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July 22, 1999


Ms. Joan Carol Bates
Attorney
Office of General Counsel
Texas Department of Health
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756-3199

OR99-2066

Dear Ms. Bates:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Public Information Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 127918.

You assert that the requested information is excepted from disclosure based on section 552.104 of the Government Code. Section 552.104 states that information is excepted from required public disclosure if release of the information would give advantage to a competitor or bidder. The purpose of this exception is to protect the interests of a governmental body usually in competitive bidding situations. See Open Records Decision No. 592 (1991). This exception protects information from public disclosure if the governmental body demonstrates potential harm to its interests in a particular competitive situation. See Open Records Decision No. 463 (1987). Generally, section 552.104 does not except bids from public disclosure after bidding is completed and the contract has been awarded. See Open Records Decision 541 (1990).

In this case, you inform us that the contract has not been awarded. We therefore conclude that the information is excepted from disclosure based on section 552.104 until such time as the contract is awarded.

In light of our conclusion under section 552.104, we need not address the other exceptions raised, if any. We are resolving this matter with this 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 may not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely
Yen-Ha Le
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

YHL/nc

Ref.: ID# 127918

Encl: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. William McIlhany
Jackson & Walker, L.L.P.
Attorneys and Counselors
100 Congress Avenue, Suite 1100
Austin, Texas 78701
(w/o enclosures)


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