The Mission of the Office of the Attorney General
The Office of Attorney General champions liberty and justice for Texas.
The Philosophy of the Office of the Attorney General
The principles of individual liberty, limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility guide the work of the Office of Attorney General.
The Values of the Office of the Attorney General
The Office of Attorney General is committed to performing its duties with excellence, serving Texas with humility and integrity, and exploring innovative solutions in accomplishing the work of the agency.
The Work of the Office of the Attorney General
The Attorney General Ken Paxton is the State of Texas’s chief legal officer. As provided by the Texas Constitution and statutes, the main responsibilities of the Office of Attorney General are:
- Defending the State of Texas and its duly enacted laws by providing legal representation to the State, its officials and agencies, rendering legal opinions, reviewing bonds of public security, and ensuring compliance with the Texas Public Information Act.
- Serving the children of Texas through the enforcement of the state’s child support laws and the collection of child support on behalf of Texas families.
- Securing justice for Texans by investigating and prosecuting criminal activities, including crimes of human trafficking, internet crimes against children, election fraud, assisting local law enforcement in prosecutions and appeals, investigating Medicaid fraud, apprehending fugitives, and providing support to victims of violent crime and administering victim assistance programs.
- Protecting Texans from fraud, waste and abuse by enforcing consumer protection and antitrust laws, educating consumers on fraudulent scams, and seeking recovery from Medicaid fraudsters in civil action.
- Safeguarding the freedoms of Texans as guaranteed by the United States and Texas constitutions.
To fulfill these responsibilities, the Office of the Attorney General serves as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issues legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes, sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions, and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.
The Office of the Attorney General has taken on numerous other roles through the years. Texas statutes contain thousands of references to the Attorney General. In addition to its constitutionally prescribed duties, the Office of the Attorney General files civil suits upon referral by other state agencies. In some circumstances, the Attorney General has original jurisdiction to prosecute violations of the law, but in most cases, criminal prosecutions by the Attorney General are initiated only upon the request of a local prosecutor.
Although the Attorney General is prohibited from offering legal advice or representing private individuals, he serves and protects the rights of all citizens of Texas through the activities of the various divisions of the agencies. Actions that benefit all citizens of this state include enforcement of health, safety and consumer regulations; educational outreach programs and protection of the rights of the elderly and disabled. The Attorney General is also charged with the collection of court-ordered child support and the administration of the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.