Open Records Requests

Responsible Officer: Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller

Sponsoring Department: Business Affairs and Controller

Revision Date: 19 February 2013

Errors or changes to: aim@uta.edu

Procedure Objective

This procedure provides guidelines for responding to requests for information made under the Texas Public Information Act (the "Act"). The Act mandates provisions regarding critical response time and charges for copies, which are required by law and must be applied in a consistent manner. To ensure compliance with the Act and the procedures set forth by The University of Texas System, the following establishes procedures to be used in the receipt, referral, and response to public information requests.

Note 1. A subpoena duces tecum or a request for discovery that is issued in compliance with a statute or a rule of civil or criminal procedures is not considered to be a request for information under the Act and is not subject to this procedure. A request for documents pursuant to an institutional hearing is considered to be a request for information under the Act.

Note 2. Failure to comply with the Act and with this university procedure could expose UT Arlington and individual employees to sanctions, including civil and criminal liability, and UT Arlington employees may also face disciplinary action by the University. Actions that may be considered a violation of the Act include, but are not limited to, the destruction, removal, or alteration of public information; the failure to provide access to or copies of public information; and the intentional disclosure of information considered confidential.

Scope

All UT Arlington employees and departments who collect, assemble or maintain information or records in the course of the University's official business, and all employees who receive requests for public information.

Responsibilities

Agent(s) of the Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller/Public Information Officer
  • Coordinates responses to requests for public information appropriately submitted to UT Arlington
  • Ensures that public records are made available for public inspection and copying in compliance with applicable laws
  • Produces university records in a timely manner upon application for public information as determined by the Public Information Officer
  • Notifies requestor of costs for retrieving and copying public records and handles requestor's payments
  • Maintains complete records of requests for information made under the Act
The President of The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Complies with the Texas Public Information Act as an agent of the Chancellor of The University of Texas System
  • Designates the University's chief business officer (the Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller) as the University's Public Information Officer (PIO)
  • Designates the Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller as the University's Custodian of Records
Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller/Public Information Officer
  • Serves as UT Arlington's Public Information Officer (PIO) by decree of the University's President
  • Acts as the University's Custodian of Records
  • Has within his/her discretion to make public any information protected under any exception that is not deemed confidential by law
  • Contacts the UT System Office of General Counsel immediately to determine applicability of exceptions to requests for disclosure of information
  • Addresses any questions concerning preparation or research of information for public disclosure
UT Arlington Administration
  • Clearly informs all employees what to do and where to direct requests if they receive a request for public information
  • Promptly responds to requests for public information
  • Retain official university records for the minimum periods stated in the University's Records Retention Schedule
  • Corrects information on employee records in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations
Employee Receiving Request for Public Information
  • Immediately forwards all requests for university records under the Texas Public Information Act to the Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller
  • Notifies individuals with verbal inquiries regarding public information to submit their requests in writing directly to UT Arlington's PIO or to contact UT Arlington’s PIO and designated agent(s) if the requestor has questions.
UT System Office of the General Counsel (OGC)
  • Determines whether requested information falls within one of the excepted categories
  • Provides guidance as required to the PIO and/or designated agent(s) for appropriate response to a requestor as needed
  • Forwards relevant information to the Texas Attorney General along with a request for decision in cases where the University is seeking to withhold requested information based upon an exception listed under Subchapter C of Texas Government Code, Chapter 552

Procedures

Section I. General Information

The PIO and University employees are not required to perform extensive research, prepare answers to questions, or complete research surveys. The Public Information Act applies only to information already in existence.

  1. The PIO or his/her agent will prominently display a sign in the form prescribed by the Texas Attorney General that contains basic information about the rights of a requestor, the responsibilities of the University, and the procedures for inspecting or obtaining a copy of public information. The PIO will display the sign at one or more places in administrative offices of UT Arlington where it is plainly visible to members of the public who request public information in person, and employees whose duties include receiving or responding to public information requests.
Section II. Receiving Requests for Information

  1. All requests for public information must be received in writing. A written request includes electronic mail, facsimile transmission (fax) addressed directly to the PIO, postal mail or the request may be hand-delivered at the Office of Business Affairs and Controller.

