The Public Information Act
The Texas Public Information Act requires governmental agencies to make available for inspection and copying all information that is collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a governmental body if it owns or has a right of access to the information,
except for information the Act exempts or prohibits from disclosure, according to Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code.
Please be advised that confidential information is sometimes included in documents held by Austin Transit Partnership (“ATP”). ATP may not be able to release this information. The Texas Public Information Act requires a governmental entity to request an open letter ruling from the Texas Attorney General prior to withholding information that is confidential. The Attorney General's Office has 45 days to respond to a request for an open letter ruling. However, you will be given the option of expediting the request if you are willing to receive only non-confidential information.
ATP has a duty to respond to any written requests for open records, including those that are made through email. However, state law provides that a governmental body can designate a person that is authorized to receive email requests for open records. If such a designation is made, the Public Information Act is only activated if the request is directed to the assigned individual. Pursuant to Section 552.301(c), Government Code, the ATP Board of Directors has designated the Public Information Coordinator to receive all electronic mail and fax requests for public information. Accordingly, ATP is not responsible for responding to electronic mail and fax requests sent to any other electronic mail addresses. To request information from the ATP Public Information Coordinator please contact PIR@atptx.org.
- You may submit a request by mail, e-mail, or in person, or any other appropriate method approved by the governmental body.
- Please include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the governmental body to accurately identify and locate the information requested.
- You may be required to cooperate with the governmental body’s reasonable efforts to clarify the type or amount of information requested.
Physical requests for public information can be submitted in writing to:
Austin Transit Partnership
Public Information Coordinator
203 Colorado Street
Austin, TX 78701
In order to timely respond to your request, it is recommended that you use the following form:
Following this process will help expedite your request and improve our ability to provide you with the information you request in the most efficient way possible.
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), receive copies of the information or both;
- 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 legal exceptions to disclosure, or if the communication discloses the requested information, a redacted copy;
- Lodge a written complaint about overcharges for public information with the Office of the Attorney General.
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;
- 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, has amended the request, or has sent a complaint of overcharges to the Office of the Attorney General, 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 Office of the Attorney General regarding charges for the information.
- Respond to the Office of the Attorney General regarding complaints about violations of the Act.
- You must respond to any written estimate of charges within 10 business days of the date the governmental body sent it, or the request is considered automatically withdrawn.
- If estimated costs exceed $100.00 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.
- You must 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.
Visit the Attorney General's Office website for more information.