4. A certification that no subsequent additions, deletions, or corrections have been made to that information; and
  5. The name, title, and signature of the officer for public information or the officer's agent making the certification.

Gov't Code 552.232(b),(c)

ATTORNEY GENERAL DECISIONS

If the School receives a written request, including a request that is sent by electronic mail or facsimile transmission if that request is sent to a superintendent or designee, for information it wishes to withhold from public disclosure and that it considers to be within one of the exceptions to required disclosure, but for which there has been no previous determination that it falls within one of the exceptions, the School, not later than the tenth business day after receiving the written request, shall ask for a decision from the attorney general about whether the information is within one of the exceptions and state the exception that applies.  If a decision from the attorney general is not so requested or the School fails to provide the requestor with the statement and a copy of the School’s communications to the attorney general, as described below, the information is presumed to be public information and must be released unless there is a compelling reason to withhold it. Gov't Code 552.301(a), (b), (c), 552.302

The School may only request an open records decision from the attorney general if the School reasonably believes that the requested information is excepted from required disclosure.  The School must promptly produce the requested information to the requestor.  Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD-665 (2000)

Calculating Timelines

For the purposes of Government Code sections 552.301-.308, if TSBVI receives a written request by United State mail and cannot adequately establish the actual date of receipt, the request is considered to have been received on the third business day after the date of the postmark on a properly addressed request.  Gov’t Code 552.301(a-1)

When Government Code sections 552.301-.308 require a request, notice, or other document to be submitted or otherwise given to the attorney general within a specified period, the requirement is met in a timely fashion if TSBVI submits the document through the attorney general’s designated electronic filing system within that period.  This provision does not affect the right of the School to submit information to the attorney general by mail under Government Code 552.308.

When the attorney general is required to deliver a notice, decision, or other document within a specified period, the requirement is met in a timely fashion if the attorney general electronically transmits the document within that period.

Gov’t Code 552.309

Previous Determinations

Same Information

Except as set forth at Government Code section 552.301(g), TSBVI may not request an attorney general decision if the School has previously requested and received a determination from the attorney general concerning the precise information at issue in a pending request and the attorney general or a court determined that the information is not within one of the exceptions.  This exception applies to specific information that is again requested from the School after the attorney general has previously issued a decision regarding the precise information or records at issue. Gov’t Code 552.301(f); Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD 673 (2001)

Categories of Information

TSBVI may rely on a previous determination by the attorney general regarding a specific, clearly delineated category of information if:

  1. The previous decision is applicable to a school district or state agency;
  2. The previous decision concludes that the category of information is or is not excepted from public disclosure;
  3. The elements of law, fact, and circumstances are met to support the previous decision’s conclusion that the requested records and information at issue are or are not excepted from public disclosure; and
  4. The previous decision explicitly provides that the governmental body or bodies to which the decision applies may withhold the information without the necessity of seeking a decision from the attorney general.

Tex. Atty. Gen ORD 673 (2001)

If TSBVI relies on any previous determination to withhold information from disclosure it should notify the requestor in writing of the decision or ruling upon which it is relying.

TSBVI may withhold from public disclosure the categories of records listed at Texas Attorney General Open Records Decision 684 (2009).

Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD 684 (2209)

TSBVI may withhold from public disclosure personally identifiable, non-directory information in “education records” as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”), 20 U.S.C. 1232g [see FL].  Tex Atty. Gen. ORD 634 (1995)

The School must promptly release public information not excepted from required disclosure.  The prompt release of information requires release as soon as possible under the circumstances and within a reasonable time, without delay.  The School may not automatically withhold for ten business days public information not excepted from disclosure.  Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD-664 (2000)

Statement to Requestor

If the School requests an attorney general decision, it must provide to the requestor within a reasonable time but not later than the tenth business day after the date of receiving the requestor's written request:

  1. A written statement that the School wishes to withhold the requested information and has asked for a decision from the attorney general about whether the information is within an exception to public disclosure; and
  2. A copy of the School’s written communication to the attorney general asking for the decision.

