Texas Public Information lawyer Austin Texas
The Texas Public Information Act
The PIA governs public access to information held by governmental bodies. See generally Tex. Gov't Code Ann. §§ 552.001-.353. The PIA reflects a policy of public access to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees. See id. § 552.001(a). To that end, the legislature has mandated that the PIA is to be liberally construed in favor of granting requests for information. Id. § 552.001(b).
Under the PIA, information that is collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a governmental body is "public information." Id. § 552.002. A governmental body must make public information available upon request and may not withhold public information unless it falls within an exception to disclosure provided for in the PIA. In re City of Georgetown, 53 S.W.3d 328, 331 (Tex. 2001) (orig. proceeding); Arlington Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Texas Attorney Gen., 37 S.W.3d 152, 157 (Tex. App.-Austin 2001, no pet.). The PIA provides a wide range of exceptions to disclosure. See generally Tex. Gov't Code Ann. §§ 552.101-.1425; Arlington Indep. Sch. Dist., 37 S.W.3d at 157. A governmental body that wishes to withhold requested information must request a determination from the attorney general, asserting which exceptions under the PIA permit the governmental body to withhold the information. See Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 552.301.
Abbott v. Texas State Board of Pharmacy, (Tex. App. - Austin, 2012).