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John Cornyn

April 13, 1999

Ms. Linda Wiegman
Supervising Attorney
Office of General Counsel
Texas Department of Health
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756-3199


Dear Ms. Wiegman:

You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 123672.

The Department of Health (the "department") received a request for information concerning a complaint made against an emergency medical technician (the "EMT"). You assert that the documents which are responsive to the request are confidential in their entirety under section 773.0612(b) of the Health and Safety Code in conjunction with section 552.101 of the Government Code.

Section 552.101 of the Government Code provides that information is protected from disclosure under the Public Information Act if it is confidential by law. Section 773.0612(a) of the Health and Safety Code provides that the department "is entitled to access to records and other documents maintained by a person that are directly related to patient care or to emergency medical services personnel to the extent necessary to enforce this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter." Section 773.0612(b) provides that "[a] report, record, or working paper used or developed in an investigation under this section is confidential and may be used only for purposes consistent with the rules adopted by the board."

The documents at issue are part of the department's investigation file into the complaint made against the EMT. We conclude that all of the submitted records are confidential under section 773.0612(b) as records used or developed during the investigation. Thus, the records must be withheld from 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.


Yen-Ha Le
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division


Ref: ID# 123672

Encl: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Mark Johnson
11914 25th Street
Santa Fe, Texas 77510
(w/o enclosures)


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