If the School’s written communication to the attorney general discloses the requested information, the School shall provide a redacted copy of that written communication to the requestor.

Gov't Code 552.301(d)

Submission to Attorney General

When the School requests an attorney general decision, it shall, within a reasonable time but not later than the 15th business day after the date of receiving the request for information, submit to the attorney general all of the following:

  1. Written comments stating the reasons why the stated exceptions apply that would allow the information to be withheld;
  2. A copy of the written request for information;
  3. A signed statement as to the date on which the written request for information was received by the School or evidence sufficient to establish that date; and
  4. A copy of the specific information requested, or representative samples of the information, if a voluminous amount of information was requested. These copies must be labeled to indicate which exceptions apply to which parts of the copy.

Unless the information is confidential by law, the officer may disclose the requested information to the public or the requestor before a final determination that the information is public has been made by the attorney general or a court with jurisdiction. Gov’t Code 552.303(a)

TSBVI shall send a copy of the comments to the requestor not later than the 15th business day after the School receives the written request.   If the written comments disclose or contain the substance of the information requested, the copy of the comments provided to the requestor shall be redacted.

Gov’t Code 552.301(e), (e-1)

Failure to Raise Exceptions Before Attorney General

If the School files suit seeking to withhold information, the School may raise only those exceptions to required disclosure that the School properly raised before the attorney general in connection with a request for a decision by the attorney general, unless the exceptions raised by the School in its suit seeking to withhold information are required by federal law or involve property of privacy interests of another person.  Gov’t Code 552.326

The district shall send a copy of the comments to the requestor not later than the 15th business day after the district receives the written request.  If the written comments disclose or contain the substance of the information requested, the copy of the comments provided to the requestor shall be redacted.

Gov’t Code 552.301(e), (e-1)

Unless the information is confidential by law, the district may disclose the requested information to the public or the requestor before a final determination that the information is public has been made by the attorney general or a court with jurisdiction.  Gov’t Code 552.303(a)

Additional Information

If the attorney general determines that additional information is necessary to render a decision, the attorney general shall give the School and the requestor written notice of that fact.  Upon receipt of such notice, the officer shall submit the necessary additional information to the attorney general not later than the seventh calendar day after the date the notice is received.  If the officer does not comply with the attorney general's request for additional information, the information is presumed to be subject to required public disclosure and must be released unless there is a compelling reason to withhold the information.

Gov't Code  552.303(c)-(e)

When submitting written comments to the attorney general stating the reasons why the stated exceptions apply, the School shall send a copy of those comments to the person who requested the information from the School.  If the written comments disclose or contain the substance of the information requested, the copy of the comments provided to the requestor must be a redacted copy.

Gov't Code 552.301(e-1)

Privacy or Property Interests

When information is requested and a person's privacy or property interests may be involved, including a case under Government Code 552.101 (confidential by law), 552.104 (competitive bidding), 552.110 (trade secrets), and 552.114 (student records), the School may decline to release the information for the purpose of requesting a decision from the attorney general.  The School may, but is not required to, submit its reasons why the information should be withheld or released.  Gov’t Code 552.305(a)-(c)

Notice to Owner of Proprietary Information

If release of a person's proprietary information may be subject to exception under Government Code 552.101, 552.110, 552.113, or 552.131, and the School requests an attorney general decision, the School shall make a good faith attempt to notify that person of its request for the attorney general decision.  The notice must include a copy of any written request the School received for the information and a statement, in the form prescribed by the attorney general, that the person is entitled to submit to the attorney general, not later than the tenth business day after the person receives the notice, a written statement of the reason(s) why the information should be withheld and a letter, memorandum, or brief supporting the reason(s). Gov't Code 552.305(d)

COSTS AND CHARGES

The charge for providing a copy of public information shall be an amount that reasonably includes all costs related to reproducing the information, including costs of materials, labor, and overhead.  The charges shall not be excessive and shall not exceed the actual cost of producing the information or for making public information that exists in a paper record available.

