The Public Information Act
(serves as TREC's Open Records Policy)
Texas law gives you the right to access government
records and government officials 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 or information for
which an exception to disclosure has been sought.
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 American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements;
- Receive certain kinds of information without
exceptions, like the voting record of public officials or information related
to the receipt, expenditure or estimated need for public funds, and other
- Receive a written itemized statement of estimated charges, when
charges exceed $40, in advance of work being started and opportunity to
renegotiate the request if charges are too high;
- 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;
- Notice when the governmental body asks the Office
of the Attorney General for a ruling on whether the information can be
withheld under one of the accepted exceptions;
- Lodge a complaint about charges for public records
with the General Services Commission and a complaint related to other possible
violations with the county attorney, criminal district attorney, or 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 and
copying public information and inform requestors of these procedures;
- Treat all requestors equally, 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, and confirm that the requestor
agrees in writing to pay the costs before finalizing the request;
- Inform the requestor if the information cannot be
provided promptly and establish a date and time to provide it within a
- Ask for a ruling from the Office of the Attorney
General regarding any information to be withheld, and inform the requestor of
this request for ruling;
- Segregate public information from information that
might be withheld and provide that public information promptly;
- Make a good faith effort to inform third parties if their proprietary information is being requested from the governmental body;
- Respond in writing to all written communications
from the General Services Commission or the Office of the Attorney General
regarding complaints about violations of the Act.
Procedures to Obtain Information
- Submit a written request (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 items requested.
- Cooperate with the governmental body's reasonable
efforts to clarify the type or amount of information requested.
A. 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 appointments to inspect records or pick up
copies or risk losing the opportunity to see the information.
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 may be deemed 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.
B. Information that may be withheld due to an
- By the 10th business day after you file your
request, a governmental body must:
1. request an Attorney General opinion and state
which exceptions apply;
2. notify the requestor of the referral to the
Attorney General; and
3. notify third parties if the request involves
their proprietary information.
- Failure to request an AG opinion and notify the
requestor within 10 business days will result in a presumption that the
information is open unless there is a compelling reason to withhold it.
- Requestors may send a letter to the Attorney
General arguing for release, and may review arguments made by the governmental
- The Attorney General must issue an opinion by the
65th working day from the day you made the request.
- Governmental bodies must release information
determined by the Attorney General to be open or file suit within 30 calendar
days, and they may not ask the Attorney General to "reconsider" an opinion.
To request information from this governmental body,
Custodian of Public Records
Texas Real Estate Commission
You may send your request
By mail to: P.O. Box 12188, Austin, TX 78711-2188
e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In person at: Stephen F. Austin Building, 1700 N. Congress Ave., Suite 400, Austin, TX 78701
For complaints regarding failure to release public information, please contact your local County or District Attorney at 512-473-9415 or 512-473-9400 (Travis County).
- 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 General Services Commission at 512-475-2497.
If you need special accommodation pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), please contact our ADA Coordinator by telephone at 512-936-3586 or by e-mail at .