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RULE §272.1Open Records

(a) Open records requests. The following guidelines apply to requests for records under the Open Records Act, Government Code, Chapter 552.

  (1) Requests must be in writing and reasonably identify the records requested.

  (2) Records access will be by appointment only.

  (3) Records access is available only during the regular business hours of the agency.

  (4) Generally, unless confidential information is involved, review may be by physical access or by duplication at the requester's option. Any person, however, whose request would be unduly disruptive to the ongoing business of the office may be denied physical access and will only be provided the option of receiving copies.

  (5) When the safety of any public record is at issue, physical access may be denied, and the records will be provided by duplication as previously described.

  (6) Confidential files will not be made available for inspection or for duplication except under certain circumstances, e.g., court order.

  (7) All open records request appointments will be referred to the executive director before complying with a request.

  (8) The open records coordinator for the agency is the executive director.

(b) Charges for public records. In accordance with Chapter 428, Acts, 73rd Legislature (1993), the following specifies the charges the Texas Optometry Board will make for copies of public records. These charges are based on the full cost to the agency for providing the copies.

  (1) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in the section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

    (A) Standard-size copy. A printed impression on one side of a piece of paper that measures up to 8-1/2 by 14 inches. Each side of the paper on which an impression is made is counted as a single copy. A piece of paper printed on both sides is counted as two copies.

    (B) Copy charge. A charge for costs incurred in copying standard-size paper copies reproduced by an office machine copier or a computer printer.

    (C) Postage and shipping charge. A charge for costs incurred in sending information to a requester, such as cost of postage, envelope, or long-distance phone call for facsimile transmission.

    (D) Personnel charge. A charge imposed for costs incurred for personnel time expended in processing a request for public information. This charge may include the time any employee spends reading/reviewing the initial request for records, making copies of records, conducting a file search, conducting a computer search, preparing and reviewing the response to the records request (administrative oversight/review), and any other type of personnel time necessary to respond to the request.

    (E) Overhead charge. A charge for direct and indirect costs incurred in addition to the personnel charge. This charge covers such costs as depreciation of capital assets, rent, maintenance and repair, and utilities.

    (F) Microfiche and microfilm charge. A charge for costs incurred for making a copy of microfiche or microfilm.

    (G) Remote document retrieval charge. A charge for costs incurred in obtaining information not in current use in remote storage locations.

    (H) Computer resource charge. A charge for costs incurred in obtaining information on computers based on the amortized cost of acquisition, lease, operation, and maintenance of computer resources. This charge may also include programming time if a request requires a programmer to enter data in order to execute an existing program or create a new program so that requested information may be accessed.

    (I) Not readily available information. Information that is not readily available includes information that requires personnel to locate and retrieve a specific file, review the file to locate the record, and replace the file after the record has been located. Information that is not readily available also includes information that requires personnel review to determine if the records contain information confidential by law. Information that is not readily available includes, but is not limited to:

      (i) information in optometrist licensing files;

      (ii) information in complaint files;

      (iii) information in investigation files;;

      (iv) information in personnel files; and

      (v) information in the agency's computerized data base system.

  (2) Charges.

    (A) For 1 to 50 standard-size copies of readily available information, the charge shall be $.10 per page.

    (B) For 51 pages or more of readily available information, or any quantity of not readily available information, the charge shall be the sum of the following:

      (i) $.10 per page;

      (ii) personnel charge in an amount reflecting the average hourly cost for classified state employees as determined from time to time by the General Services Commission;

      (iii) overhead charge in an amount to be determined in accordance with the guidelines of the General Services Commission;

      (iv) microfiche and microfilm charge (if applicable) in an amount equal to the actual cost to the agency of the reproduction, or in accordance with General Services Commission Guidelines;

      (v) remote document retrieval charge (if applicable) in an amount equal to the actual cost to the agency of the retrieval or in accordance with General Services Commission Guidelines;

      (vi) computer resource charge (if applicable) including any programming time, in an amount equal to the cost to the agency, or in accordance with General Services Commission Guidelines; and

      (vii) actual cost of miscellaneous supplies (if applicable) in an amount equal to the actual cost to the agency.

    (C) If, in the opinion of the executive director, a request for information may result in substantial cost to the agency, the executive director may require the requester to make a deposit in the anticipated approximate amount of the charges, which may be applied to the costs incurred in responding to the request.

    (D) If a particular request may involve considerable time and resources to process, the agency may advise the requesting party of what may be involved and provide an estimate of date of completion and the charges that may result.

    (E) The agency has the discretion to furnish public records without charge or at a reduced charge if the agency determines that a waiver or reduction is in the public interest. The executive director is authorized to determine whether a public interest/benefit exists on a case-by-case basis.

Source Note: The provisions of this §272.1 adopted to be effective November 8, 1994, 19 TexReg 8541.

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