    1. If a verbal request for information is received, the requestor will be informed of the need to submit the request in written form.
    2. Requests must contain the full name of the requestor, a current mailing address and/or email address where the requestor can receive information in a timely manner, a current phone number where the requestor can be reached during normal business hours, and a specific list of items of information requested, including dates/timeframes.
    3. Forwarding and Referring Requests:

      1. Postal Mail and Hand-Delivery: Any university employee receiving a written request for information via postal mail or hand-delivery must forward the request immediately to the Public Information Officer or his or her designee.
      2. Email and Facsimile Requests: Email and facsimile requests are not valid unless sent directly by the requestor to the Public Information Officer or his or her designee.
Section III. Processing Requests for Information

  1. Initial deadline for taking action on request: Action must be taken on a request for information within ten business days of initial receipt of the request by the PIO and/or his or her designee. The ten business day deadline begins once the PIO and/or his or her designee receive the public information request.

    Actions to be taken by the PIO on receipt of the request include:

    1. Notification to the requestor that the request has been received.
    2. Forward the request to the UT System Office of General Counsel and request an Attorney General opinion if the requested information appears to be confidential or otherwise exempt from disclosure (see Section IV).
    3. Notification to the requestor that materials are available or the university has no responsive information. If the information is available the requestor may schedule a review of the materials.
    4. A request for clarification (see Section III., part E).
    5. Any costs that may be incurred for the request and the requestor’s acceptance of any charges.
    6. If the PIO determines that a requestor has made a request for information for which the University has previously furnished copies to the requestor or made copies available to the requestor on payment of applicable charges, the PIO may respond by certifying that copies of all or part of the requested information, as applicable, were previously furnished to the requestor or made available.
  2. The PIO or his/her agents cannot ask why the information is being requested or about its intended use except to establish proper identification.
  3. The PIO will treat all requests for information uniformly without regard to the position or occupation of the requestor, the person for whom the request is made, or the status of the individual as a member of the media.
  4. The University is not required to accept or comply with a request for information from an individual who is imprisoned or confined in a correctional facility.
  5. Requests for Clarification

    1. If information requested is unclear, the requestor may be asked to clarify the request; or
    2. If a large amount of information has been requested, the requester may be asked how the scope of the request might be narrowed.
    3. All inquiries to the requestor for clarification or narrowing of a request shall be made in writing, including e-mail and facsimile transmission. If the requestor's request for information included the requestor's physical or mailing address, the communication shall be sent by certified mail to the requestor's physical or mailing address.
    4. If a properly prepared request for clarification is sent to the requestor to clarify an unclear or overbroad request, the ten day timeframe during which the information must be made available or an attorney general opinion is requested will not begin until the requested clarification is received by the PIO. The PIO may not use requests for clarification in bad faith merely to delay production of public information.
  6. Readily available information: The requestor has the right to determine whether to view the information on campus or to be provided copies of the information. The PIO will allow the requestor access to the information by permitting access to view the information on the UT Arlington campus, or providing copies of the requested information through first class United States mail.
  7. Information not readily available: If the requested information cannot be accessed for inspection or duplication within ten business days either because it is in active use as defined by the Act, or because it is in storage, or because of the number of documents involved, or because of the nature of the request, then the PIO or agent will certify this fact in writing and set a date and hour within a reasonable time to make the record available.
  8. No obligation after release of information: After information has been released under the Act, UT Arlington is not required to provide the requestor with subsequent updates, corrections, or notice of a change in status of the person to whom the information pertains.

Section IV. Processing Requests for University Records that may not be Disclosed to the Public
  1. Certain records are not public information and may not be made public, either by law or by opinion of the Texas Attorney General. The PIO will review each records request for possible exceptions and, if necessary, forward it to the UT System Office of General Counsel for review. Section 552.101 of the Act exempts from disclosure information that is considered to be confidential by a law, either constitutional, statutory, or by a common law right to privacy.
  2. Listed below are common types of university records that are not considered public information. All current categories of information that may be exempted from disclosure can be found in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, Subchapter C, Information Excepted from Public Disclosure.

