<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
RULE §70.7Estimates and Waivers of Public Information Charges

(a) A governmental body is required to provide a requestor with an itemized statement of estimated charges if charges for copies of public information will exceed $40, or if a charge in accordance with §70.5 of this title (relating to Access to Information Where Copies Are Not Requested) will exceed $40 for making public information available for inspection. The itemized statement of estimated charges is to be provided before copies are made to enable requestors to make the choices allowed by the Act. A governmental body that fails to provide the required statement may not collect more than $40. The itemized statement must be provided free of charge and shall contain the following information:

  (1) The itemized estimated charges, including any allowable charges for labor, overhead, copies, etc.;

  (2) Whether a less costly or no-cost way of viewing the information is available;

  (3) A statement that the requestor must respond in writing by mail, in person, by facsimile if the governmental body is capable of receiving such transmissions, or by electronic mail, if the governmental body has an electronic mail address;

  (4) A statement that the request will be considered to have been automatically withdrawn by the requestor if a written response from the requestor is not received within ten business days after the date the statement was sent, in which the requestor states that the requestor:

    (A) Will accept the estimated charges;

    (B) Is modifying the request in response to the itemized statement; or

    (C) Has sent to the Attorney General a complaint alleging that the requestor has been overcharged for being provided with a copy of the public information.

(b) If after starting the work, but before making the copies available, the governmental body determines that the initially accepted estimated statement will be exceeded by 20% or more, an updated statement must be sent. If the requestor does not respond to the updated statement, the request is considered to have been withdrawn by the requestor.

(c) If the actual charges exceed $40, the charges may not exceed:

  (1) The amount estimated on the updated statement; or

  (2) An amount that exceeds by more than 20% the amount in the initial statement, if an updated statement was not sent.

(d) A governmental body that provides a requestor with the statement mentioned in subsection (a) of this section, may require a deposit or bond as follows:

  (1) The governmental body has 16 or more full-time employees and the estimated charges are $100 or more; or

  (2) The governmental body has 15 or fewer full-time employees and the estimated charges are $50 or more.

(e) If a request for the inspection of paper records will qualify for a deposit or a bond as detailed in subsection (d) of this section, a governmental body may request:

  (1) A bond for the entire estimated amount; or

  (2) A deposit not to exceed 50 percent of the entire estimated amount.

(f) A governmental body may require payment of overdue and unpaid balances before preparing a copy in response to a new request if:

  (1) The governmental body provided, and the requestor accepted, the required itemized statements for previous requests that remain unpaid; and

  (2) The aggregated unpaid amount exceeds $100.

(g) A governmental body may not seek payment of said unpaid amounts through any other means.

(h) A governmental body that cannot produce the public information for inspection and/or duplication within 10 business days after the date the written response from the requestor has been received, shall certify to that fact in writing, and set a date and hour within a reasonable time when the information will be available.

Source Note: The provisions of this §70.7 adopted to be effective December 21, 1999, 24 TexReg 11255; amended to be effective February 11, 2004, 29 TexReg 1189; transferred effective September 1, 2005, as published in the Texas Register September 29, 2006, 31 TexReg 8251; amended to be effective February 22, 2007, 32 TexReg 614

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page