Texas Public Information Act FAQs
The Texas Public Information Act, formerly known as the Open Records Act is located at Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code. The Act provides a mechanism for the general public and media outlets to inspect or copy the Authority's records. It also allows Capital Metro to withhold its records from the general public under certain circumstances.
- The request must be made in writing. The TPIA is triggered when a person submits a written request to the Authority. Note, the request must ask for information that is already in existence. Written requests include a request submitted by hand delivery, U.S. Mail, electronic mail or facsimile. Please download and complete Capital Metro's official form for requestors to help expedite the process.
- Employees must direct all requests to our public information request site at capmetro.org/legal to follow the procedures posted there.
- Any information that is accessed, collected, assembled or maintained by Capital Metro is subject to the Public Information Act. The format (e.g. paper, electronic, microfilm, DVR video, DriveCam video, audio recordings, etc.) of the record does not affect its status as a public record. Information means documents, photos, data, video that exists at the time of the request.
- There is no “magic language” required to trigger the Texas Public Information Act. However, the written request must be for a piece of information or document that can be produced, not just by asking a question.
- If staff requires clarification from the requestor on the content of the request for information, they should notify Public Information Coordinator to do so on their behalf. In your request for clarification, please indicate what types of questions need to be asked of the requestor in order for you to identify what they are asking for. It is helpful to provide some examples of documents that their request could but may not be what they actually seek. Staff should notify Legal with their request for clarification within 5-business days upon receipt of the written request.
- No. Capital Metro staff cannot inquire why they want the records or about the purpose for the records will be used. However, if the request is unclear, very broad, or voluminous, Capital Metro through its Legal Department may ask the requestor to more clearly identify or narrow his or her request.
- Capital Metro has a reasonable time of 10-business days after the date of receipt of the request to provide a response.
- Yes. If staff requires additional time to gather information responsive to the request beyond the 10-day response time, then staff must notify Legal within 5-business days of initial request and provide the anticipated date as to when the information will be provided.
- Yes, in some instances. Under the TPIA, charges to produce information compiled and maintained by the Authority may incur a charge if it is more than 50 pages.