    Note: Attorney General Opinions may be challenged in court and may be reversed; therefore, all Opinions should be checked for current status.

    1. Student records: Student educational records are excepted from public disclosure, except upon written request of the student involved, a provided authorization to release information form signed by the student, or the student's parent or legal guardian (if the parent or legal guardian provides one-half or more of the student's financial support or if the student is under 18 years of age). This exception does not apply to directory information concerning the name and address of the student or other information as listed in the current catalog.
    2. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) makes confidential an educational record, which includes a record, file, document and other materials maintained by an educational agency or institution such as the University of Texas at Arlington that contains information directly related to a student and which can be personally identified with that student or the student's parents.
    3. Employee information: Each current and former UT Arlington employee may elect whether to allow public access to the information in the custody of the University that relates to the employee's home address, home telephone number, social security number, or information that reveals whether the employee has family members. An employee may choose whether or not to allow public access to her/his home address and telephone number by stating that choice in writing to the Office of Human Resources.
    4. Personal Information

      1. Special right of access to confidential information: Information related to the person and that is held by the University and protected from public disclosure by laws intended to protect that person's privacy interests will be disclosed to the person or the person's authorized representative in accordance with Sections 552.023, 552.229, and 552.307 of the Act.
      2. A person may also request to be informed about information that the University collects about the individual. Nothing in this policy shall allow an individual access to information to which access is denied by the Act or by other law.
      3. Right to request correction of incorrect information: A person is entitled to have the institution correct information about the individual that is incorrect. This policy does not apply to an employee of The University of Texas System who seeks to correct information in that employee's personnel file; such an employee should comply with the University’s grievance process. The person should request in writing that information be corrected.

        1. The request should specifically identify the information that the person believes to be incorrect. The document in which the information is located, and the correction that the person requests.
        2. Not later than ten days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and State and National legal holidays) after the date of the PIO’s receipt of the request for correction, the Public Information Officer shall acknowledge in writing the receipt of the request.
        3. The PIO thereafter shall promptly either make the correction to the information as identified by the person or inform the person of the officer's refusal to amend the information in accordance with the person's request, the reason for the refusal, and the name and address of the official to whom the person may request a review of the refusal. The designated official will be the president of the University or his or her designee.
        4. If the person disagrees with the refusal of the PIO to amend the information, the person may request in writing to the designated official a review of the refusal. Not later than 30 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and State and National legal holidays) after the date of the designated official's receipt of the request for review, the official shall complete a review of the matter and make a final determination unless, for good cause, the official extends the thirty-day period.
        5. The University will make approved corrections in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, including those pertaining to records retention. The University may make approved corrections by adding a document that amends but does not replace the document containing the incorrect information.
    5. Resource materials: Resource materials available at UT Arlington for information and research that may be excepted from disclosure include:

      1. Information contained in a book or publication that is commercially available to the public or made available to the public as a resource material, such as a library book.A rare book, original manuscript and certain documents held for historical research that was not created in the conduct of official university business.
    6. Commercial and financial Information: Certain commercial and financial information pertaining to the University that may be excepted from disclosure includes:

      1. Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential by statute or judicial decision.
      2. Information that, if released, would give advantage to a competitor or bidder.
      3. The location, appraisal or purchase price of real or personal property prior to the contract award and public announcement.
      4. ProCard, credit card, debit card, bank account numbers or other information that can be used on their own or with other information to access and obtain money, goods and services.
      5. Test Items: Test items developed by the University, a licensing agency, or another governmental body.
      6. Audit Working Papers: Audit working papers, drafts of audit reports or portions of those drafts.
    7. Legal Matters: Certain information concerning University or employee legal matters may not be disclosed. These include:

      1. Information relating to litigation to which a member of the University is or may become a party.
      2. Privileged attorney-client communication which ask for or provides an attorney's legal advice, recommendations and opinions.
      3. Intra-and interagency memoranda or letters that would not be available to a party in litigation with the University.
    8. Law Enforcement: Certain categories of information held by the University and the UT Arlington Police Department may be excepted from disclosure. This exception, however, does not protect basic information about an arrested person, an arrest or a crime. (See Section 552.108 of the Texas Government Code for more information).
    9. Private Donors: The identity of a person who makes a gift, grant or donation of money or property to the University or to another person with the intent that the money or property be transferred to the University.
    10. Computer Security: Information that relates to UT Arlington's computer network security or to the design, operation or defense of the University's computer network.
  3. If UT Arlington receives a written request for information which an officer or the PIO's agent considers to be within one of the exceptions, the PIO will contact the UT System Office of General Counsel immediately to determine the applicability of the exception.

