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March 29, 2000

Mr. Dan H. Kennedy
Public Information Officer
Facilities, Planning & Construction Dept.
Texas A&M University System
Asbury at University Drive
UMS Box 1586
College Station, Texas 77843

OR2000-1210

Dear Mr. Kennedy:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Public Information Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 134574.

Pursuant to section 552.301(e), a governmental body is required to submit to this office within fifteen business days of receiving an open records request (1) general written comments stating the reasons why the stated exceptions apply that would allow the information to be withheld, (2) a copy of the written request for information, (3) a signed statement or sufficient evidence showing the date the governmental body received the written request, and (4) a copy of the specific information requested or representative samples, labeled to indicate which exceptions apply to which parts of the documents. You did not, however, submit to this office copies or representative samples of the specific information that was requested.

Pursuant to section 552.302 of the Government Code, a governmental body's failure to submit to this office the information required in section 552.301(e) results in the legal presumption that the information is public and must be released. Information that is presumed public must be released unless a governmental body demonstrates a compelling reason to withhold the information to overcome this presumption. See Hancock v. State Bd. of Ins., 797 S.W.2d 379, 381-82 (Tex. App.--Austin 1990, no writ) (governmental body must make compelling demonstration to overcome presumption of openness pursuant to statutory predecessor to Gov't Code 552.302); Open Records Decision No. 319 (1982). You have not shown such a compelling interest to overcome the presumption that the information at issue is public. Accordingly, you must release the requested information. We caution that the distribution of confidential information constitutes a criminal offense. Gov't Code 552.352.

This letter ruling is limited to the particular records at issue in this request and limited to the facts as presented to us; therefore, this ruling must not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records or any other circumstances.

This ruling triggers important deadlines regarding the rights and responsibilities of the governmental body and of the requestor. For example, governmental bodies are prohibited from asking the attorney general to reconsider this ruling. Gov't Code 552.301(f). If the governmental body wants to challenge this ruling, the governmental body must appeal by filing suit in Travis County within 30 calendar days. Id. 552.324(b). In order to get the full benefit of such an appeal, the governmental body must file suit within 10 calendar days. Id. 552.353(b)(3), (c). If the governmental body does not appeal this ruling and the governmental body does not comply with it, then both the requestor and the attorney general have the right to file suit against the governmental body to enforce this ruling. Id. 552.321(a).

If this ruling requires the governmental body to release all or part of the requested information, the governmental body is responsible for taking the next step. Based on the statute, the attorney general expects that, within 10 calendar days of this ruling, the governmental body will do one of the following three things: 1) release the public records; 2) notify the requestor of the exact day, time, and place that copies of the records will be provided or that the records can be inspected; or 3) notify the requestor of the governmental body's intent to challenge this letter ruling in court. If the governmental body fails to do one of these three things within 10 calendar days of this ruling, then the requestor should report that failure to the attorney general's Open Government Hotline, toll free, at 877/673-6839. The requestor may also file a complaint with the district or county attorney. Id. 552.3215(e).

If this ruling requires or permits the governmental body to withhold all or some of the requested information, the requestor can appeal that decision by suing the governmental body. Id. 552.321(a); Texas Dep't of Public Safety v. Gilbreath, 842 S.W.2d 408, 411 (Tex. App.-Austin 1992, no writ).

If the governmental body, the requestor, or any other person has questions or comments about this ruling, they may contact our office. Although there is no statutory deadline for contacting us, the attorney general prefers to receive any comments within 10 calendar days of the date of this ruling.

Sincerely,

Michael Garbarino
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

MG/cwt

Ref: ID# 134574

cc: Mr. Mario R. Gutierrez
Gutierrez, Mitchell & Colmenero, LLP
2020 Bank of America Center
515 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
(w/o enclosures)

Darren G. Woody
Krafsur Gordon Mott Davis & Woody PC
Post Office Box 1322
El Paso, Texas 79947-1322
(w/o enclosures)

Donald W. Holcomb
Knolle Livingston & Holcomb
P. O. Box 684038
Austin, Texas 78768-4038
(w/o enclosures)

Jeff E. Stucker
Thomas S. Byrne, Inc.
900 Summit Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
(w/o enclosures)

Robert C. VanCleave
Centex/Omniplan Design Build Team
10150 Monroe Drive
Dallas, Texas 75229
(w/o enclosures)

Leonard Rejcek
Manhattan Construction Company
2120 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77006
(w/o enclosures)

Freddie T. Bustillo
Gilbane
1331 Lamar, Suite 1170
Houston, Texas 77010
(w/o enclosures)

Martin W. Rogers
Williams Industries, Inc.
11000 Brittmoore Park Drive
Houston, Texas 77041
(w/o enclosures)

Jesse Garza, Jr.
Garza/Bomberger & Associates
5545 Fredericksburg Road, Suite 100
San Antonio, Texas 78229
(w/o enclosures)

Matt Daniel
Sverdrup CRSS
4848 Loop Central Dr., Suite 270
Houston, Texas 77801
(w/o enclosures)

Franklin Kohntek
BFW Construction Company, Inc.
1111 N. General Bruce Drive
Temple, Texas 76503
(w/o enclosures)

Greg Edwards
Falcon Group Construction
5225 Katy Freeway, Suite 530
Houston, Texas 77007
(w/o enclosures)

Tom M. Kader
Sedalco, Inc.
2554 East Long Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76137-4801
(w/o enclosures)

Ralph Cook
Austin Commercial, Inc.
3535 Travis Street, Suite 300
Dallas, Texas 75204-1466
(w/o enclosures)

Bill Smith
HLM Design
2711 N. Haskell, Suite 2000, LB 37
Dallas, Texas 75204
(w/o enclosures)

Bob Grumbling
CMPA, Inc.
1450 Hughes Road, Suite 100
Grapevine, Texas 76051
(w/o enclosures)

Kenneth D. W. Jessett
ICM, Inc.
P. O. Box 631124
Houston, Texas 77263
(w/o enclosures)

M. Fred Westfall
The Westfall Group, Inc.
3835 Dacoma Street
Houston, Texas 77092
(w/o enclosures)

Joseph T. Vaughn
Vaughn Construction
2909 Hillcroft, Suite 320
P. O. Box 57087
Houston, Texas 77257-0787
(w/o enclosures)

John A. Oualline
3D/International
1900 West Loop South, Suite 400
Houston, Texas 77027-3292
(w/o enclosures)

Paul Lemke
Opus South Corporation
1225 Greenville Avenue, Suite 900
Dallas, Texas 75243-9362
(w/o enclosures)

Tom Hansen
Gamma Construction Company
2808 Joanel Street
P. O. Box 22047
Houston, Texas 77227
(w/o enclosures)

Harry Sigley
Martin K. Eby Construction Co., Inc.
1500 Brown Trail
Bedford, Texas 76022
(w/o enclosures)


A. M. Simmons
Graeber Simmons & Cowan
100 Congress Avenue, Suite 100
Austin, Texas 78701
(w/o enclosures)

David Baer
Faulkner Construction Company
3901 S. Lamar Blvd., Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78704
(w/o enclosures)

Teddy Peinado
Jordan Construction
1509 Emerald Pkwy., Suite 101
College Station, Texas 77845
(w/o enclosures)

SpawGlass Construction Corp.
13603 Westland East Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77041
(w/o enclosures)


 

POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US
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