Public Information Act, section 552.108(a)(1) Previous Determination for Law Enforcement Information
What is a Previous Determination?
A previous determination is a ruling that allows a governmental body to withhold information without asking the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for a ruling. Generally, a previous determination applies to a specific type of information that is requested on a regular basis from governmental bodies. The 552.108(a)(1) previous determination applies to law enforcement information from a pending investigation or prosecution.
Previous Determination under Section 552.108(a)(1) of the Government Code
In order to encourage the prompt release of information and promote government efficiency, the OAG started a program that applies to requests for law enforcement information. In the case of the “108 Previous Determination,” or “108 PD,” a governmental body can withhold law enforcement information from a pending law enforcement investigation or prosecution without asking the OAG for a ruling. In order to use a 108 PD the governmental body must meet specific requirements, including releasing basic information to you within 5 business days. The 108 PD is most often used by police departments but any law enforcement agency in the state can request to participate in the program.
What information do I receive under a 108 PD?
If a governmental body relies on a 108 PD to respond to your request for information, the governmental body must provide you with two things:
- basic information within 5 business days after the governmental body receives your request for information; and
- a mandatory notice form that explains the types of records the governmental body withheld from you, e.g. incident report, witness interviews, video recordings, audio recordings, photographs, etc.
Basic information is described on page 97 of the 2020 Public Information Handbook (PDF).
What happens after I receive information under a 108 PD?
If you receive information under a 108 PD and are satisfied with the information you receive, you do not need to take any further action.
What if I disagree with the use of a 108 PD?
If you disagree a 108 PD is applicable to your request, then request the same information again. If the governmental body still seeks to withhold the information you requested, then the governmental body must request a ruling from the OAG. The governmental body may not rely on a 108 PD if you request the same information again.
Do you still have questions about the 108 PD?
Please call our Open Government Hotline at (512) 478-OPEN (6736) or toll-free at (877) OPEN TEX (673-6839). Because of the volume of calls received by the hotline, the hotline staff answers your voicemails in order of receipt. Please leave your name and number at the beginning of your message.