Open Records

The Texas Public Information Act provides the public a right of access to information collected, assembled, maintained, owned or controlled by a governmental body unless otherwise expressly provided by law.  The act is found in Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code.  Public information is defined as information “collected, assembled, or maintained in connection with the transaction of official business.”
 
Laredo College is a governmental body subject to the act.  Therefore, any member of the public may make a written request for access to or copies of public information.  Public information must be disclosed “promptly.”  How promptly is a matter of how easily accessible the information is, whether the records contain confidential information that must be redacted prior to disclosure, and whether an Attorney General ruling must be sought with regard to information that is subject to an exception.  Most records are provided within 10 days, but some requests are so complex and voluminous that it may be several weeks before access is granted or denied.
 
When a request for information is received, it should be forwarded to the Office of the Vice President for Compliance and Risk Management for immediate action.  With limited exceptions, in order to withhold information, Laredo College must request an opinion from the Attorney General within ten business days from receipt of a request.  

How do I submit an open records request?

Public Information Request is submitted to request public access to certain information as described under Section 552.002 of the Texas Government Code. 

Open Records requests must be submitted in writing. Requests can be submitted via electronic mail to openrecords@laredo.edu. An Open Records Request Form‌ is available online to assist requestors with making public information requests.

To Whom & Where do I submit my open records request?

Open records requests may be sent by any one of the following methods:

  • Hand delivery;
  • Filling PDF included here and emailing it to openrecords@laredo.edu 
  • U.S. mail to Office of the Vice President for Compliance and Risk Management, Elpha Lee West Building Room 129 1 West End Washington Street, Laredo, TX 78040; or 
  • Submitting an online form here.

Requests must be sent in writing by the above means in order to be considered a valid request for information under the Texas Public Information Act.

What is the cost to obtain copies of records?

The charges in this section to recover costs associated with providing copies of public information are based on estimated average costs to governmental bodies in accordance with Texas Administrative Code Rule §70.3 .The cost to obtain records depends on a variety of factors including but not limited to the following:

  • The format (i.e. paper, CD, DVD, etc.) the requestor wishes to receive the requested document
  • Whether the record is in archive
  • Whether computer programming is required to retrieve the requested data

For more information regarding the cost to obtain records, please see the Laredo College Public Information Request Charge Fee Schedule below

Description Cost/Item
Standard-size paper copies (8 1/2 "X 11" or 8 1/2 "x 14") $0.10/page
Oversized paper coy (11" x 17") $0.50/page
Other  
Non-standard-size copies  
Diskette $1.00/each
Magnetic Tape  
  • 4mm
$13.50/each
  • 8mm
$12.00/each
  • 9-track
$11.00/each
Data Cartridge  
  • 2000 Series
$17.50/each
  • 3000 Series
$20.00/each
  • 6000 Series
$25.00/each
  • 9000 Series
$35.00/each
  • 600 A
$20.00/each
Tape Cartridge  
  • 250 MB
$38.00/each
  • 525 MB
$45.00/each
VHS Video Cassette $2.50/each
Audio Cassette $1.00/each
Mylar  
  • 3 mil
$0.85/linear foot
  • 4 mil
$1.10/linear foot
  • 5 mil
$1.35/linear foot
Blueline/Blueprint Paper $0.20/linear foot
Personnel Charges  
     1.  Programming Personnel Charges $26.00/hour
     2.  Other Personnel Charges* $15.00/hour
     3.  Overhead Charges (20% of Personnel Charges) (Programming/Other Charge X .20)
Microfiche or Microfilm Charge  
     1.  Paper copy $0.10/page
     2.  Fiche or film copy Actual Cost
Remote Document Retrieval Actual Cost
Computer Resource Charges  
  • Mainframe
$10.00/minute
  • Midsize
$1.50/minute
  • Client/Server
$2.20/hour
  • PC or LAN
$1.00/hour
Miscellaneous Supplies Actual Cost
Postage/Shipping Charges Actual Cost
Photographs Actual Cost
Fax Charges Actual Cost
Other Charges Actual Cost
Outsources/Contracted Services Actual Cost

Other Personnel Charge only applies if the number of responsive documents copied is greater than fifty (50) pages. Personnel Charge may include actual time to locate, compile, reproduce, and/or redact information.

