Texas Public Information Act Settlement Agreement
As a concerned citizen, investigative journalist or sleuthing competitor, you apply for TPIA from a government agency in search of public information. And lo and behold, the government agency refuses to provide the information, claiming a „dispute exception“ to the TPIA. But you did not sue the government agency. What`s the matter? The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts creates a truthful publication that contains guidelines of the type above. See: comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/proptax/tnt/. According to the Attorney General, it is „reasonable to expect litigation“ if there is „concrete evidence“ that there will be litigation.  For example, an isolated telephone threat of litigation does not trigger the exception. On the other hand, the Texas Attorney General applied the exception when a lawyer filed a written request for a disputed payment and stated that additional legal action would be necessary if payments were made and other facts indicated a genuine dispute between the parties. Ultimately, the question of whether a dispute is „reasonably anticipated“ requires a case-by-case decision. To avoid the appeal with the exception of the trial, send your request for public information at an early stage – before launching a threat of litigation. Note: At the regular meeting of the 2015 Texas Act, the Texas Press Association supported The Rep`s Bill 1630 House.
Ramon Romero Jr. of Fort Worth. Romero`s legislation would have made the transaction agreements public if they amounted to $30,000 or more. Versions of the legislation were passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate, but the measure died along with hundreds of other unresolved bills when the 150-day session ended. However, a court document indicating the existence of a confidentiality order would be public information. A journalist may go to the clerk`s office, request a copy of the non-disclosure order and perhaps write a message to verify the existence of the order. To make the story a reality, the reporter may ask the officials of the government agency and their lawyer, as involved parties, to decide on the confidentiality order. Although the only response each of these parties gives is „no comment“ or equivalent, such statements are subject to statement and are likely to be of interest to readers.  Id. („In regulating this balance between public access to recordings and the procedural interests of the governing bodies, the legislature may have imposed certain inconveniences on those not involved in the dispute.“ Exemption: more than 30 exceptions, including: confidential information within the meaning of the law; Personnel information Disputes or transaction negotiations involving state, competition or tender information; Certain real estate information Certain legislative documents; certain investigative or prosecution documents; Certain private communications of public office holders; certain trade or financial secrets; and student data. Focus on paragraph (18) which says, „A transaction agreement involving a government body.“ Transaction agreements can be entered into, and apparently you can track the public dollar.
Finally, it is the taxpayers who end up paying the bill for the transaction agreements. Q: Our hospital ward recently let go of a highly paid employee. The employee has obtained significant regulations and the local government agency refuses to release the conditions. Is it not forbidden for local authorities to enter into confidentiality agreements? However, before relying on this idealistic notion, see point b) (18).