Category - FOI

Balancing the right to know with the right to privacy

Public records are the foundation for reporting a range of stories important to your readers. Police reports reveal a string of continuing break-ins in a neighborhood. Minutes from a school board committee reveal discussions and eventual recommendation to close an elementary school. Letters sent from a state agency to landowners identify potential locations for off-site

Can officials routinely wait 10 days to respond to my records requests?

Question: City officials routinely wait 10 days on all my open records requests, even when those records are easily accessible. Is that a violation of the Texas open records laws? Answer: The Texas Public Information Act (552.221) does indeed give officials 10 days to produce a document “if it is in active use or in

Into the issues: Resources for community newspapers

Underlying most of the issues we cover as journalists is the principle of open government, which is under attack on many fronts. Local governments want state legislatures to weaken public-notice laws; public officials evade open-meetings laws with private conversations; and legislators all over the country are trying to weaken open-records laws. For example, two bills