Charges for providing a copy of public information are considered to accrue at the time TSBVI advises the requestor that the copy is available on payment of the applicable charges.

50 Pages or Less

If a request is 50 or fewer pages of paper records, the charge for providing the copy of the information shall be limited to the charge for each page of the paper record that is photocopied unless the pages to be photocopied are located in two or more separate buildings that are not physically connected with each other or a remote storage facility.  The charge for providing a copy may not include costs of materials, labor, or overhead.

Statement of Labor Costs

If the charge for providing a copy of public information includes costs of labor, the requestor may require the public information officer to provide the requestor with a written statement as to the amount of time that was required to produce and provide the copy.  The statement must be signed by the officer and the officer or agent’s name must be typed or legibly printed below the signature.  A charge may not be imposed for providing the written statement to the requestor.

All requests received in one calendar day from an individual may be treated as a single request for purposes of calculating costs.  TSBVI may not combine multiple requests form separate individuals who submit requests on behalf of an organization.

Gov’t Code 552.261,.262(a)

Attorney General’s Rules

TSBVI shall use the attorney general’s rules to determine the charges for providing copies of public information and to determine the charge, deposit, or bond required for making public information that exists in a paper record available for inspection, except to the extent that other law provides for charges for specific kinds of public information.  [See GBAA (EXHIBIT)]

TSBVI may determine its own charges for providing copies of public information and its own charge, deposit, or bond for making public information that exists in a paper record available for inspection. However, the School may not charge an amount that is greater than 25 percent more than the amount established by the attorney general unless the School requests an exemption. Gov’t Code 552.261, 552.262; 1 TAC 111.61(b)

Exemptions

The School may request that it be exempt from part or all of the rules adopted by the attorney general for determining charges for providing copies of public information or the charge, deposit, or bond required for making public information that exists in a paper record available for inspection.  The request must be made in writing to the attorney general and must state the reason for the exemption.  If the attorney general determines that good cause exists, the attorney general shall grant the exemption by giving written notice of the determination within 90 days of the request.  When it receives the notification, the School may amend its charges for providing copies of public information or its charge, deposit, or bond required for making public information that exists in a paper record available for inspection according to the terms of the attorney general's determination.  Gov't Code 552.262(c)

Copies for Parents

The School may charge a reasonable fee in accordance with the above requirements for copies of materials provided to parents pursuant to Education Code Chapter 26.  Education Code 26.012

Statement of Estimated Charges

If a request for a copy of public information or a request to inspect a paper record will result in the imposition of a charge that exceeds $40, the School shall provide the requestor with a written itemized statement that details all estimated charges that will be imposed, including any allowable charges for labor or personnel costs.  If an alternative less costly method of viewing the records is available, the statement must include a notice that the requestor may contact the School regarding the alternative method.  The School must inform the requestor of the responsibilities imposed on the requestor by this section and the rights granted by this entire section and give the requestor the information needed to respond as detailed in Government Code 552.2615(a).

If, after the School provides the requestor the itemized statement but before it makes the copy or the paper record available, the School determines that the estimated charges will exceed the charges detailed in the original itemized statement by 20 percent or more, the School shall send to the requestor an updated written itemized statement that details all estimated charges that will be imposed, including any allowable charges for labor or personnel costs.

Requestor's Response

A request for which the School is required to produce an (original or updated) itemized statement of estimated charges is considered to have been withdrawn if the requestor does not respond in writing to the itemized statement by informing the School within ten business days after the date the statement is sent to the requestor that:

  1. The requestor will accept the estimated charges.
  2. The requestor is modifying the request in response to the itemized statement; or
  3. The requestor has sent to the attorney general a complaint alleging that the requestor has been overcharged for being provided with a copy of the public information.

