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August 17, 1999

Mr. Renil G. Liner
Commissioner
Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board
P.O. Box 12188
Austin, Texas 78711-2188

OR99-2328

Dear Mr. Liner:

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# 126636.

The Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (the "board") received a request for all information pertaining to two named licensees. You claim that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and have reviewed the submitted information.

Section 552.101 excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." This section encompasses information protected by other statutes. Section 10(f) of article 6573a.2, V.T.C.S., provides that the results of the appraiser examination are confidential. We have reviewed the submitted information and agree that the examination reports must be withheld under section 552.101 of the Government Code in conjunction with section 10(f) of article 6573a.2, V.T.C.S. However, we do not believe nor have you demonstrated that the appraiser examination sheets are "examination results" for the purposes of section 10(f). Therefore, since you have not raised any additional exceptions to disclosure for the examination sheets, we conclude that these documents must be released. We have marked the documents accordingly.

You also seek to withhold the licensees' social security numbers under section 552.101. The 76th Texas Legislature recently passed House Bill 692, which provides as follows:

    SECTION 1. CONFIDENTIALITY OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. The social security number of an applicant for or holder of a license, certificate of registration, or other legal authorization issued by a licensing agency to practice in a specific occupation or profession that is provided to the licensing agency is confidential and is not subject to disclosure under the open records law.

    SECTION 2. The importance of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended, and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.

Act of May 17, 1999,76th Leg., R.S., H.B. 692. The governor signed this bill on May 25, 1999; accordingly, this law is now in effect. The board must withhold the social security numbers of the licensees' pursuant to House Bill 692.

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 on as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have any questions regarding this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

June B. Harden
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

JBH/ch

Ref: ID# 126636

Encl. Marked documents

cc: Mr. James P. Browning, Jr.
Eberstein & Associates
8150 N. Central Expressway, Suite M-1130
Dallas, Texas 75206-1815
(w/o enclosures)


 

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