Texas Government Code - GOV'T § 552.012. Open Records Training




(a) This section applies to an elected or appointed public official who is:

(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.

(b) Each public official shall complete a course of training of not less than one and not more than two hours regarding the responsibilities of the governmental body with which the official serves and its officers and employees under this chapter not later than the 90th day after the date the public official:

(1) takes the oath of office, if the person is required to take an oath of office to assume the person's duties as a public official;  or

(2) otherwise assumes the person's duties as a public official, if the person is not required to take an oath of office to assume the person's duties.

(c) A public official may designate a public information coordinator to satisfy the training requirements of this section for the public official if the public information coordinator is primarily responsible for administering the responsibilities of the public official or governmental body under this chapter.  Designation of a public information coordinator under this subsection does not relieve a public official from the duty to comply with any other requirement of this chapter that applies to the public official.  The designated public information coordinator shall complete the training course regarding the responsibilities of the governmental body with which the coordinator serves and of its officers and employees under this chapter not later than the 90th day after the date the coordinator assumes the person's duties as coordinator.

(d) The attorney general shall ensure that the training is made available.  The office of the attorney general may provide the training and may also approve any acceptable course of training offered by a governmental body or other entity.  The attorney general shall ensure that at least one course of training approved or provided by the attorney general is available on videotape or a functionally similar and widely available medium at no cost.  The training must include instruction in:

(1) the general background of the legal requirements for open records and public information;

(2) the applicability of this chapter to governmental bodies;

(3) procedures and requirements regarding complying with a request for information under this chapter;

(4) the role of the attorney general under this chapter;  and

(5) penalties and other consequences for failure to comply with this chapter.

(e) The office of the attorney general or other entity providing the training shall provide a certificate of course completion to persons who complete the training required by this section.  A governmental body shall maintain and make available for public inspection the record of its public officials' or, if applicable, the public information coordinator's completion of the training.

(f) Completing the required training as a public official of the governmental body satisfies the requirements of this section with regard to the public official's service on a committee or subcommittee of the governmental body and the public official's ex officio service on any other governmental body.

(g) The training required by this section may be used to satisfy any corresponding training requirements concerning this chapter or open records required by law for a public official or public information coordinator.  The attorney general shall attempt to coordinate the training required by this section with training required by other law to the extent practicable.

(h) A certificate of course completion is admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution under this chapter.  However, evidence that a defendant completed a course of training offered under this section is not prima facie evidence that the defendant knowingly violated this chapter.


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.