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May 24, 1999

Mr. Richard J. Ybarra
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Coordinator
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78711-2548

OR99-1439

Dear Mr. Ybarra:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 124696.

The Office of the Attorney General (the "OAG") received a request for information relating to an OAG employee, Maria Socorro Leos. You have supplied documents which you state are a representative sample of printouts of computer screen images used in the Child Support Division.(1) You seek to withhold information of this type, contending that it is excepted from disclosure by section 552.101 of the Government Code in conjunction with various state and federal statutes and regulations.

Section 552.101 of the Government Code excepts from disclosure information that is made confidential by law, including information made confidential by statute. Chapter 231 of the Family Code pertains to the administration of Title IV-D child support programs. Chapter 231 contains the following provisions:

Sec. 231.001. DESIGNATION OF TITLE IV-D AGENCY.

The office of the attorney general is designated as the state's Title IV-D agency.

Sec. 231.004. TITLE IV-D REGISTRY.

The Title IV-D agency shall establish a registry for Title IV-D cases that shall:

(1) receive child support payments;

(2) maintain a record of child support paid and any arrearages owed under each order;

(3) distribute child support payments received as required by law; and

(4) maintain custody of official child support payment records.

. . .

Sec. 231.108. CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS AND PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS

(a) [A]ll files and records of services provided under this chapter, including information concerning a custodial parent, noncustodial parent, child, and an alleged or presumed father, are confidential.

In this instance, you seek to except information maintained in the OAG's computer system. The documents labeled as exhibits B1 and B2 (titled "LEGAL DIARY" and "CASE PROFILE," respectively) appear to be representative of records generated in rendering services under Title IV-D child support programs. Therefore, we conclude that this information is confidential in its entirety under section 231.108(a) of the Family Code and, accordingly, must be withheld under section 552.101 of the Government Code.(2) The document labeled as exhibit B3 appears to be representative of records of personnel actions taken by the OAG, rather than "information concerning a custodial parent" or "files and records of services provided" under chapter 231 of the Family Code. This information is not confidential. Since you have not raised an applicable exception to disclosure, this information must be released.

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.

Sincerely,

Michael Jay Burns
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

MJB/ch

Ref: ID# 124696

encl. Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Isabel Trevino
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 978
Rio Grande City, Texas 78582
(w/o enclosures)


 

Footnotes

1. We note that, with the exception of information of this type, you have not raised an exception to disclosure, nor supplied information responsive to the subject request. The balance of the responsive information is therefore presumed public. See Gov't Code 552. 302.

2. You have indicated that the requestor is "entitled to know" the identity of a complainant. Without commenting on this asserted entitlement, we note that these subject documents are confidential and may not be released.
 

POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US
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