Public Information (Open Records) Requests
The Texas Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552) makes most of the information in the possession of a governmental body available to the public. "Public information" or "open records" refers to information collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a governmental body during the conduct of business.
DARS is committed to upholding the Public Information Act and to ensuring public access to its records. All DARS records are available to the public unless one of the exceptions to disclosure listed in the Public Information Act applies. More detailed information on the Public Information Act may be found on the Office of Attorney General (OAG) web site: http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/pdfs/publicinfo_hb2008.pdf.
Submitting a Request for DARS Records
Public information may be requested any day during regular agency business hours. Business days do not include weekends, holidays, agency skeleton crew days, or any day the agency is closed.
To request access to or copies of DARS records, you must submit a written request:
- in person at the DARS Administrative Building, 4800 North Lamar Blvd., Suite 300, Austin;
- by mail to DARS, Legal Services, 4800 North Lamar Blvd., Suite 300, Austin, Texas, 78756;
- by fax to (512) 424-4059; or
- by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include the following information in your request:
- your name;
- mailing address or email address where you want the information sent; and
- a telephone number where the Public Information Coordinator may contact you to clarify your request, if necessary.
Cost of Copies
DARS uses the cost rules administered by the OAG in determining the charges for providing copies of public information or for making public information available for inspection. Information may be requested in paper or electronic format. Postage charges are estimated by weight at the time a full estimate of charges is provided. Common charges for requests are:
- Standard paper copy -- $0.10 per one sided page
- Personnel Time
- Programming -- $28.50 per hour
- Manipulation of data -- $15.00 per hour
- Other -- $15.00 per hour
- Overhead Charge -- 20% of personnel charge
Estimated costs totaling $40.00 or under will be billed automatically when the requested information is provided. If costs are estimated to exceed $40.00, the requestor will be provided with an itemized estimate of charges, and required to accept the charges in writing before the request is completed. If estimated costs total $100.00 or more, DARS requires payment before the information is provided. If actual costs differ from estimated costs, overpayments or amounts owed will be reimbursed or billed as appropriate.
Please refer to the OAG web site for more information on charges: www.oag.state.tx.us/opinopen/pia/.
If you have questions regarding the Public Information Act, please call the OAG's Open Government hotline at (512) 478-OPEN (6736) or (877) OPEN-TEX (673-6839).
If you have questions regarding how to make a request to DARS for public information, please call the Public Information Coordinator at (512) 424-4050.