Public Information Request
The Public Information Act (PIA) provides a mechanism for citizens to inspect or copy government records. It also provides that governmental bodies may withhold government records from the public in specific instances.
The PIA generally requires a governmental body to release information in response to a request for information. However, if a governmental body determines the information is excepted from disclosure under the PIA, then both the request and information at issue must be reviewed by the Open Records Division (ORD). The ORD will issue a decision on whether the governmental body is permitted to withhold the requested information or must release the information to the requestor.
A request must be in writing to the governmental body (Channelview ISD) you believe maintains the documents. However, your written request needs to be for information already in existence. A governmental body (Channelview ISD) is not required to answer questions, perform legal research, or create new information in response to your public information request.
When to expect your Public Information Request
The amount of time reasonably necessary to release information can vary depending on the facts in each case. If a governmental body will take longer than ten business days to produce the requested information, the governmental body must notify you when the information will be released. If the governmental body withholds any of the requested information, then in most cases, the governmental body must request a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
Some information is not open to the public. These types of information are listed as exceptions in the Texas Public Information Act. They include some information in personnel records, pending litigation, competitive bids, trade secrets, real estate deals and certain legal matters involving attorney-client privilege. Attorneys’ fees paid by a governmental body are generally public. Some public information is confidential by statute. If information is confidential by statute, a governmental body generally cannot release the information under the PIA. Governmental bodies also maintain information that is not confidential by statute. A governmental body has the option to withhold non-confidential information in certain circumstances.
Please email Lila.Hollin@cvisd.org for more information, or to submit a Public Information Request.