Actual Charges

If the actual charges that School imposes for a copy or inspection of public information exceed $40, the charges may not exceed:

  1. The amount estimated in the updated itemized statement; or
  2. If an updated itemized statement is not sent to the requestor, an amount that exceeds by 20 percent or more the amount estimated in the original itemized statement.

Timing of Deadlines

An original or updated itemized statement is considered to have been sent by the School, and a requestor is considered to have responded to the statement, on the date that the statement or response is:

  1. Delivered in person;
  2. Deposited, properly addressed, in the U.S. mail; or
  3. Transmitted by electronic mail or facsimile, provided the requestor agrees to receive the statement by those means.

The time deadlines for providing the required statement of estimated charges do not affect the application of a time deadline imposed on the School for requesting a decision by the attorney general under Government Code 552, Subchapter G.

Gov't Code 552.2615

Deposit or Bond/Triggers Timeline

For the purposes of charging for providing copies of public information or for requesting an attorney general's opinion, if the School requires a deposit or bond from the requestor, a request for a copy of public information is considered to have been received by the School on the date it receives the deposit or bond for payment of anticipated costs or unpaid amounts.  A requestor who fails to make such a deposit or post such a bond before the tenth day after the date the deposit or bond is required is considered to have withdrawn the request.  Gov't Code 552.263(e), (f)

Modified Request

If a requestor modifies a request in response to the requirement of a deposit or bond, the modified request is considered a separate request and is considered received on the date the School receives the written modified request.  Gov’t Code 552.263(c)(e-1)

Unpaid Amounts

The public information officer or agent may require a deposit or bond for payment of anticipated costs for the preparation of a copy of public information if the public information officer has provided the requestor with the required written itemized statement detailing the estimated charge for providing the copy and if the charge for providing the copy of the public information specifically requested by the requestor is estimated by the School to exceed $100.  The public information officer or agent may not require a deposit or bond be paid as a down payment for copies of future information that the requestor may request in the future.  Gov't Code 552.263(a), (b)

If TSBVI receives a request from a requestor who, within the preceding 180 days, has accepted but failed to pay written itemized statements of estimated charges from TSBVI as provided under Government Code 552.2661 (b) may require the requestor to pay the estimated charges for the request before the request is fulfilled.  Gov’t Code 552.2661

The public information officer agent may require a deposit or bond for payment of unpaid amounts the requestor owes the School in relation to previous public information requests before preparing a copy of public information in response to a new request if those unpaid amounts exceed $100.  The officer for public information or the officer's agent may not seek payment of those unpaid amounts through any other means.  Gov't Code 552.263(c)

The School must fully document the existence and amount of those unpaid amounts or the amount of any anticipated costs before requiring a deposit or bond under this section.  The documentation is subject to required public disclosure.  Gov't Code 552.263(d)

Waivers

If the cost to the School of processing the collection of a charge for providing a copy of public information will exceed the amount of the charge, the Superintendent may waive the charge.  If the Superintendent determines that waiver or reduction of the charge is in the public interest because providing the copy of the information primarily benefits the general public, the Superintendent may waive or reduce the charge for a copy of public information.  Gov't Code 552.267

Government Publication

The cost provisions described above do not apply to a publication that is compiled and printed by or for the School for public dissemination.  If the cost of the publication is not determined by state law, the School may determine the charge for providing the publication, or it may provide the publication free of charge, if state law does not require a certain charge.  Gov't Code 552.270

INSPECTION OF PUBLIC INFORMATION

If the requestor does not request a copy of public information, the School may not impose a charge for making available for inspection any public information that exists in a paper record.  Gov’t Code 552.271(a)

Redaction of Confidential Information

If a page contains confidential information that must be edited from the record before the information can be made available for inspection, the School may charge for the cost of making a photocopy of the page from which the confidential information must be edited.  No charge other than the cost of the photocopy may be imposed.  Gov't Code 552.271(b)

Payment, Deposit or Bond

The public information officer may require a requestor to pay, or to make a deposit or post a bond for the payment of, anticipated personnel costs for making available for inspection public information that exists in paper records only if:

  1. The public information specifically requested by the requestor is older than five years or completely fills, or when assembled will completely fill, six or more archival boxes; and
  2. The officer for public information or the officer's agent estimates that more than five hours will be required to make the public information available for inspection.

