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November 20, 2000

Ms. Doreen L. Wheeler
Assistant General Counsel
Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner
2601 North Lamar Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78705

OR2000-4457

Dear Ms. Wheeler:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 141495.

The Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (the "OCCC") received a request for information relating to RFO number 449-0-1a "Optical Imaging and Workflow System." You assert no specific argument excepting the requested information from required public disclosure, but state instead that the OCCC believes that "some of the information which is responsive to [the request] may be either proprietary or subject to a property interest." Additionally, you state that you have complied with the requirements of section 552.305(d) of the Government Code by giving notice of this request to the companies whose interests may be affected, so that they would have an opportunity to submit a brief to this office in support of withholding their proprietary information from release. To date, this office has not received such a brief from either of the companies. Therefore, we have no basis upon which to conclude that the submitted information is excepted from required public disclosure under the Public Information Act. Consequently, you must release the submitted information to the requestor.(1)

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,

Patricia Michels Anderson
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

PMA/seg

Ref: ID#141495

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Christine De Costa
LASON Systems, Incorporated
1211 Arion Parkway
Suite 100
San Antonio, Texas 78216
(w/o enclosures)

Mr. Kelly Kohlleffel
BCS Systems, Inc.
1717 St. James Place, Suite 400
Houston, Texas 77056
(w/o enclosures)

Mr. Joe Haynes
ACS Image Solutions
7801 North Lamar, Building E, #194
Austin, Texas 78752
(w/o enclosures)


 

Footnotes

1. We appreciate your identification to this office of the prior ruling requiring the release of the proposals of ACS and LASON, Open Records Letter No. 2000-3208 (2000). However, we note that, to the extent that the instant request for information seeks the identical information this office has previously determined must be released, if there has been no change in circumstances, the Public Information Act requires you to release the information promptly, without requesting another decision from this office. Gov't Code 552.301(f), Open Records Decision No. 664 (2000).
 

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