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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 9 - General Provisions
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Responsible Executive: President

9.08 Texas Public Information Act


I. POLICY STATEMENT


It is the policy of the state of Texas that each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees in accordance with the Texas Public Information Act ("TPIA"), Government Code, Chapter 552. This procedure shall be liberally construed in favor of granting a request for information.

A subpoena duces tecum or a request for discovery that is issued in compliance with a statute or a rule of civil or criminal procedures is not considered to be a request for information under the TPIA and is not subject to this procedure. (See HOP policy 4.18 Procedures for Handling Legal Process, Citations, Notice, Demands, etc for information on handling subpoenas.) A request for documents pursuant to an institutional hearing is considered to be a request for information under the TPIA.


II. RATIONALE


The following sets forth procedures to be followed by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for complying with the TPIA.


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to all UTSA faculty, staff and students.


IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter9/9-8.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents Rules & Regulations
The University of Texas System (UT System) policy UTS139 Texas Public Information Act

Other Policies & Standards
The Texas Public Information Act Texas Government Code, Chapter 552
Texas Attorney General's Office Public Information Handbook


VI. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 9.08, Texas Public Information Act, contact the following office:

UTSA Open Records
Phone: 210-458-7500
Fax: 210-458-7791


VII. DEFINITIONS


Open Records Request: Request for public information contained in the files or records of a Texas governmental agency.

Public Information: Information that is collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by a governmental body or for a governmental body and the governmental body owns the information or has a right of access to it.

Public Information Officer: Designated agent for coordinating responses to requests for public information appropriately submitted to his or her respective institution.


VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES


Public Information Officer (PIO)

  • Coordinates responses to requests for public information appropriately submitted to UTSA.
  • Determines whether requested information falls within one of the excepted categories under the TPIA.
  • Forwards relevant information to the Texas Attorney General, through UT System's Office of General Counsel, along with the request for ruling in cases where UTSA is seeking to withhold requested information based upon a TPIA Subchapter C exception.

Person requesting Information

  • Makes a written request for and receives information in accordance with the Texas Public Information Act.

Official or Employee

  • Immediately forwards any written request for informatino to his/her PIO.

IX. PROCEDURES


The Texas Public Information Act ("TPIA"), Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, provides for the right of the public to have access to certain information in the files of government agencies. The TPIA applies to records regardless of their format. It includes information that is maintained in paper, tape, microfilm, video, electronic data held in computer memory, as well as other mediums specified under law. The right of the public to have access to or copies of information under the TPIA is subject to the interpretation of the courts and the Texas Attorney General of the various exceptions provided for in the statue.

Requests for access to or copies of information in UTSA files must be in writing and any UTSA official or employee who receives such a request should refer the request to the PIO within 24 hours of its receipt.


X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION


None


XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


UTSA Open Records
http://www.utsa.edu/openrecords/

Records Request Fee Information
http://www.utsa.edu/openrecords/feeinfo.html

Sample Written Request for Information
http://www.utsa.edu/openrecords/docs/
SampleWrittenRequestforInformation.pdf


The Texas Public Information Poster - UTSA
http://www.utsa.edu/openrecords/docs/piasign-eng-span.pdf


XII. APPENDIX


None