Status: Signed by governor
Author: Sen. Kirk Watson
Sponsor: Rep. Giovanni Capriglione
Summary: Requires employees who maintain public information on a private device to back up or archive the information in its original form.

Requires current or former officer or employee who maintains public information on a privately held device to forward the information to the body to be preserved or preserve the public information in its original form in a backup or archive on the private device in accordance with local policies and record retention policies established by Texas State Library and Archives Commission and Title 6, Local Government Code. Defines “temporary custodian” as an officer or employee who maintains public information that has been created or received by the officer or employee that has not been provided to the officer for public information of the governmental body.

Requires public information officer to make reasonable efforts to obtain information from a temporary custodian upon a public information act request where the officer has a reasonable belief that a temporary custodian has the requested information. Requires a temporary custodian to provide public information within 10 days of a request for the information by the public information officer. Failure to do so is grounds for disciplinary action. For purposes of the timelines under Subchapter G, the governmental body is considered to have received the request for information on the date the information is surrendered by the temporary custodian.

Provides that information obtained by a governmental body that was provided by an out-of-state health provider in connection with a quality management, peer review, or best practices program that the out-of-state health care provider pays for is confidential.

Provides that a person may make a written request for public information only if the request meets the following criteria: it is sent to the public information officer or designee; and it is sent by U.S. mail, electronic mail, hand delivery, or any other method deemed appropriate by the governmental body. Provides that a governmental body may designate one mailing address and one email address for receiving written requests, and that the body shall provide this contact info on request. Specifies that a governmental body is not required to respond to written requests for public information if these requests are not received at an address or email address specified on the body’s website, or delivered by hand or other method deemed acceptable by the body.

Directs the attorney general to produce a model form for requesting public information that provides a requestor the option of excluding from a request information that the body determines is confidential or subject to an exception to disclosure the governmental body would assert. A governmental body that chooses to use the form shall post the form on its website if in maintains one.