Requesting public information is simple. Here is how to make a successful Public Information Act (PIA) request.

 

A public information request must be in writing to the governmental body you believe maintains the documents.  However, your written request needs to be for information already in existence. A governmental body is not required to answer questions, perform legal research, or create new information in response to your public information request.

Tips For A Successful Public Information Request

  • Address your public information request to a governmental body’s chief administrative officer or its “officer of public information.”
  • A written request can also be submitted by U.S mail, hand delivery, e-mail or facsimile. Some governmental bodies also have online submission forms. Public information requests submitted by e-mail or fax must be addressed to a governmental body’s chief administrative officer or its “officer of public information.” If you can, keep a copy of the request and proof of the governmental body’s receipt of the request.
  • Check the governmental body’s website. The information you are seeking may be online. Also, governmental bodies may have information on their websites on how to submit a request for public information. Many governmental bodies have standard forms to help you with your request.
  • If you believe a governmental body has not properly responded to you Public Information Act request, contact the Open Records Hotline at:
    (512) 478-6737
    Toll free: (877) 673-6839