The intent of the implementation of these guidelines is to provide for a streamlined, systematic approach for both the City and the public when public records have been requested. Public records include any information that is collected, assembled or maintained by or for a governmental entity.
An open records request does not require the City to produce information which is not in existence at the time of the request. If such information could be provided through a minimal computer search, the City would be expected to make such an effort. However, such a request may be denied if it would require extensive research to create the information. An open records request only requires the City to provide copies of documents that relate to the information sought by the requestor. The Texas Public Information Act (“Public Information Act” or the “Act”) does not require the City to create new information, calculate statistics, perform legal research, or prepare answers to questions.
The City’s Charter designates the City Secretary as the Custodian of Records for the City and all written requests for public records should be addressed to the City Secretary. Although requests must be addressed to the City Secretary, any department may accept the request. Because the Public Information Act is only activated by a written request for documents, all requests for copies of City records must be in writing.