|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
April 26, 1999
Ms. Mindy Ward
Dear Ms. Ward:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 123798.
The City of San Angelo (the "city") received a request for a copy of the entire San Angelo Police Department Standard Operations Procedural Manual. You state that this office has previously ruled on the applicability of section 552.108 of the Government Code to the requested manual. Open Records Letter No. 99-0068 (1999). You also state that in accordance with that letter ruling you have provided the requestor with certain non-excepted portions of the manual. You explain, however, that the submitted chapters, sections 59-96, 58-96, and 57-93 were not previously reviewed by this office. You claim that these chapters are also excepted from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code.
Section 552.301 of the Government Code provides that a governmental body must ask the attorney general for a decision as to whether requested documents must be disclosed not later than the tenth business day after the date of receiving the written request. A governmental body need not request an attorney general decision if there has been a previous determination that the requested material falls within one of the exceptions to disclosure. Id. In communications with this office, you explain that although these chapters were not included in the 1996 manual, this information existed in the manual in a different form. You further explain that the last two digits of the chapter indicate the year this information was incorporated into the manual. After reviewing your arguments and the submitted records, we find that the information at issue was contained in the 1996 manual and was addressed in Open Records Letter No. 99-0068. Consequently, the city may withhold sections 59-96, 58-96, and 57-93 in accordance with Open Records Letter No. 99-0068. We note, however, that the city must seek a ruling from this office if the city alters the manual by substantially modifying an existing chapter or by adopting chapters containing information that has not been reviewed by this office.
We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.
June B. Harden
Ref: ID# 123798
encl. Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Jeanine McGregor
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US