Gov't Code 552.271(c)

Electronic Records

If the School receives a request to inspect information that exists in an electronic medium and the information is not available directly on-line to the requestor, a charge may not be imposed for access to the information unless complying with the request will require programming or manipulation of data. If programming or manipulation of data is required, the public information officer shall notify the requestor before assembling the information and provide the requestor with an estimate of charges that will be imposed.

If public information exists in an electronic form on a computer owned or leased by the School, and the public has access to that information through a computer network or other means, the electronic form of the information may be electronically copied from that computer without charge if accessing the information does not require processing, programming, or manipulation on the School’s computer before the information is copied.  If such information does require processing, programming, or manipulation before it can be copied, the public information officer may impose charges.

If the School creates or keeps information in an electronic form, it is encouraged to explore options to separate confidential information from public information and make the public information available to the public through electronic access through a computer network or other means.

Gov't Code 552.272

PRESERVATION OF RECORDS

The Superintendent shall determine a time for which information that is not currently in use will be preserved, subject to any applicable rule or law governing the destruction and other disposition of local government records or public information.  Gov't Code 552.004

The Board shall preserve the certified agenda or tape recording of a closed meeting for at least two years after the date of the meeting.  If an action involving the meeting is brought within that period, the certified agenda or tape recording shall be preserved while the action is pending.  Gov't Code 551.104(a)

The certified agenda or recording of a closed meeting is only available to the public under a court order.  Gov’t Code 551.104(b)(3), (c)

FILING SUIT TO WITHHOLD INFORMATION

The Board or officer for public information may file suit in Travis County district court seeking to withhold information, but the requestor may not be named as a party to that action.  The Board or officer for public information must demonstrate to the court that the board or officer made a timely good faith effort to inform the requestor, by certified mail or other method of written notice that requires the return of a receipt, of:

  1. The existence of the suit, including the subject matter, the cause number, and the court in which the suit is filed.
  2. The requestor's right to intervene in the suit or to choose not to participate.
  3. The fact that the suit is against the attorney general.
  4. The address and phone number of the office of the attorney general.

To preserve an affirmative defense for the School’s Public Information Officer, the court case must be filed no later than the 10th calendar day after receipt of the attorney general’s decision, otherwise, suit must be files no later than the 30th calendar day after receipt of the attorney general’s decision.

Gov't Code 552.324, 552.325, 552.353(b)(3)

PARENT'S REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

If the School seeks to withhold information from a parent who has requested public information relating to the parent's child under Chapter 552, Government Code, and files suit as described by Government Code 552.324 to challenge a decision by the attorney general, the School must bring the suit not later than the 30th calendar day after the date the School receives the decision of the attorney general.

A court shall grant such a suit precedence over other pending matters to ensure prompt resolution of the subject matter of the suit.  Notwithstanding any other law, the School may not appeal the decision of a court in such a suit challenging a ruling of the attorney general.  This prohibition does not affect the right of a parent to appeal the decision.  If the School does not bring suit within the period established, the School shall comply with the decision of the attorney general.

If the School receives a request from a parent for public information relating to the parent's child, the

School shall comply with Chapter 552, Government Code.  If an earlier deadline for bringing suit is established under Chapter 552, Government Code, this rule does not apply.

Education Code 26.0085

Frequent Requests

Personnel Time

TSBVI may establish reasonable monthly and yearly limits on the amount of time that School employees are required to spend producing public information for inspection or duplication by a requestor, or providing copies of public information to a requestor, without recovering its costs attributable to that personnel time.  A yearly time limit may not be less than 36 hours for a requestor during the 12-month period that corresponds to TSBVI’s fiscal year.  A monthly time limit may not be less than 15 hours for a requestor for a one-month period.

