Public Information Requests

Open Records

The Texas Public Information Act provides the public a right of access to information collected, assembled, maintained, owned or controlled by a governmental body unless otherwise expressly provided by law.  The act is found in Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code.  Public information is defined as information “collected, assembled, or maintained in connection with the transaction of official business.”
 
Houston Community College is a governmental body subject to the act.  Therefore, any member of the public may make a written request for access to or copies of public information.  Public information must be disclosed “promptly.”  How promptly is a matter of how easily accessible the information is, whether the records contain confidential information that must be redacted prior to disclosure, and whether an Attorney General ruling must be sought with regard to information that is subject to an exception.  Most records are provided within 10 days, but some requests are so complex and voluminous that it may be several weeks before access is granted or denied.
 
When a request for information is received, it should be forwarded to the Office of General Counsel for immediate action.  With limited exceptions, in order to withhold information, the General Counsel's Office must request an opinion from the Attorney General within ten business days from receipt of a request.  Faculty members may release information from a student’s educational record directly to the student without sending the request to the General Counsel's Office.

The College was closed for business Monday, March 16, 2020 through and including Friday, March 20, 2020 for the Spring Break holiday.

To protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff with regard to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Houston Community College facilities are closed beginning March 20, 2020 until further notice.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Texas Governor’s recent disaster declaration, HCC is following the Texas Attorney General’s guidelines regarding the Texas Public Information Act (the “Act”).  The Attorney General has clarified that if a governmental body has closed its physical offices for purposes of a public health or epidemic response or if a governmental body is unable to access its records on a calendar day, then such day is not a business day for purposes of the Act, even if staff continues to work remotely or staff is present but involved directly in the public health or epidemic response.  As such, HCC will process open records requests upon HCC’s return to normal operations/business days, in accordance with the Act and the Attorney General’s guidelines.

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Public Information

Public Information Request

Public Information Request is submitted to request public access to certain information as described under Section 552.002 of the Texas Government Code.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I submit a public information request?

Public information requests must be submitted in writing. Requests can be submitted via electronic mail to recordsrequest@hccs.edu. A Public Information Request Form‌ is available online to assist requestors with making public information requests. 

 

To Whom & Where do I submit my public information request?

Public information requests may be sent by any one of the following methods:

  • Hand delivery;
  • U.S. mail to HCC Office of General Counsel Records Request, 3100 Main St., 12th Floor, Houston, TX 77002; or 
  • Email at recordsrequest@hccs.edu.

Requests must be sent in writing by the above means in order to be considered a valid request for information under the Texas Public Information Act.

 

What is the cost to obtain copies of records?

The cost to obtain records depends on a variety of factors including but not limited to the following:

  • The format (i.e. paper, CD, DVD, etc.) the requestor wishes to receive the requested document
  • Whether the record is in archive
  • Whether computer programming is required to retrieve the requested data

For more information regarding the cost to obtain records, please see the Houston Community College Public Information Request Charge Fee Schedule below posted online.

Description Cost/Item
Standard-size paper copies (8 1/2 "X 11" or 8 1/2 "x 14") $0.10/page
Oversized paper coy (11" x 17") $0.50/page
Other  
Non-standard-size copies  
Diskette $1.00/each
Magnetic Tape  
  • 4mm
$13.50/each
  • 8mm
$12.00/each
  • 9-track
$11.00/each
Data Cartridge  
  • 2000 Series
$17.50/each
  • 3000 Series
$20.00/each
  • 6000 Series
$25.00/each
  • 9000 Series
$35.00/each
  • 600 A
$20.00/each
Tape Cartridge  
  • 250 MB
$38.00/each
  • 525 MB
$45.00/each
VHS Video Cassette $2.50/each
Audio Cassette $1.00/each
Mylar  
  • 3 mil
$0.85/linear foot
  • 4 mil
$1.10/linear foot
  • 5 mil
$1.35/linear foot
Blueline/Blueprint Paper $0.20/linear foot
Personnel Charges  
     1.  Programming Personnel Charges $26.00/hour
     2.  Other Personnel Charges* $15.00/hour
     3.  Overhead Charges (20% of Personnel Charges) (Programming/Other Charge X .20)
Microfiche or Microfilm Charge  
     1.  Paper copy $0.10/page
     2.  Fiche or film copy Actual Cost
Remote Document Retrieval Actual Cost
Computer Resource Charges  
  • Mainframe
$10.00/minute
  • Midsize
$1.50/minute
  • Client/Server
$2.20/hour
  • PC or LAN
$1.00/hour
Miscellaneous Supplies Actual Cost
Postage/Shipping Charges Actual Cost
Photographs Actual Cost
Fax Charges Actual Cost
Other Charges Actual Cost
Outsources/Contracted Services Actual Cost

Other Personnel Charge only applies if the number of respon sive documents copied is greater than fifty (50) pages. Personnel Charge may include actual time to locate, compile, reproduce, and/or redact information.

* See 1 Texas Administrative Code §70.10.

 

 

What do I do if I receive a public information request?

If your department has received a public information request, please follow these steps:

  1. Date stamp the request upon receipt.
  2. Upon receipt, forward the request to the Office of General Counsel Records Request by email at recordsrequest@hccs.edu.  Please do not send public information request through interoffice mail.  Also note whether your department has documents that are responsive to the request.   
  3. Provide copies (not originals) of the responsive documents to recordsrequest@hccs.edu by the established deadline.  Please note that requests to review or receive copies of documents must be processed by the Office of General Counsel Records Request area.  
  4. If the requested documents are inactive use or are in storage, please provide a date and time when the documents will be available for review.