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RULE §102.2Open Records Requests

(a) Open records requests. The following rules apply to requests for records under the Public Information 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) Unless confidential information is involved, review may be by physical access or by duplication at the requestor's option. However, any person whose request would be unduly disruptive to the ongoing business of the office may be denied physical access and will be provided the option of receiving copies. Costs of duplication shall be the responsibility of the requesting party in accordance with the established fees and shall be payable at the time of receipt of records if in person or in advance if by mail.

  (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) All open records request appointments will be referred to the Legal Division before complying with a request.

(b) Charges for copies of public records. In accordance with Government Code, Chapter 552, the following specifies the charges the State Board of Dental Examiners 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 this section, shall have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

    (A) Actual cost--The sum of all direct costs plus a proportional share of overhead or indirect costs.

    (B) Board/agency--State Board of Dental Examiners.

    (C) Nonstandard copy--A copy of public information that is made available to a requestor in any format other than a standard paper copy. Microfiche, microfilm, diskette, magnetic tape, CD-ROM, are examples of nonstandard copies. Paper copies larger than 8 1/2 x 14 inches (legal size) also are considered nonstandard copies.

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

  (2) Charges.

    (A) Standard paper copy. The charge for standard paper copies reproduced by means of an office machine copier or a computer printer is $.10 per page or part of a page. Each side that has a printed image is considered a page.

    (B) Nonstandard copy. These charges are to cover the cost of materials onto which information is copied and do not reflect any additional charge that may be associated with a particular request. The charges for nonstandard copies are:

      (i) diskette--$1.00;

      (ii) tape cartridge--$11.50;

      (iii) oversize paper copy--$.50 per page;

      (iv) audio cassette--$1.00.

    (C) Programming personnel. If a particular request requires the services of a programmer in order to execute an existing program or to create a new program so that the requested information may be accessed and copied, the agency will charge for the actual cost of the programmer's time.

    (D) Other personnel charge. The charge for other personnel costs incurred in processing a request for public information is $15 an hour, including fringe benefits. Where applicable, the "other personnel charge" may include the actual time to locate, compile, and reproduce the requested information. An "other personnel charge" shall not be billed in connection with complying with requests that are for 50 or fewer pages of paper records for standard copies reproduced by means of a office machine copier or a computer printer.

    (E) When confidential information is mixed with public information in the same page, personnel time may be recovered for time spent to obliterate, blackout, or otherwise obscure confidential information in order to release the public information.

    (F) Overhead charge. Whenever any personnel charge is applicable to a request, the agency will include in the charges direct and indirect costs in addition to the specific personnel charge. This overhead charge would cover such costs as depreciation of capital assets, rent, maintenance and repair, utilities, and administrative overhead. This overhead charge is 20% of any personnel charges associated with a request. An overhead charge will not be made for requests of 50 pages or fewer of standard paper records.

    (G) Microfiche copies. The charge is $.10 per page for standard size paper copies plus any applicable personnel and overhead charge for more than 50 copies.

    (H) Computer resource charge. The computer resource charge is a utilization charge for computers based on the amortized cost of acquisition, lease, operation, and maintenance of computer resources. Such a charge might include, but is not limited to, some or all of the following: central processing units (CPUs), servers, disk drives, local area networks (LANs), printers, tape drives, other peripheral devices, communications devices, software, and system utilities. The charge made to recover the computer utilization cost is the actual time the computer takes to execute a particular program times the applicable rate. If programming is required to comply with a particular request, the cost of the programmer's time will be recovered.

    (I) Postal and shipping charges. The agency will add any related postal or shipping expenses which are necessary to transmit the reproduced information to the requesting party.

    (J) FAX charges. The charge for a fax transmitted locally is $.10 per page; for long distance transmission the charge will be $.50 for a fax sent within the sender's area code and $1.00 per page for a fax transmitted to a different area code.

    (K) Miscellaneous supplies. The actual cost of miscellaneous supplies, such as labels, boxes, and other supplies used to produce the requested information, will be added to the total charge for public information.

(c) 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.

(d) Payment for charges must be received by the State Board of Dental Examiners from requester before copies will be released.

(e) A deposit may be required in the amount of the estimated charges if such charges are expected to exceed $100.

(f) 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.

(g) If the agency cannot produce the public information for inspection or duplication within ten calendar days after the date the agency received the request, the agency shall certify that fact in writing to the requester and set a date and hour within a reasonable time when the information will be available for inspection or duplication.

(h) The agency may set the price for publications it publishes for public dissemination or it may disseminate them free of charge. This rule does not limit the costs of agency publications.

(i) Public information requested by a member of the Texas Legislature in the performance of the member's duties shall be provided without charge.

Source Note: The provisions of this §102.2 adopted to be effective December 3, 1997, 22 TexReg 11674.

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