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John Cornyn

June 7, 1999

Mr. Loren E. Svor
Assistant General Counsel
Texas Department of Banking
2601 N. Lamar Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78705-4294


Dear Mr. Svor:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 124807.

The Texas Department of Banking (the "department") received a request for certain documents pertaining to the Llano Cemetery Association. You state that some of the responsive information has been released to the requestor. You assert, however, that portions of the submitted documents which relate to the financial condition of the seller are excepted from required public disclosure under sections 552.101 and 552.110 of the Government Code. We have considered your arguments and have reviewed the submitted information.

Section 552.101 of the Government Code excepts from disclosure "information deemed confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." This section encompasses information protected by other statutes. Section 154.055 of the Finance Code provides:

    (a) Information relating to the financial condition of a seller obtained by the department directly or indirectly, through examination or otherwise, other than published statements, is confidential.

    (b) The files and records of the department relating to the financial condition of a seller are confidential.

    (c) The commissioner may disclose the information described by Subsection (a) or (b) to an agency, department, or instrumentality of this or another state or the United States if the commissioner considers disclosure to be in the best interest of the public and necessary or proper to enforce the laws of this or another state or the United States.

After careful review, we agree that the information you seek to withhold is "information relating to the financial condition of a seller obtained by the department directly or indirectly, through examination or otherwise." Therefore, assuming that none of this information was obtained from published statements, we conclude you may withhold the marked portions of Document 1, and all of Document 2 pursuant to section 552.101 in conjunction with section 154.055 of the Finance Code.

Because we are able to make a determination under section 552.101, we need not address your additional arguments against 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 on as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have any questions regarding this ruling, please contact our office.


June B. Harden
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division


Ref: ID# 124807

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Kris Kelly
Amarillo Globe News
P.O. Box 2091
Amarillo, Texas 79166
(w/o enclosures)


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