The Office of the Attorney General provides resources to help the public understand the Public Information Act. 

Public Information under the Public Information Act

Under the Texas Public Information Act (PIA), “public information” is any information collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a governmental body, a government official, or government employee.  The substance of the information determines whether it is public information.  Public information includes physical and electronic records.  It can also be maintained on personal or government-issued devices.  The PIA does not apply to judicial records.

Open Government Hotline 

Both requestors and governmental bodies can call the Open Government Hotline to ask questions or get information about the Public Information Act or Open Meetings Act.  The hotline is staffed by open government attorneys with experience in these areas of law.  Please note the hotline attorneys cannot provide legal advice or legal work to private citizens or governmental bodies.

The hotline receives a large number of calls. Therefore, if our attorneys are not immediately available to answer your call, please leave a message, including your name and telephone number, and an attorney will return your call as soon as possible.  Hotline calls are returned in the order the calls are received, usually in the same business day. In addition to general questions about open government, the hotline can be used to obtain administrative information about pending rulings including obtaining a file ID number or the 45-day deadline for a ruling.

open government hotline open government hotline
(512) 463-2013 Toll Free: (877) 673-6839

Open Government Cost Hotline

Both requestors and governmental bodies can call the Open Government Cost Hotline to ask questions about charges under the cost rules for the Public Information Act.  The hotline can be used for questions relating to charges for copies of public information, methods of charging, complaints from requestors regarding overcharges, and governmental body requests for exemptions from the cost rules. 

open government cost hotline open government cost hotline
(512) 475-2497 Toll Free: (888) 672-6787

Public Information Handbook

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) publishes a Public Information Handbook (PDF) every two years for requestors and governmental bodies.  The handbook is free and available digitally in a searchable format.  After every Texas legislative session, the handbook is updated by attorneys in the Open Records Division. The updates incorporate the changes to open government laws made by the legislature. The updates also incorporate recent case law from Texas courts relating to open government.

Official PIA Poster

 The PIA requires governmental bodies to prominently display a public information sign.  The sign must be the official PIA Poster created by the OAG.  The poster describes the basic rights and responsibilities of requestors under the PIA.  The poster also describes the responsibilities of governmental bodies under the PIA.  The poster must be plainly visible to requestors.  The poster must also be plainly visible to governmental employees who receive and respond to public information requests.