    1. The Act provides that a decision regarding the applicability of the specified exception must be requested from the Attorney General by the OGC's office within 10 business days (excluding State and national legal holidays) from the date that the request is received. The requestor must be provided the following information within the 10 business day time frame:

      1. A written statement that UT Arlington wishes to withhold the requested information and has asked to consult with the Office of General Counsel to determine whether the records in question should be withheld or released. The Public Information Act provides that a decision regarding the applicability of the specified exception must be requested from the Attorney General within 10 business days from the date the request is received. Further, the requestor must be provided the following information within the same time frame:

        1. a written statement that UT Arlington wishes to withhold the request information and has asked for a decision from the Attorney General about whether the information is within an exception to public disclosure; and
        2. a copy of UT Arlington’s written communication to the Attorney General asking for the decision or, if the written communication discloses the requested information, a redacted copy of that written communication.
    2. Time Needed for Requests. These deadlines make it imperative that OGC be given as much time possible to deal with requests to which the legal response is not immediately apparent. Unless the PIO determines that the requested information is unquestionably disclosable and routinely files the request, OGC should have at lease five business days of the 10-day decision deadline to review the request.
    3. If the request to the Attorney General is not made by the 10-business-day deadline, the information is presumed to be subject to disclosure and must be released to the requestor unless there is a compelling reason to withhold the information
    4. The non-public information will not be available for review until after the Attorney General makes a decision about whether the information is public or not public. The Attorney General’s office has 45 business days (excluding State and national legal holidays) from the day after the Attorney General received the request to make a decision on whether the information is public or not public.
    5. If the requestor is unsatisfied with the OGC and Attorney Generals' decision, then UT Arlington will direct the requestor to the OGC's office for further discussion.
Section V. Examination of Information

Examination of Information: The requestor will complete the examination of the information no later than the 10th business day after the date the information is made available. If the requestor does not complete the examination of the information within 10 business days after the date the information is made available and does not file a request for additional time as follows, the requestor's request is considered withdrawn. If, within the initial period, the requestor files a written request for additional time, the PIO will extend the initial examination period by an additional 10 business days. If, within the additional period, the requestor files another written request for more additional time, the period must be extended by another 10 business days.

  1. Access may be interrupted if the University needs the information for official business. The period of interruption will not be considered a part of the time period for examination.
  2. Original copies of public records: Original copies of public records in any university office may not be removed without the written permission of the PIO or his/her agent.
  3. Delete/redact confidential information: If requested public information is mingled with confidential information, all confidential information will be deleted/redacted before the public information is made available to the requestor. If the PIO or his/her agents are unsure whether information needs to be deleted or redacted, the PIO will contact the UT System Office of the General Counsel to determine what information should not be disclosed. The requestor may be charged for deleting/redacting confidential information.
  4. Delivery of confidential information: Public information that is mingled with confidential information (ex: UT Arlington police reports) will be hand-delivered to the PIO or his/her agent(s) and not delivered via campus mail.
  5. Information in electronic or magnetic medium: If public information exists in an electronic or magnetic medium, the requestor may request a copy either on paper or in an electronic medium, such as on a diskette or magnetic tape. UT Arlington will provide a copy in the requested medium if:

    1. The University has the technological ability to produce a copy of the requested information in the requested medium;
    2. The University does not have to purchase any software or hardware to accommodate the request; and
    3. Providing a copy of the information in the requested medium will not violate the terms of any copyright agreement between the University and a third party.
  6. Inability to provide information in requested format: If the University is unable to produce a copy of the information in the type of medium requested, the PIO or agent will provide a paper copy of the requested information or other medium acceptable to the requestor. The University is not required to copy information onto a diskette or other material provided by the requestor and may use and charge to the requestor for its own supplies.
  7. Responses requiring programming or information manipulation: The PIO must inform a requestor in writing if:

    1. Providing requested information requires programming or manipulation of data and:
    2. Compliance with the request is not feasible or will result in substantial interference with its ongoing operations; or
    3. The information could be made available in the requested form only at a cost that covers the programming and manipulation of data.
    4. The written notice by the PIO must include:

      1. An explanation that the information is not available in the requested form;
      2. Description of the form in which it is available;
      3. Description of the services that would be necessary to provide it in the requested form;
      4. An estimate of the cost in accordance with the charges set forth in the Act; and
      5. An estimate of time it will take to respond to the request.
  8. The written notice will be provided to the requestor no later than 20 days after the date the request was received. The University may have an additional 10 days to provide the statement, if, within 20 days of receipt of the request, written notice is given to the requestor that additional time is needed.
  9. Obligation for requestor to respond to notice: After providing any written notices or statements to the requestor required under this procedure, UT Arlington is not obligated to provide the information in the requested form or in the form in which it is available until the requestor responds in writing that:

    1. She or he wants the information provided in the requested form according to the cost and time parameters set out in the statement or according to other terms agreed upon by requestor and the University; or
    2. She or he wants the information provided in the form in which it is currently available.
Section VI. Recovery Costs and Guidelines of Charges

If assessed, copy charges shall not be excessive. Maximum charges for reproduction of public information, reflecting rates approved by the Office of the Attorney General, can be found at Texas Administrative Code, Title 1, Chapter 70.

  1. Waiver and Reduction of Charges: Costs may be waived or reduced if it is determined that waiver or reduction is in the public interest.
  2. The PIO and/or his or her agents will make a preliminary estimate of the cost of retrieving and copying public records under the Attorney General's guidelines and notify the requestor, giving the requestor the option to agree to the cost and submit necessary prepayment, alter, or withdraw the request.

    1. Notifying Requestor of Estimated Charges: When the cost associated with responding to a request exceeds forty dollars ($40.00) the University will notify the requestor, in writing, of the estimated costs (itemized) and an anticipated completion date. The notice also will inform the requestor that failure to inform the University whether he or she wishes to proceed with or narrow the request within 10 business days will result in the request being deemed withdrawn.
    2. Notifying Requestor of Revised Estimate of Charges: A written, updated estimate of charges must be sent to the requestor if, before copies have been made or paper records made available, the University determines that it underestimated the charges itemized in the original notice. The revised estimate will inform the requestor that the request will be deemed withdrawn if he or she does not respond to the new estimate within ten days from the date it is sent.
  3. If the University later determines, but before it makes the copy or the paper record available, that the estimated charges will exceed the charges detailed in the written itemized statement by 20 percent or more, the University shall send to the requestor a written updated itemized statement that details all estimated charges that will be imposed, including any allowable charges for labor or personnel costs. If the requestor does not respond in writing to the updated estimate in the time and manner described above, the request is considered to have been withdrawn by the requestor. An itemized statement or updated itemized statement is considered to have been sent by the University to the requestor on the date that:

    1. the statement is delivered to the requestor in person;
    2. the University deposits the properly addressed statement in the United States mail;
    3. the University transmits the properly addressed statement by electronic mail or facsimile transmission, if the requestor agrees to receive the statement by electronic mail or facsimile transmission, as applicable.
    4. A requestor is considered to have responded to the itemized statement or the updated itemized statement on the date that:

      1. the response is delivered to the institution in person;
      2. the requestor deposits the properly addressed response in the United States mail; or
      3. the requestor transmits the properly addressed response to the institution by electronic mail or facsimile transmission.
  4. Providing invoice to requestor: UT Arlington will provide the requestor with a completed invoice showing the total amount of charges to be paid to the University and informing him or her that payment should be made within ten days each time a fee is charged for providing public information.
  5. Charges for personnel time spent: Each requestor is limited to 36 hours of time per 12 month fiscal year that personnel of UT Arlington are required to spend producing public information for inspection and duplication, or providing copies of public information to the requestor, without recovering its costs. The costs charged for personnel time relating to the cost of locating, compiling, and producing the public information are calculated at the rates set by the Texas Attorney General's Office. Each requestor is limited to 36 hours of time per 12 month fiscal year that personnel of the institution are required to spend producing public information for inspection and duplication, or providing copies of public information to the requestor, without recovering its costs attributable to that personnel time.

    1. Each time the institution complies with a request for public information, the institution shall provide the requestor with a written statement of the amount of personnel time spent complying with that request and the cumulative amount of time spent complying with requests for public information from that requestor during the applicable 12-month period.
    2. The requestor may not be charged for the amount of time spent preparing the written statement. Also, the requestor may not be charged personnel time for any work and /or coordination of the PIO and his or her agents.
    3. If, in connection with a request for public information, the cumulative amount of personnel time spent complying with requests for public information from the same requestor is expected to equal or exceed 36 hours, the institution shall provide the requestor with a written estimate of the total cost, including materials, personnel time, and overhead expenses necessary to comply with the request. The written estimate must be provided to the requestor on or before the 10th day after the date on which the public information was requested.
    4. If the institution determines that additional time is required to prepare the written estimate and provides the requestor with a written statement of that determination, the institution must provide the written statement as soon as practicable, but on or before the 10th day after the date the institution provided the notice that additional time was required.
    5. The costs charged for personnel time relating to the cost of locating, compiling, and producing the public information shall be calculated at the rates set by the Texas Attorney General’s Office. When calculating the amount of time spent complying with an individual's public information request(s), the institution may not include time spent on:

      1. Determining the meaning and/or scope of the request(s);
      2. Requesting a clarification from the requestor;
      3. Comparing records gathered from different sources;
      4. Determining which exceptions to disclosure, if any, may apply to information that is responsive to the request(s).
      5. Preparing the information and/or correspondence required for an attorney general decision;
  6. If the University provides a requestor with a written statement estimating the cost of personnel time to complete the requestor’s request, the institution is not required to produce public information for inspection or duplication or to provide copies of public information in response to the requestor's request unless on or before the 10th day after the date the written statement was sent, the requestor submits a statement in writing to the University in which the requestor commits to pay the lesser of:

    1. actual costs incurred in complying with the requestor's request, including the cost of materials and personnel time and overhead; or
    2. amount stated in the written statement.
  7. If the requestor fails or refuses to submit a written commitment to pay statement, the requestor is considered to have withdrawn the requestor's pending request for public information.
  8. This rule does not prohibit the University from providing a copy of public information without charge or at a reduced rate when it is in the public interest or from waiving a charge for providing a copy of public information when the cost of processing the collection will exceed the amount of the charge. In addition, the 36 hour rule does not apply if the requestor is an individual who, for a substantial portion of the individual’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain, gathers, compiles, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, investigates, processes, or publishes news or information for and is seeking the information for:

    1. a radio or television broadcast station that holds a broadcast license for an assigned frequency issued by the Federal Communications Commission;
    2. a newspaper that is qualified to publish legal notices or is a free newspaper of general circulation and that is published at least once a week and available and of interest to the general public in connection with the dissemination of news;
    3. a newspaper of general circulation that is published on the Internet by a news medium engaged in the business of disseminating news or information to the general public; or
    4. a magazine that is published at least once a week or on the Internet by a news medium engaged in the business of disseminating news or information to the general public.
  9. Further, the 36 hour rule does not apply if the requestor is:

    1. an elected official of the United States, Texas, or a political subdivision of Texas; or
    2. a representative of a publicly funded legal services organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under, Section 501(a) Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, by being listed as an exempt entity under Section 501(c)(3) of that code.
Section VII. Required Recordkeeping

Requirement to record time and notify requestor: University employees involved in providing information pursuant to requests under the Act will maintain a detailed record of the time and resources spent responding to the requests.

