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. DFPS may need to contact you to clarify your request and will need to contact you to provide the information.  Your request should include the following information:

  • Your name
  • How to contact you:
    • Mailing address
    • Email address
    • Telephone number
  • If requesting personnel records, you must include the employee’s name in the written request.

You may submit your request:

  • By mail to: Open Records Coordinator, PO Box 149030, Austin, TX 78714
  • In person at: 701 E. 51st St., Suite 600, Austin, TX 78751 [map]
  • By email
  • By fax to: 512-339-5878

Time Frames

The amount of time it takes to fill a request depends on the type and amount of information requested. However, if DFPS cannot give you the information you want within 10 working days after you ask for it, DFPS will tell you the date and time the information will be available. If you have a particular need to get the information quickly, DFPS will try to meet that need, but cannot promise that it will do so.

Cost

Subchapter F of the Public Information Act, §§552.261 - 552.275, generally provides for allowable charges for copies of and access to public information.  If DFPS believes that fulfilling your request will cost more than $40, you will be provided with a written estimate and given a chance to withdraw or change your request before you have to pay any costs.

  • You must respond to any written estimate of charges within 10 business days of the date DFPS sent it or the request is considered automatically withdrawn.
  • If estimated costs exceed $100.00 (or $50.00 if a governmental body has fewer than 16 full time employees) DFPS may require a bond, prepayment or deposit.
  • You may ask DFPS to determine whether providing the information primarily benefits the general public, resulting in a waiver or reduction of charges.
  • Make a timely payment for all mutually agreed charges. DFPS can demand payment of overdue balances exceeding $100.00, or obtain a security deposit, before processing additional requests from you.
  • DFPS has established that persons submitting records requests to DFPS that total 36 or more hours of personnel time during a fiscal year may be charged for all personnel charges associated with the compilation of their records requests from that point forward.

You will not always get the information you ask for. The law makes some information confidential and prohibits DFPS from giving it to members of the public. The law also permits DFPS to choose to withhold other kinds of information. If DFPS does not give you everything you ask for, DFPS will tell you why information is being withheld. In some cases, DFPS will ask for a decision from the Attorney General about whether DFPS can withhold the information. DFPS will send you a copy of the request for a decision.