The Texas Public Information Act
Per Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, the Texas Public Information Act (the “Act”) requires governmental agencies to make documents and information available to the public by either copying or inspection, that is held by or for a governmental body if it owns or has a right of access to the information, except for information that the Act exempts or prohibits from disclosure.
Per the Act, the City has ten (10) business days to do one of the following:
- Respond to the request;
- Let the requester know when we can respond to the request;
- Request a clarification from a requester; or
- Send a request for a ruling to withhold from the Attorney General’s Office.
Holidays and weekends are not included in the ten days and we cannot expedite requests.
The City of Round Rock puts a large amount of information on our website for the public to access without having to do an open records request. The City is not obligated to release records that are readily available on our website. We also do not answer questions posed in an open records request. The Act only allows the public to request documents that exist at the time of their request. The City of Round Rock does handle Vital Statistic Records (i.e. marriage, birth, and death certificates) and you will need to contact the County Clerk or the State of Texas for those records.
Requesting Public Records from the City of Round Rock
All requests for public records must be made in writing per the Texas Public Information Act. While, the city must respond to any written requests for open records (whether by mail, e-mail, fax or online), the City of Round Rock utilizes software for the public to make requests to the City, and to manage it’s open record requests. This is the preferred method for submitting a request, and it is accessible through the City of Round Rock website. This tool allows for a fast and efficient way for the public to submit a request to the City. A requester can also check the status of their requests and view past requests that they have submitted to the City of Round Rock through this Open Records Center. The City also manages its correspondence between the City Clerk’s Office and the a requester through this system.
State law provides that a governmental entity can designate a person that is authorized to receive e-mail or faxed requests for open records. If such designation is made, the Texas Public Information Act is only activated if the request is directed to such person. Pursuant to Section 552.301(c) of the Act, the City Manager has designated the City Clerk to receive all requests made to the City of Round Rock for public information. As such, the City of Round Rock is not responsible to responding to e-mailed and faxed requests sent to any person other than the City Clerk.
City Clerk’s Office
221 E. Main Street
Round Rock, Texas 78664
Phone: (512) 218-5404
Fax: (512) 218-7097
Please be advised that confidential information is often included in documents held by the City of Round Rock. Some of this confidential information the City can automatically redact or withhold such as social security numbers, dates of birth, drivers license information, vehicle license plate numbers and registration information, e-mail addresses, certain confidential employee information, as well as utility account information.
For all other confidential information, the Act requires the City to request a ruling from the Texas Attorney General’s Office in order to withhold it. If we request such ruling, you will receive correspondence from us letting you know why we are requesting a ruling from the Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office has 45 days to respond to a request for a ruling to withhold documents or information.
Police Department Records
All requests for documents and information from the Round Rock Police Department must be made through the Open Records Center. This includes police reports, event reports or any other police department documents. Requests for these records must be made to the City Clerk’s office though the Open Records Center and not directly to the Police Department. You may obtain the public only portion of a report online at our “Police to Citizen” site without making a request (Please note that this is not a full report and does not contain confidential information). To receive the full report, an open records request must be made.
If you are only requesting an accident or crash report, you can obtain that from the Texas Department of Transportation faster than submitting an open records request.
Please note that all requests involving police records are automatically reviewed by the City Attorney’s office and take longer to process, but are all processed within the time allowed by law. We cannot expedite requests.
Residential Utility Account Records
Per Section 182.052 of the Texas Utility Code, all information pertaining to our residential utility customers is private and confidential if they have submitted a confidentiality form to us. We can only confirm or deny if a person has a utility account with us. Section 552.101 of the Act allows the City to withhold all information regarding a customer’s account without requesting a ruling from the Attorney General’s Office.
Please be advised that this includes all addresses of accounts that have had their water disconnected. The city strictly adheres to section 182.052 of the Texas Utility Code and Section 552.101 of the Texas Public Information Act. Releasing these addresses would be releasing information regarding an account holder’s usage and payment history, which is confidential under the Texas Utility Code.
The City of Round Rock charges fees for open record requests per the Texas Public Information Act. For requests totaling $40.00 or less, the request will be processed and the requester will be billed for the outstanding balance. All payments for open records need to be made in cash (exact change only), checks, or money orders; and must be sent to the City Clerk’s Office.
For all requests that total more than $40.00 in recoverable expenses, the requester will be notified and sent a cost estimate and the request will be suspended until the requester has, in writing, accepted the charges or amended their request to reduce the costs to less than $40.00.
For any requests exceeding $100.00 in recoverable expenses, the requester will not only be sent a cost estimate, but they will be informed that they must pay the full amount of the estimated charges before their request will be fulfilled.
For general questions on making public information requests or for special accommodations pursuant to the Americans With Disability Act (ADA), please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (512) 218-5404.
The City Clerk’s Office is responsible for the care, maintenance and preservation of ALL City of Round Rock records and is designated as the City’s Record Manager. The City of Round Rock has adopted the Texas State Library retention schedules and destruction policies. Please keep in mind that some records the public may request copies of may no longer be available because they have already reached their retention and been destroyed per The Texas State Library guidelines.