Coronavirus and its impact on Public Information
The Office of the Texas Attorney General has issued the following guidance concerning the calculation of business days under the Public Information Act during the response to COVID-19. While Little Elm ISD was closed on May 4 as mandated by Governor Greg Abbott, the District exercised its right to suspend requests due to limited access to records responsive to requests.
While the state continues to monitor the pandemic, at any given time - the District could possibly close. In the event the District is closed, all open records requests will be halted and suspended as long as the access to our physical offices prohibits access to records.
Little Elm ISD public information officer will keep a record of all requests and tend to those as soon as records can be accessed.
Citizens requesting to review or obtain public information should do so by one of three written ways:
- mail to Cecelia Jones, Director for Communications, Box 6000, Little Elm, Texas 75068,
- email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- submit note in person at the Zellars Center for Learning and Leadership, 300 Lobo Lane, Little Elm, Texas.
The written request should include enough description and detail about the desired information to enable the district to accurately identify and locate the information requested. Clarification may be necessary.The officer for public information must “promptly” produce public information in response to an open records request. “Promptly” means that a governmental body may take a reasonable amount of time to produce the information, but may not delay. What constitutes a reasonable amount of time depends on the facts in each case. The volume of information requested is highly relevant to what constitutes a reasonable period of time.Generally, a request for information need not name the Act or be addressed to the officer for public information. An overly technical reading of the Act does not effectuate the purpose of the Act; a written communication that reasonably can be judged to be a request for public information is a request for information under the Public Information Act. However, a request made by electronic mail or facsimile transmission must be sent to the officer for public information or the officer’s designee.A governmental body may ask a requester to clarify a request for information if the request is unclear.Section 552.222(b) provides that if a large amount of information has been requested, the governmental body may discuss with the requestor how the scope of the request might be narrowed, but the governmental body may not inquire into the purpose for which information will be used.Section 552.222 also provides that a request for information is considered withdrawn if the requestor does not respond in writing to a governmental body’s written request for clarification or additional information within 61 days.Little Elm ISD works to meet information request in compliance with state and federal laws. To the extent possible, requests are handled in the order they are received. By law, Little Elm ISD has 10 business days to determine whether or not to see the Texas Attorney General's opinion and ruling regarding information that may be excepted from public disclosure.