2013 Open Government Conference

December 9-10, 2013

Renaissance Austin Hotel

9721 Arboretum Boulevard

Austin, Texas  78759




Sunday, December 8, 2013

3:00-6:00 PM                          Registration for Early Arrivals

Monday, December 9, 2013

7:30-5:00 PM                          Registration

7:30-8:15 AM                          Continental Breakfast

8:15-8:30 AM                          Welcome

8:30-9:45 AM                          Open Meetings Act 101

This session provides an introductory course examining the Open Meetings Act.  It will cover a variety of topics including:  applicability of the Act; notice requirements; executive sessions and record keeping; and penalties and consequences for failure to comply with the Act.

NOTE:  Attending this session will fulfill the requirement for public officials to complete training on the Open Meetings Act under section 551.005 of the Government Code.  Please see the CEU section of your folder for further information.                                

9:45-10:00 AM                        Break

10:00-10:30 AM                      Open Meetings Act Legislative Update

This session will provide an overview of Open Meetings Act legislation passed during this year’s legislative session. Recent court cases and Attorney General opinions addressing the act will also be discussed.                                        

10:30-11:00 AM                      Open Meetings in a Social Media World

Email, Facebook, Twitter and countless other methods of electronic communication give us the ability to transmit information to wide audiences instantly, but they can pose significant risks for unwary governmental bodies.  This session will consider this technology in the Open Meetings Act framework and note areas where governmental bodies should be on alert.                                         

11:00-11:30 AM                      Keeping Your Meetings Out of the Headlines

This session will consider some of the circumstances that have resulted in governmental bodies making the headlines for perceived violations of the Open Meetings Act.  Practical advice on how your governmental body can avoid those same pitfalls will also be provided.                                            

11:30 AM-1:00 PM                  Lunch on your own

1:00-2:00 PM                           Public Information Act 101

Through the use of hypothetical scenarios, the presenter will provide an overview of the Public Information Act and its exceptions.  This is a BASIC Course.

NOTE:  Attending this session will fulfill the requirement for public officials or their designees to complete training on the Public Information Act under section 552.012 of the Government Code. Please see the CEU section of your folder for further information.           

2:00-2:15 PM                          Break

2:15-3:50 PM                          Public Information Act for Beginners:  Responding to a

                                                   Request from Receipt through the AG Ruling Process

Through the use of hypotheticals and sample documents, this session will teach attendees how to handle a public information request through every step of the process.  Topics covered will include:  setting up a system to respond to public information requests, practical tips, how to redact, deadlines and making arguments to the Attorney General’s Office.  This is a BASIC course designed for those who are new to this process.                                                       

3:50-4:00 PM                          Break

4:00-4:45 PM                          Cost Rules                                                                                 

This session will focus on the cost rules of the Public Information Act.

4:45 PM                                 Adjourn Day One

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

8:00 AM-3:15 PM                    Registration 

8:00-9:00 AM                          Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:45 AM                          Public Information Act Update       

This session will provide an overview of recent Public Information Act legislation.  Recent court cases addressing the Public Information Act will also be discussed.

9:45-10:15 AM                        Break

10:15-11:30 AM              Two Concurrent Tracks

1.  Public Information Act for Law Enforcement-Part 1 of 2

This session is designed for law enforcement agencies and will focus exclusively on the disclosure requirements for law enforcement records. 

2.  Advanced Public Information Act-Part 1 of 2

This course is designed for those with experience in responding to Public Information Act requests.  Attendees who are new to this area of the law are strongly encouraged to attend Monday’s PIA for Beginners course.   Topics covered will include: common briefing errors, third-party documents, commonly asserted exceptions and practical tips for better briefing.

11:30 AM-1:00 PM                  Luncheon

Panel Discussion: Q&A with the Open Records Division and Opinion Committee

The panelists will answer general questions about the open records rulings process, the Public Information Act and the Open Meetings Act. 

1:00-1:15 PM                          Break

1:15-2:45 PM                 Two Concurrent Tracks

1.  Public Information Act for Law Enforcement-Part 2 of 2

2.  Advanced Public Information Act continued-Part 2 of 2

2:45-3:00 PM                          Break

3:00-4:00 PM                          The Public Information Act in the Digital Age

A roundtable discussion of the implications technological advancements have on compliance with the Public Information Act.  

4:00 PM                                  Conference Adjourns