THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Legal Counsel Divisions

The legal counsel divisions perform a wide array of tasks for the agency. These include providing legal advice to other areas of the agency, responding to public information requests, responding to public information requests, issuing legal opinions, issuing written decisions related to access to public information, and reviewing public bonds.

General Counsel Division

The General Counsel Division provides legal research and advice to the Attorney General, his staff, and other divisions of the office regarding a wide variety of constitutional and statutory issues. The Division assists in the drafting and review of agency administrative rules, procedures, and policies. The Division also drafts, reviews, and negotiates contracts and agreements on behalf of the agency and coordinates the approval process for outside counsel contracts and legal invoices for all state agencies. The General Counsel Division provides required legal sufficiency reviews of Comprehensive Development Agreements required by the Transportation Code.

Open Records Division

The Open Records Division issues written decisions related to access to public information under Chapter 552 of the Government Code. The division also provides legal advice and research to the Legislative and Executive branches of state government and coordinates and participates in regional and statewide conferences on access to public information. The division operates a hotline to provide general information and to facilitate the resolution of disputes between governmental bodies and private citizens as issues arise regarding open meetings and open records laws.

Opinion Committee

The Opinion Committee researches and drafts legal opinions in response to questions of law posed by persons authorized by statute to request formal Attorney General opinions. Officials authorized to seek Attorney General opinions are:

  • the governor
  • the head of a department of state government
  • the head or board of a penal institution
  • the head or board of an eleemosynary institution
  • the head of a state board
  • a regent or trustee of a state educational institution
  • a committee of a house of the Texas Legislature
  • a county auditor authorized by law
  • the chairman of the governing board of a river authority
  • a district or county attorney

More information about opinions:

Public Finance Division

The Public Finance Division reviews and approves all bonds and similar obligations issued by state agencies, cities, counties, school districts, municipal utility districts, hospital districts, institutions of higher education and all other governmental entities or instrumentalities of the State, plus certain nonprofit corporations created to act on behalf of political subdivisions.

Public Information Coordinator (PIC)

The Public Information Coordinator’s Office (PIC) is responsible for handling and tracking all public information requests, or open records requests, received by the OAG, coordinating the OAG’s response to each request, providing advice to OAG staff on public information issues, and seeking rulings from the Open Records Division when appropriate. Additionally, PIC frequently receives calls from other governmental bodies seeking advice on how to handle public information requests and provides internal Public Information Act training.