Open Records – Abusable Volatile Chemicals

The Public Information Act

According to Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, you have the right to access government records; and an officer for public information may not ask you why you want them. All government information is presumed to be public. Governmental bodies shall promptly release requested information that is not confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision, or information lacking an exception to  disclosure. 

Non-Releasable Information

Certain information may be confidential under the Texas Public Information Act, Tex. Government Code Ann. Chapter 552. For instance, any complaints and/or investigative information involving hospitals on or after August 30, 1999, may be confidential and not releasable under the Public Information Act and the Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. Section 241.051(d).

We will notify you if information you request is non-existent or not available. 

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 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) and receive copies of the information or both  

  • Receive 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 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 Texas Building and Procurement 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 Attorney General. 

Responsibilities of Governmental Bodies

Body text  

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 give each requestor all reasonable comfort and facility, including accommodation per ADA requirements  

  • Be informed about open records laws and educate employees on the requirements of those laws  

  • Inform requestors of estimated charges greater than $40 and any changes in the estimates above 20% 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 for the Office of 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 Texas Building and Procurement Commission regarding charges for the information. Respond to the Office of Attorney General regarding complaints about violations of the Act. 



Procedures for Obtaining Information

Requests must be in writing. Please state if you want copies or if you would like to review the items.

To identify the records you are requesting, include:  

  • The name of the facility or person 

  • The address of the facility (including physical address, suite number, city, and ZIP code) 

  • A description of your request, (e.g., application, permit, permit number/identifying numbers, procedures, inspection 

  • A timeframe in which you need the requested information (i.e. 2019-2020 or inspection report dated October 7, 2019) 

Your request should include your name, address, email, daytime phone number and your fax number (if requesting a few pages, we may be able to fax the information to you).

Please be advised that there may be a charge for the information you are requesting.