Open Records FAQ
This article provides answers to regularly asked questions about UTSA’s responsibilities when providing information for an open records request. Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code provides statutory law for public information provisions.
1. Can we ask the requestor why they want information?
- No, we cannot ask why as government records are presumed public. 552.222.
2. Can we deny a request?
- We can’t deny a request, but we can ask for clarification if the request is unclear. 552.222(b). We can also review for legal exceptions to withhold certain information. Most exceptions are determined by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
3. Are records produced by faculty subject to open records?
- UTSA is a governmental body, therefore, any record produced by either faculty or staff within the scope of their employment is considered a public record. 552.002(a)(3).
4. What if I think a record is responsive but was received from outside UTSA?
- If the record is in UTSA’s possession, it is a UTSA record. 552.002(a)(2)(A) and 552.002(a)(3)(a-1).
5. Do I have to provide all records or just the main records?
- Please identify and provide all potentially responsive records. 552.002. Open Records will review and consult with the University of Texas System’s Office of General Counsel (General Counsel) as needed for input and guidance.
6. What if only part of the record has the information requested?
- UTSA must produce the entire record. Information UTSA wishes to withhold will be sent to the OAG for their review and determination(s).
7. Should I redact any information before sending it to open records?
- With the exception of a Social Security number (please leave the last four digits for identification purposes), no, but please flag the information and let us know your questions or concerns, including those regarding privacy and confidentiality.
8. Some of my work records are on my cell phone and personal computer/device. I don’t have to produce those, do I?
- Any record that relates to UTSA business, even those sent or received on a personal device, is considered a public record. 552.004(b)(b)(1)(2).
9. How soon does Open Records need the information?
- Faculty and staff are asked to provide records within five business days. This allows an additional five days for Open Records and General Counsel to review and send records to the requestor or ask the OAG for information to be withheld. This is a total of ten business days from the receipt of the request. If UTSA does not meet the ten-business day deadline to the OAG in the absence of a valid excuse, the requested information may be presumed subject to disclosure and released. 552.302.
10. What if our department has legal questions or concerns?
- Open Records is an office within the Office of Legal Affairs (Legal Affairs). Legal Affairs is available to assist faculty and staff in University legal matters. How can we help?
Contact us! Open Records at 210-458-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.