  1. If the charge for providing a copy of public information includes costs of labor, the requestor may require the University to provide him or her with a written statement as to the amount of time that was required.
  2. Complaints of being overcharged: If a requestor alleges that he or she has been overcharged for a copy of public information, the requestor will direct their complaint to the Texas Attorney General's Office.
  3. The PIO and his/her agent(s) keep accurate records of all public information requests the University receives for a given year. The records include the following:

    1. Requestor's name and contact information;
    2. Date the request was received and the date(s) on which the records or copies were made available;
    3. Type of information requested;
    4. Which departments or units at the University were requested to provide information to the PIO or officer's agents;
    5. How much the requestor paid for the copies and other recovery costs; and Copy of the records when an Attorney General decision is sought, and the decision of the Attorney General for a given request.
    6. The PIO, who is also the Records Management Officer (RMO) and the officer's agents have the responsibility to determine the period of time for which records no longer in current use will be preserved. For records retention information, see UT Arlington's Records & Information Management Program. UT Arlington's state-certified records retention schedule provides required retention periods for requests for information. Public information requests for information that is not except are maintained for one year after the request is fulfilled. Public information requests for information that deemed except for public disclosure are maintained two years after the requestor has been notified.

Definitions

*Define (Departmental Financial Information Network): The computerized accounting system used in UT Arlington.

Full cost: The sum of all direct costs plus a proportional share of overhead or indirect costs.

Manipulation: The process of modifying, reordering, or decoding of information with human intervention.

Miscellaneous supplies: The actual cost of supply items, included but not limited to, labels, boxes, and other supplies used to produce the requested information, may be added to the total charges for public information.

Public Information: Information that is collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by a governmental body or for a governmental body if the governmental body owns the information or has a right of access to it.

Readily Available Information: Information that already exists in printed form, or information that is stored electronically and is ready to be printed or copied without requiring any programming, or information that already exists on microfiche or microfilm. Information that requires a substantial amount of time to locate or prepare for release is not readily available information.

Requestor: A person or organization whom submits a request to the University for inspection or copies of public information

University records: Includes all documents, electronic files, electronic communications, books, papers, photographs, sound recordings, or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristic, that are made or received according to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business. The following are examples of university records:

  • Reports, audits, evaluations, and investigations made for or by the University upon completion;
  • The names, gender, ethnicity, salaries, title, and date of employment of all university employees and officers, including faculty and staff;
  • Electronic documents or electronic communications between UT Arlington employees
  • Social Media (i.e. The University’s Facebook or Twitter accounts)
  • Information in any account, voucher, or contract dealing with the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds by the University not otherwise made confidential;
  • All working papers, research material, and information used to make estimates of the need for, or expenditure of, public funds or taxes, upon completion of estimates;
  • Any written document that contains information that informs the public concerning the proper university officials to contact for requests pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act;
  • Statements of the general course and method by which the University's functions are channeled and determined, and all formal and informal procedures available;
  • Substantive rules adopted as authorized by law, and statements of general applicability adopted by the University;
  • Administrative staff manuals and written instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;
  • Information currently regarded by the University as open to the public.

Rationale

The University of Texas at Arlington (the "University") believes that as an entity of the State of Texas, it exists in order to educate and serve the people of Texas. Accordingly, it is the policy of the University to grant the public access to information regarding its records, affairs and transactions in accordance with the Texas Public Information Act as set forth in Chapter 552 of the Government Code. This procedure supports the standards of the Act, UT System Administration Policy UTS 139, Texas Public Information Act, and UT Arlington Handbook of Operating Procedures 5-704, Release of Records (Texas Public Information Act). The Texas Public Information Act (the "Public Information Act") was adopted in 1973 by the reform-minded Sixty-third Legislature. The Sharpstown scandal, which occurred in 1969 and came to light in 1971, provided the motivation for several enactments opening up government to the people.

Appendices

N/A

Contacts

If you have any questions about Procedure 13-1, Access to Records, please contact the following departments:

SubjectOffice NameTelephone NumberEmail/URL
All topics in ProcedureBusiness Affairs(817) 272-2194
(817) 272-7135 (facsimile)
http://www.uta.edu/business-affairs
Website AccessAdministrative Information Management(817) 272-0222aim@uta.edu
http://www.uta.edu/aim