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John Cornyn

September 13, 1999

Ms. Lisa A. Brown
Bracewell & Patterson, L.L.P.
South Tower Pennzoil Place
711 Louisana St. Ste. 2900
Houston, Texas 77002-2781


Dear Ms. Brown:

You ask whether certain information maintained by the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District ("Cypress-Fairbanks ISD") is subject to required public disclosure under Chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 128501.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD received a request from the Texas State Teachers Association for information relating to newly retired certified teachers from the 1998-1999 school year. Of particular concern to you is the request for copies of the forms signed by employees indicating that they want their personal data to remain confidential. You assert that this information is confidential under section 552.117 of the Government Code.

Section 552.117 excepts from disclosure the home addresses and telephone numbers, social security numbers, and family member information of current or former officials or employees of a governmental body who request that this information be kept confidential under section 552.024. Whether a particular piece of information is protected by section 552.117 must be determined at the time the request for it is made. See Open Records Decision No. 530 at 5 (1989). Therefore, the school district may only withhold information under section 552.117 on behalf of current or former officials or employees who made a request for confidentiality under section 552.024 prior to the date on which the request for this information was made. For those employees who timely elected to keep their personal information confidential, the school district must withhold the employees' home addresses and telephone numbers, social security numbers, and any information that reveals whether these employees have family members. The school district may not withhold this information under section 552.117 for those employees who did not make a timely election to keep the information confidential.

Section 552.117 does not protect the information indicating whether an employee elects to have his or her personal data withheld from disclosure. Release of this information should be of no consequence, however, as receipt or non-receipt of an employee's personal data by the requestor is indicative of the employee's election. However, any information protected from disclosure under section 552.117 that is also on a document that reflects an employee's election not to release personal data, must be withheld.

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 this office.


Rose-Michel Munguía
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division


Ref: ID# 128501

Encl: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Joe Tijerina
Executive Director
Texas State Teachers Association-Retired
621 Westcreek Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76133
(w/o enclosures)


POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US
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