Open Records Policies and Procedures
Under the Texas Public Information Act (the Act), each person is entitled to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees, unless otherwise expressly provided by law. An open records request is a request for public information contained in the files or records of a Texas governmental agency. For more information about the Texas Public Information Act or open records requests, you may wish to refer to the Attorney General's 2016 Public Information Handbook.
Open Records Request Procedures
In responding to open records requests for public information, The University of Texas at El Paso is committed to providing customer friendly service. Agency information is public unless it is confidential by law or falls within an exception to the Public Information Act. UTS139 (Texas Public Information Act) sets forth procedures The University of Texas at El Paso follows for complying with the Texas Public Information Act.
How To Access University Records
Open Records Requests are processed at the component institution where the information is located. For example, to request records from The University of Texas at Austin, a request must be directed to that component institution. Therefore, if you are seeking information located at several component institutions, a request must be made to each institution and you will receive a separate response from each institution.
Where to Send Your Request
Requests can be mailed, hand-delivered, faxed, or sent by electronic mail. Electronic mail or facsimile requests must be sent to the electronic address and fax number listed.
- Fax: (915) 747-5068
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: 500 W. University Ave., Suite 301
El Paso, TX 79968
To request transcripts please refer to the Registration & Records Office.
What Your Request Should Include
Requests for records under the Public Information Act must be in writing. Including the following information in your request will help ensure that you receive the information you want:
- Your name and mailing address (so we can send you a response);
- Your phone number (so we can contact you if we have questions about how to respond to your request); and
- A list or description of the specific information you are interested in, including time periods. Try to be as specific as possible about the information you are seeking.
Sample Written Request for Information
Under the Texas Public Information Act. I request access to or copies of ____________. [Include the name of the document or the type of information. You may also request the information in a particular form. For example, a paper copy or on a computer disk.]
I am available to view the documents on the following dates and times:________________________.
Please provide the information to me at _____________________________________.
- Send questions or comments to email@example.com
Costs and Billing
Charges for copies of public information are set by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas - Open Records Division. In general, if the number of copies in your request is 50 pages or less, the charge will be $0.10 per page plus the cost of postage (or other delivery method, at your request). If the number of copies is more than 50 pages, the charge will be $0.10 per page plus personnel costs necessary to compile the documents, in addition to the postage.
If the charge for fulfilling your requests exceeds $40.00, we will provide you with an itemized written estimate of the charges and indicate if a less costly alternative is available. You must respond in writing within 10 days after the estimate is sent that you will accept the costs, or that you desire any stated alternative, or your request will be considered withdrawn.
If the estimated charge is more than $100.00, the University will generally require a prepaid deposit or bond before providing the information. Also, if you have an unpaid balance of more than $100.00 relating to previous requests, a prepaid deposit or bond will be required.
Some of the information maintained by UTEP may contain information that is not public, such as the following:
- student information/records;
- medical information/records;
- drivers license and motor vehicle information;
- attorney-client communications;
- attorney work product;
- documents made confidential by statute;
- documents claimed to be proprietary by a third party (trade secret information).
If you want to review or get copies of the non-public information listed above, it will be necessary for UTEP to request an Attorney General's opinion about this information. This 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 about 12 weeks to make a decision on whether the information is public or not public.
If part of the information you requested is considered public information, then you will be able to review or get copies of the public information, even if a request for an Attorney General's open records opinion is necessary regarding the non-public information. If public information and non-public information are both included in a single document, the document will be provided to you. However, the information believed to be non-public or exempt will be redacted (marked out) while the request for an Attorney General's opinion is pending.
If you are not seeking access to non-public or exempt information, you may simply state in your request that you do not want any information that is not considered public information by the Office of the Attorney General. If you indicate that you are only seeking information that the Office of the Attorney General considers public information, then it will not be necessary for UTEP to make a request for an opinion.