Request by Minor

Any time spent complying with a request submitted in the name of a minor, as defined by Family Code 101.003(a), is to be included in the calculation of the cumulative amount of time spent complying with a request for public information by a parent, guardian, or other person who has control of the minor under a court order and with whom the minor resides, unless that parent, guardian, or other person establishes that another person submitted that request in the name of the minor.

Exception

This section does not apply if the requestor is an individual who, for a substantial portion of the individual’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain, gathers, compiles, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, investigates, processes, or publishes news or information for and is seeking the information for:

  1. Dissemination by a news medium or communication service provider, including;
    1. An individual who supervises or assists in gathering, preparing, and disseminating the news or information; or
    2. An individual who is or was a journalist, scholar, or researcher employed by an institution of higher education at the time the person made the request for information; or
  2. Creation or maintenance of an abstract plant as described by Insurance Code 2501.004.

“Communication service provider” has the meaning assigned by Civil Practice and Remedies Code 22.021

“News medium” means a newspaper, magazine or periodical, a book publisher, a news agency, a wire service, an FCC-licensed radio or television station or a network of such stations, a cable, satellite, or other transmission system or carrier or channel, or a channel or programming service for a station, network, system, or carrier, or an audio or audiovisual production company or Internet company or provider, or the corporate parent, subsidiary, division, or affiliate of that entity, that disseminates news or information to the public by any means, including:

  1. Print;
  2. Television;
  3. Radio;
  4. Photographic;
  5. Mechanical;
  6. Electronic; and
  7. Other means, known or unknown, that are accessible to the public.

This section also does not apply if the requestor is an elected official of the United States, this state, or a political subdivision of this state or a representative of a publicly funded legal services organization that is a federal tax exempt entity under Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Written Statement of Personnel Time

If TSBVI establishes a time limit, each time the School complies with a request for public information, TSBVI shall provide the requestor with a written statement of the amount of personnel time spent complying with that request and the cumulative amount of time spent complying with the requests for public information from the requestor during the applicable monthly or yearly period.  The amount of time spent preparing the written statement may not be included in the amount of time in the statement.

Written Estimate of Charges

If the cumulative amount of personnel time spent complying with requests for public information from the same requestor equals or exceeds the established time limit, TSBVI shall provide the requestor with a written estimate of the total cost, including materials, personnel time, and overhead expenses, necessary to comply with the request.  The School shall provide the written estimate on or before the tenth day after the date on which the request was made.  The amount of this charge relating to the cost of locating, compiling, and producing the public information shall be established by rules prescribed by the attorney general.

When a request is made by a requestor who has made a previous request to TSBVI that has not been withdrawn, for which the School has located and compiled documents in response, and for which TSBVI has issued a written estimate of charges that remains unpaid on the date the requestor submits the new request, the School is not required to locate, compile, produce, or provide copies of documents or prepare an estimate of charges in response to a new request until the date the requestor pays each unpaid statement issued in connection with a previous request or withdraws the previous request to which the statement applies.

Additional Time

If TSBVI provides the requestor with written notice that additional time is required to prepare the written estimate, the School must provide the written estimate as soon as practicable, but on or before the tenth day after the date TSBVI provided the notice that additional time was required.

Acceptance of Charges

If TSBVI provides a requestor with the estimate of charges and the time limits regarding the requestor have been exceeded, the School is not required to produce public information for inspection or duplication or to provide copies of public information in response to the requestor’s request unless on or before the tenth day after the date provided the written estimate, the requestor submits payment of the amount stated in the written estimate.

If the requestor fails or refuses to submit payment, the requestor is considered to have withdrawn the request.

Waived or Reduced Charges

This section does not prohibit the School from providing a copy of public information without charge or at a reduced rate, or from waiving a charge for providing a copy of public information, under Government Code 552.267 [see Waivers, above].

Gov’t Code 552.275

Adopted:         1/26/07

Amended:       6/1/18

Reviewed: