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Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
Public Information Presentation
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Public Information Presentation

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Transcript

  • 1. Public Information What’s Public What’s Not! Brad Domitrovich
  • 2. Public Information Act Government is the servant, not the master. People are entitled to complete information, with limited exceptions. Government does not get to decide what is good for the people to know.
  • 3. General Rules Information is public unless it fits one of the exceptions in the statute. Applies to information “collected, assembled or maintained” in connection with official business.
  • 4. General Rules (continued) Includes a book, paper, letter, document, printout, photo, film, tape, microfiche, microfilm, photostat, sound recording, map, drawing, voice, data or video representation in computer memory.
  • 5. This is public information ...
  • 6. This is public information ...
  • 7. Student Records This chapter does not require the release of information contained in education records of an educational agency or institution except in conformity with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. (FERPA)
  • 8. Common Exceptions: I Information that is “confidential by law.” Information in a personnel file if the disclosure would be a “clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Your college transcript, except for degree obtained and curriculum studied.
  • 9. Common Exceptions: II  Information pertaining to pending litigation.  Information that would give a bidder an advantage.  Location or appraisal of property under consideration.  Home address, phone number of public employees who exercise “opt out” option.  SSN.
  • 10. Teacher Evaluations? A document evaluating the performance of a teacher or administrator is confidential. (Texas Education Code 21.355) This applies to any document “evaluating performance”—not just to the formal evaluation instrument.
  • 11. Who Decides?  The Attorney General’s office must decide if a particular document meets one of the exceptions.  After receipt of a written request, the school must ask the AG for an opinion within 10 business days.  Failure to ask for an AG opinion in a timely fashion will mean that the information is deemed public, subject to very limited exceptions.
  • 12. Basics of the PIA Request Our duties under the PIA are triggered only by a written request. “Written” can be on paper or electronic. It does not have to include any magic words. Use common sense.
  • 13. We don’t have to … Create information that does not exist. Answer questions. Copy or permit copying of commercially available or copyrighted publications. Compile or extract information when access to the records by the requester will suffice.
  • 14. We Do Have To…  Treat all requests uniformly.  Give the requester “reasonable comfort and facility for the full exercise of rights.”  Make a good faith effort to find information that is responsive to the request.
  • 15. Process Date stamp the request. Notify your public information officer.
  • 16. In Conclusion The PIA requires us to balance the public’s right to know vs. legitimate privacy and confidentiality concerns.
  • 17. Questions? Brad Domitrovich

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