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November 22, 2000

Ms. Mary D. Marquez
Assistant to Chief Counsel
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
2910 East Fifth Street
Austin, Texas 78702

OR2000-4502

Dear Ms. Marquez:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 141595.

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (the "authority") received two requests for information related to its RFO No. 2250, Fare Collection System/Implementation. You indicate that responsive "original price proposal forms, the Best and Final Offer (BAFO) price proposal forms and DBE information" has been released. You indicate that you have provided notices of the request for information to GFI Genfare ("GFI") and Agent Systems ("Agent"), companies whose interests may be implicated by release of the responsive information. See Gov't Code 552.305 (permitting interested third party to submit to attorney general reasons why requested information should not be released); Open Records Decision No. 542 (1990) (determining that statutory predecessor to Gov't Code 552.305 permits governmental body to rely on interested third party to raise and explain applicability of exception in Open Records Act in certain circumstances).

You have provided correspondence from GFI, and Agent provided comment to this office. Each company identifies a portion of the responsive information that it considers confidential. However, neither the authority nor either of the affected third parties has provided more than conclusory assertions as to the proprietary nature of the responsive information. Therefore, we have no basis to conclude that the submitted information is confidential or proprietary or that it is excepted from disclosure. See Open Records Decision Nos. 639 at 4 (1996) (to prevent disclosure of commercial or financial information, party must show by specific factual or evidentiary material, not conclusory or generalized allegations, that it actually faces competition and that substantial competitive injury would likely result from disclosure), 552 at 5 (1990) (party must establish prima facie case that information is trade secret), 542 at 3 (1990). The submitted information must therefore be released to each respective requestor.

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,

Michael Jay Burns
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

MJB/er

Ref: ID# 141595

Encl: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Brian Waters
Agent Systems, Inc.
2015 Midway Road, Suite 111
Dallas, Texas 75006-4918
(w/o enclosures)

Ms. Kim R. Green
Vice President
Sales & Marketing
GFI Genfare
751 Pratt Blvd.
Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007
(w/o enclosures)


 

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