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October 11, 2000

Mr. G. Chadwick Weaver
First Assistant City Attorney
Office of the City Attorney
City of Midland
P.O. Box 1152
Midland, Texas 79702-1152

OR2000-3913

Dear Mr. Weaver:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 141031.

The City of Midland (the "city") received a request for a copy of a specified individual's employee application. On August 31, 2000, the requestor clarified the request and stated that he only needed copies that showed the employee's name, listed address, name of spouse, if listed, and his signature. The requestor states that he does not need a copy of the employee's driver's license number or social security number.(1) You claim that portions of the submitted information are excepted from disclosure under section 552.117 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the submitted information.

Section 552.117(1) excepts from disclosure information that relates to the home addresses, home telephone numbers, social security numbers, and family members of employees of a governmental body who request that this information remain confidential under section 552.024. You have submitted to this office information that demonstrates that, prior to the date on which the city received the request for information, the employee elected to keep his home address and home telephone number confidential under section 552.024.(2) Thus, the city must withhold the employee's home address and telephone number under section 552.117 of the Government Code.

This letter ruling is limited to the particular records at issue in this request and limited to the facts as presented to us; therefore, this ruling must not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records or any other circumstances.

This ruling triggers important deadlines regarding the rights and responsibilities of the governmental body and of the requestor. For example, governmental bodies are prohibited from asking the attorney general to reconsider this ruling. Gov't Code 552.301(f). If the governmental body wants to challenge this ruling, the governmental body must appeal by filing suit in Travis County within 30 calendar days. Id. 552.324(b). In order to get the full benefit of such an appeal, the governmental body must file suit within 10 calendar days. Id. 552.353(b)(3), (c). If the governmental body does not appeal this ruling and the governmental body does not comply with it, then both the requestor and the attorney general have the right to file suit against the governmental body to enforce this ruling. Id. 552.321(a).

If this ruling requires the governmental body to release all or part of the requested information, the governmental body is responsible for taking the next step. Based on the statute, the attorney general expects that, within 10 calendar days of this ruling, the governmental body will do one of the following three things: 1) release the public records; 2) notify the requestor of the exact day, time, and place that copies of the records will be provided or that the records can be inspected; or 3) notify the requestor of the governmental body's intent to challenge this letter ruling in court. If the governmental body fails to do one of these three things within 10 calendar days of this ruling, then the requestor should report that failure to the attorney general's Open Government Hotline, toll free, at 877/673-6839. The requestor may also file a complaint with the district or county attorney. Id. 552.3215(e).

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).

Please remember that under the Act the release of information triggers certain procedures for costs and charges to the requestor. If records are released in compliance with this ruling, be sure that all charges for the information are at or below the legal amounts. Questions or complaints about over-charging must be directed to the General Services Commission at 512/475-2497.

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.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Bialek
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

JHB\er

Ref: ID# 141031

Encl: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Ward Kimmel
Investigator
Office of Inspector General
Texas Department of Human Services
901 W. Wall
Midland, Texas 79701
(w/o enclosures)


 

Footnotes

1. We note that driver's license numbers are excepted under section 552.130 of the Government Code.

2. We note that the "release of information" form does not contain an election to withhold social security numbers or family member information. Because no election was made to protect social security numbers or family member information, section 552.117 does not except the employee's social security number or family member information. However, the requestor has specifically stated that he does not request the employee's social security number and the employee application does not reveal any family member information and, therefore, you need not release this information in this instance.
 

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