|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
July 19, 2000
Mr. Scott Gibson
Dear Mr. Gibson:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 137194.
The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (the "board") received a request for the name, address, and, if available, date of birth and social security number of each architect, landscape architect, and interior designer registered by the board. You have released all the responsive information you have, except the social security numbers, which you claim are excepted from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code in conjunction with a law enacted in 1999. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the submitted sample of the requested information.
The law to which you refer, Act of May 17, 1999, 76th Leg., R. S., ch. 314, § 1, 1999 Tex. Gen. Laws 1218 (Occupations Code § 51.251 note), printed as a note following section 51.251 of the Occupations Code, provides:
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.
You inform us that the board issues certificates of registration to authorize the practice of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design, pursuant to articles 249a, 249c, and 249e of Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes. The board must, therefore, withhold the requested social security numbers.
Regarding future requests for social security numbers of an architect, landscape architect, or interior designer registered by the board, you may rely on this open records letter to withhold the requested information. The board need not seek a decision from this office as to future requests for this information.
If this ruling requires or permits the governmental body to withhold all or some of the requested information, the requestor can appeal that decision by suing the governmental body. Id. § 552.321(a); Texas Department of Public Safety v. Gilbreath, 842 S.W.2d 408,411 (Tex. App.--Austin 1992, no writ). The requestor may also file a complaint with the district or county attorney. Id. § 552.3215(e).
If the governmental body, the requestor, or any other person has questions or comments about this ruling, they may contact our office. Although there is no statutory deadline for contacting us, the attorney general prefers to receive any comments within 10 calendar days of the date of this ruling.
Patricia Michels Anderson
Ref: ID# 137194
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Donna Cartsensen
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US