The main responsibilities of the Office of the Attorney General are defending the State of Texas and its duly elected laws by providing legal representation to the State, serving the children of Texas through the enforcement of the state’s child support laws, securing justice for Texans, protecting Texans from waste, fraud, and abuse, and safeguarding the freedoms of Texans as guaranteed by the United States and Texas constitutions.
Provide Legal Services
The Attorney General of Texas is the state's chief legal officer. To fulfill the agency’s constitutional and statutory responsibilities, the OAG provides legal representation, counsel, and assistance to fulfill the needs of the State of Texas and its authorized entities and employees, including state officers, state agencies, and institutions of higher education. The OAG responds to the litigation needs of the State of Texas by defending and enforcing Texas law using appropriate pre-trial, trial, and appellate actions. The OAG also provides appropriate legal advice and answers to legal questions posed by state agencies and authorized office holders including the issuance of formal opinions and open records letters and decisions.
There are thirteen civil and defense litigation divisions at the Office of the Attorney General. They perform a wide variety of functions ranging from prosecuting antitrust violations to providing representation to other state agencies.
Civil Litigation Divisions
As the statutorily-designated child support enforcement agency for the State of Texas, the Office of the Attorney General Child Support Division (CSD) is responsible for the establishment and enforcement of child support. All states that receive federal funding for Temporary Assistance.
A key component of the Office of the Attorney General’s mission is to secure justice for Texans by investigating and prosecuting criminal activities, including crimes of human trafficking, internet crimes against children, election fraud, and assisting local law enforcement in prosecutions and appeals. Attorney General prosecutors are experienced trial attorneys with a strong track record in both state and federal court.
The Office of the Attorney General conducts criminal investigations and apprehensions including cases involving cyber-crimes such as child pornography, online solicitation of minors, identity theft, election fraud, locating and apprehending convicted sex offenders who have failed to comply with mandated sex offender registration requirements, and conducting digital forensics investigations. The Office of the Attorney General also operates the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit which investigates criminal fraud by Medicaid providers, abuse and neglect of patients in health care facilities operated by the Medicaid program, and helps local and federal authorities with prosecutions.
The OAG serves victims of crime through direct compensation payments, victim assistance, and grants to victims assistance providers.
Colonias are substandard housing developments, often found along the Texas-Mexico border, where residents lack basic services such as drinking water, sewage treatment, and paved roads. The State of Texas has undertaken a number of programs to remedy the conditions in existing colonias and to prevent new colonias, including authorizing enforcement lawsuits by the Office of the Attorney General. In addition, the Office created and maintains an extensive Colonia Geographic Database for the border region.
The Office of the Attorney General operates Administrative Divisions that maintain the core agency functions such as accounting and budgeting, contract management and procurement, information technology and management, and internal audit. These divisions provide key support for the OAG program divisions in a consistent and effective manner.