Texas Government Code section 552.012 requires elected or appointed public officials to complete an open records training course. The training requirement applies to:
- a member of a multimember governmental body;
- the governing officer of a governmental body that is headed by a single officer rather than by a multimember governing body; or
- the officer for public information of a governmental body, without regard to whether the officer is elected or appointed to a specific term.
The law requires that the specified public officials complete the training course within 90 days of taking the oath of office or otherwise assuming the responsibilities of office. A public official may assign a public information coordinator to satisfy the training requirement for the public official if the coordinator is primarily responsible for administering the responsibilities of the public official or governmental body under the Public Information Act. The designated coordinator is required to complete the training course within 90 days of the date the coordinator assumes the duties as coordinator.
The training course of not less than one and not more than two hours must include information regarding:
- the general background of the legal requirements for open records and public information;
- the applicability of the Public Information Act to governmental bodies;
- procedures and requirements regarding complying with a request for information under the Public Information Act;
- the role of the attorney general under the Public Information Act; and
- penalties and other consequences for failure to comply with the Public Information Act.
The Office of the Attorney General’s training video consists of information on each of these elements and satisfies the requirements imposed by Government Code section 552.012. A public official or public information coordinator may obtain a course completion certificate by following the directions in the video upon completion of the training. The certificate must be maintained by the official’s or coordinator’s governmental body and made available for public inspection upon request.
After completing the training course, you may print your certificate here.