Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Public Records: Open Records Requests

More on Journalism

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

  • Federal law that allows people to request any existing record from Executive Branch departments, agencies, and offices; federal regulatory agencies; and federal corporations
  • Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch are not subject to FOIA
  • Some records may be already published online in the Federal Register

Texas Public Information Act

  • Texas state law that is comparable to the federal FOIA
  • Allows people to request records from state agencies and governmental bodies by writing a letter
  • A record is any information assembled or maintained by any Texas public entities at the state or local level
  • Confidential information is not covered by this act
  • Some records may already be published online

Tips for Requests

  • Be specific in stating what you want. Example: employee records related to person X between the dates of ...
  • Request a waiver of fees. There may be fees for copying associated with 
  • Legally, the recipient has to at least respond to your request within 10 days, even if they send the requested records at a later time.