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Public Records: Records Requests

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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

  • Allows people to request records from Texas 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.