THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton
open government training

Public Information Act Training

Texas Government Code section 552.012 requires elected or appointed public officials to complete an open records training course.  The training requirement applies to:

  1. a member of a multimember governmental body;
  2. the governing officer of a governmental body that is headed by a single officer rather than by a multimember governing body; or
  3. the officer for public information of a governmental body, without regard to whether the officer is elected or appointed to a specific term.

The law requires that the specified public officials complete the training course within 90 days of taking the oath of office or otherwise assuming the responsibilities of office.  A public official may designate a public information coordinator to satisfy the training requirement for the public official if the public information coordinator is primarily responsible for administering the responsibilities of the public official or governmental body under the Public Information Act.  The designated public information coordinator is required to complete the training course within 90 days of the date the coordinator assumes the person’s duties as coordinator.

The training course of not less than one and not more than two hours must include information regarding:

  1. the general background of the legal requirements for open records and public information;
  2. the applicability of the Public Information Act to governmental bodies;
  3. procedures and requirements regarding complying with a request for information under the Public Information Act;
  4. the role of the attorney general under the Public Information Act; and
  5. penalties and other consequences for failure to comply with the Public Information Act.

The Office of the Attorney General’s training video includes information on each of these elements and satisfies the requirements imposed by Government Code section 552.012.  Upon completion of the training course, a public official or public information coordinator may obtain a course completion certificate by following the directions in the video.  The certificate must be maintained by the official’s or coordinator’s governmental body and made available for public inspection upon request.

 

 

In addition to providing this training video, the Office of the Attorney General is authorized to review and approve custom course materials created by other entities to provide training under section 551.005 of the Open Meetings Act.  Applicants seeking approval of their custom open government training course must complete an online application and submit copies of their training course materials to the Office of the Attorney General for review.  The online application is available here and is only for those who have created custom course materials to train others. If you would like to take the Office of the Attorney General’s provided training or print course completion certificates, please see above.