2000 Texas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2000)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0076 and id is 1 raw text is: Page 1 of 5

Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
John Comyn
February 8, 2000
Open Records Decision No. 664
Re: Does the requirement imposed by
section 552.221(a) of the Government
Code, that the governmental body
promptly release information
deemed to be public, mean that the
body must release the information as
close to immediately as possible under
the circumstances, or does promptly
mean simply no later than ten business
days after the receipt of the request for
that information? (ORQ-45)
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
Section 552.011 of the Government Code grants the Attorney General the
authority to issue opinions for the purpose of maintaining uniformity in the
application, operation, and interpretation of the Public Information Act. Under
that authority, we consider whether the requirement under section 522.221(a)
of the Government Code that a governmental body promptly produce
information required to be released means that the governmental body must
release the information as soon as possible, or whether promptly simply
means that a governmental body must release requested information within ten
business days of the request. This decision is limited to a discussion of the
proper timing of the release of information that is determined to be public
information not subject to an exception to required public disclosure. We
conclude that section 552.221(a) requires the release of information not
excepted from required disclosure as soon as possible under the circumstances,
that is, within a reasonable time, without delay.
Section 552.221 of the Government Code describes the mechanism for
compliance with a request for public information. The provision, which
requires prompt production of public information and provides for two
situations in which a governmental body must communicate with the requestor
about a need to schedule inspection or duplication of requested information,
reads as follows:
Sec. 552.221. Application for Public Information; Production of Public
Information. (a) An officer for public information of a governmental body shall
promptly produce public information for inspection, duplication, or both on
application by any person to the officer.

(b) An officer for public information complies with Subsection (a) by:

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