|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
February 19, 1999
Ms. Marie Dolores Cordova
Dear Ms. Cordova:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 123107.
The City of Jourdanton (the "city") received a request from a city councilperson for "TWCC Employer's First Report of Injury or Illness for the City of Jourdanton for the period of October 1, 1993 to October 1, 1998" and correspondence relating to the processing and disposition of claims and to "premiums paid by the City of Jourdanton based on those workmen's compensation claims." You advise that the requested information includes employees' medical information and addresses which the employees have notified you that they wish to keep confidential. You ask "if these records are closed or not.
The requestor is a member of the city council and indicates in the request that the information is to be used in her official duties. This office has previously ruled that members of the governing body of a state or local governmental entity have an inherent right to examine the records of the governmental entity if they request access to the records in their official capacity. See Attorney General Opinion JM-119 (1983); Attorney General Letter Opinion No. 93-69 (1993). Therefore, the requested records must be made available in their entirety to the requestor here. Please note, however, that to the extent the requested records contain information made confidential by law, the city and the requestor are prohibited from distributing them to the public. Gov't Code § 552.352. See also, Attorney General Letter Opinion 69 (1993) (members of governmental body may examine confidential information without waiving its confidentiality or affecting the governmental body's authority to withhold it from public disclosure).
We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.
Ref:: ID# 123107
cc: Ms. Patsy Tymrak-Daughtrey
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US