Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, gives you the right to access government records; and an officer for public information and the officer's agent may not ask why you want them. All government information is presumed to be available to the public. Certain exceptions may apply to the disclosure of the information. Governmental bodies shall promptly release requested information that is not confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision, or information for which an exception to disclosure has not been sought. For more information about the Texas Public Information Act or rights of requestors, you may wish to refer to the Attorney General's Public Information Handbook.
Update February 1, 2021
On March 13, 2020, the Governor of the State of Texas declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19. Subsequent to that, ACC facilities have been closed to the public with only essential employees reporting to work. A majority of the students attend classes virtually. Since March 2020, County, and state officials have imposed various updated Orders and additional guidance regarding mitigation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 continues to be an epidemic and previously issued local and state disaster declarations remain in place.
To keep College staff and community members safe during this time, beginning on March 23, 2020 the College temporarily closed its physical offices to the public as part of its response to COVID-19 and efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. Therefore, only employees involved with the College’s response to COVID-19 and those employees who work with essential functions were permitted to remain onsite. Other employees have been working remotely and students attending virtually.
To determine the date by which the College must request an Attorney General ruling or respond to a Public Information Act (“PIA”) request, the College only counts business days. The days that the College’s offices have been closed to the public during this time do not constitute business days for purposes of the PIA, because staff members who may be needed to search for and process responsive documents have been occupied with the COVID-19 response or have not been working onsite. Additionally, this hampers the College's ability to access all of its records as non-essential facilities have been closed.
However, as it appears to be an extended time period in which COVID-19 will continue to have an impact on resuming the College’s normal operations, and even though the College’s physical offices continue to remain closed to the public as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the College believes it is in a position to begin processing Public Information Act requests to the best of its ability assuming conditions remain the same.
Therefore, the College will begin processing requests, February 25, 2021. Individual requestors will receive notification that their request is being processed pursuant to the Public Information Act. If the College is not able to reasonably access records requested, the College’s Public Information Act Coordinator will notify the requestor of any anticipated delay and make every effort to respond to the request in accordance with the PIA. Reasons that the College may not be able to reasonably access records may include employees working remotely and not being able to access records in an office, relevant employees being sent or having to remain at home for COVID-19 related reasons, records located off site, or any future local or state orders requiring the cessation or redirection of College operations in response to COVID-19.
Should conditions occur that will impact the College’s ability to reasonably access records, an update will be provided on this webpage in addition to communication with the individual requestor.
Rights of Requestors You have the right to:
Responsibilities of Governmental Bodies All governmental bodies responding to information requests have the responsibility to:
Austin Community College is considered a "governmental body" and is subject to the Texas Public Information Act. The Act provides the public the right to access the College's open records.
The Open Records Section of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) discharges the mandates set out in Government Code, Chapter 552, Subchapter A, Section 552.009; Subchapter D, Section 552.205; and Subchapter F, Sections 552.261 through 552.274. In general, if the number of copies in your request is less than 50 pages, the charge will be $0.10 per page; if the number of copies is more than 50 pages, the charge will be $0.10 per page plus personnel costs necessary to compile the documents, in addition to the postage.
In some instances requesting access to information may also result in a charge.
If the charge for fulfilling your requests exceeds $40.00, we will provide you with an itemized written estimate of the charges and indicate if a less costly alternative is available. You must respond in writing within 10 days after the estimate is sent that you will accept the costs, or that you desire any stated alternative, or your request will be considered withdrawn.
If the estimated charge is more than $100.00, the College may ask for a prepaid deposit before providing the information.
You may ask the College to determine whether providing the information primarily benefits the general public, resulting in a waiver or reduction of charges.
All requests must be written and should be emailed or mailed to:
College Relations & Marketing
Austin Community College
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd.
Austin, Texas 78752
Including the following information in your written request will help ensure you receive the information you want:
Some of the information maintained by Austin Community College may not be considered public, such as the following:
Upon hire, employees have the opportunity to designate some information as confidential and it will not be released to the public including an employee’s home
address home telephone number, emergency contact information, or social security number, or information that reveals whether the person has family members.
If you want to review or get copies of the non-public information listed above, it will be necessary for the College to request an Attorney General's opinion about this information. The Attorney General's office has about 12 weeks to make a decision on whether the information is public or not public.