Public information policy and procedures (Open records)
Under Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) must release public information in response to requests from members of the public. The following material is provided to help you get information from DADS.
How do I request information?
Put your request for information in writing and mail, hand-deliver, fax or email it to DADS. All DADS offices will accept your request or give you information about the best place to send your request.
If your open records request deals with licensed nursing facilities or other settings that care for people who are aged or disabled, please contact:
Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Regulatory Services, Document Management Branch
Mail Code E-349
P. O. Box 149030
Austin, Texas 78714-9030
For all other requests for records, please send your written request to:
Open Records Coordinator
Mail Code W-615
P.O. Box 149030
Austin TX 78714-9030
You may also fax your requests to the Open Records Coordinator at 512-438-5136 or send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should I say in my request for information?
Your request does not need to use any special language, but it does need to identify as specifically as possible the information you want. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to get the information you really want without getting a lot of information that you do not want. Your request should also include your name and how to contact you, including an email address or a telephone number. DADS may need to contact you to clarify your request and will need to contact you to provide the information.
How long will it take to fill my request?
The amount of time it takes to fill a request depends on the type and amount of information requested. However, if DADS cannot give you the information you want within 10 working days after you ask for it, DADS will tell you the date and time the information will be available. If you have a particular need to get the information quickly, DADS will try to meet that need, but cannot promise that it will do so.
Will getting the information cost me anything?
Getting information from DADS or any part of government may cost you something. The Office of the Attorney General sets what DADS may charge for information. The rules may be found at Texas Administrative Code, Title 1, Sections 70.1-70.11. If DADS believes that fulfilling your request will cost more than $40, you will be told in writing of the likely cost and given a chance to withdraw or change your request before you have to pay any costs. The letter you receive will tell you what to do; please read the letter and follow the directions carefully. If you want to lower the costs of getting the information you want, DADS staff are available to help you figure out what information DADS has and how it can meet your needs. Please feel free to ask questions.
Will I always get all the information I ask for?
You will not always get the information you ask for. The law makes some information confidential and prohibits DADS from giving it to members of the public. The law also permits DADS to choose to withhold other kinds of information. If DADS does not give you everything you ask for, DADS will tell you why information is being withheld. In some cases, DADS will ask for a decision from the Attorney General about whether DADS can withhold the information. DADS will send you a copy of the request for a decision. Click here for more information on what kinds of information are confidential.
For more information about Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, click here to go to the Attorney General's Open Government publications.
Updated: December 31, 2012