 

Non-Business Days

House Bill 3033 (HB 3033), effective September 1, 2023, adds new Texas Government Code section 552.0031, which defines business day for purposes of the Texas Public Information Act (PIA). This article answers frequently asked questions about HB 3033 and calculating timelines when handling requests for public information.
 

Holiday

Date

Day of Week

Labor Day

September 4, 2023

Monday

Thanksgiving Day

November 23, 2023

Thursday

The Friday after Thanksgiving

November 24, 2023

Friday

Designated Non-Business Days

December 21-22, 2023

 

Christmas Day

December 25, 2023

Monday

The 26th Day of December

December 26, 2023

Tuesday

Designated Non-Business Days

December 27-29, 2023

 

New Year’s Day

January 1, 2024

Monday

Designated Non-Business Days

January 2-5, 2024

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 15, 2024

Monday

Confederate Heroes Day

January 19, 2024

Friday

Presidents Day

February 19, 2024

Monday

Good Friday

March 29, 2024

Friday

Memorial Day

May 27, 2024

Monday

Emancipation Day

June 19, 2024

Wednesday

Independence Day

July 4, 2024

Thursday

Designated Non-Business Day

July 5, 2024

Friday

Lyndon Baines Johnson Day

August 27, 2024

Tuesday

 

Student Directory Information

Laredo College designates the following items as Student Directory Information:
  • Student’s name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Field of study
  • Enrollment status (full-time, part-time, undergraduate, graduate, etc)
  • Degrees, certificates, and other awards received
  • Type of award received (academic, technical, or continuing education)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Student classification
  • Name of institution previously attended

Laredo College may disclose any of these items as listed in the Student Directory Information without student consent. However, if a student does not wish for his/her student directory information to be released, the student must inform Laredo College, in writing, to withhold such information. Such non-consent may be declared in the Office of the Registrar and Admissions by completing the "Request to Withhold Student Directory Information" form. The institution will honor the request to withhold student directory information from the semester that this request is made until indicated otherwise. This does not inhibit Laredo College from other legal releases of student data, which may include personal data.

Rights of Requestors

All people who request public information have the right to:

  • Receive treatment equal to all other requestors
  • Receive a statement of estimated charges in advance
  • Choose whether to inspect the requested information, receive a copy of the information, or both
  • Be notified when the governmental body asks the OAG for a ruling on whether the information may or must be withheld
  • Be copied on the governmental body’s written comments to the OAG stating the reason why the stated exceptions apply
  • Lodge a complaint with the OAG regarding any improper charges for responding to a public information request
  • Lodge a complaint with the OAG or the county attorney or criminal district attorney, as appropriate, regarding any alleged violation of the Act
For more information see: The Texas Public Information Handbook

Rights of Governmental Bodies

All governmental bodies responding to information requests have the right to:

• Establish reasonable procedures for inspecting or copying information
• Request and receive clarification of vague or overly broad requests
• Request an OAG ruling regarding whether any information may or must be withheld
• Receive timely payment for all copy charges or other charges
• Obtain payment of overdue balances exceeding $100 or obtain a security deposit before processing additional requests from the same requestor
• Request a bond, prepayment or deposit if estimated costs exceed $100 (or, if the governmental body has fewer than 16 employees, $50)

What do I do if I receive an open records request?

If your department has received an open records request, please follow these step

  • Date stamp the request upon receipt.
  • Upon receipt, forward the request to the VP of Compliance and Risk Management by email at openrecords@laredo.edu. Please do not send open records request through interoffice mail. Also note whether your department has documents that are responsive to the request.  
  • Provide copies (not originals) of the responsive documents to openrecords@laredo.edu by the established deadline. Please note that requests to review or receive copies of documents must be processed by the Office of the VP of Compliance and Risk Management.
  • If the requested documents are inactive use or are in storage, please provide a date and time when the documents will be available for review.