Open Records Request
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.
Midland College Public Information Policy and Procedures
Requests for public information shall be made to Midland College by one of the following methods:
- Hand delivery to Executive Director, Institutional Advancement, Room 141 Pevehouse Administration Building, Midland College main campus, 3600 N. Garfield, Midland, TX;
- U.S. mail to 3600 N. Garfield St., Midland, TX 79705, Attention: Executive Director, Institutional Advancement
- Email email@example.com.
In the event a catastrophe, as defined by law, impacts the College District, the Board shall suspend the applicability of the Texas Public Information Act to the College District for the time permitted by law and provide the required notices to the attorney general and the public. The Board shall extend an initial suspension period as necessary in accordance with law.
In addition to other labor charges permitted by, and in accordance with law, Midland College shall charge a requestor for additional personnel time spent producing information for the requestor after college personnel have collectively spent:
- Thirty-six (36) hours of time during the college’s fiscal year; or
- Fifteen (15) hours of time during a one-month period.
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
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.
Midland 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.
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