Public Information Requests to the Port of Corpus Christi Authority
The Public Information Act, as set forth under Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code (the “Act”), governs the public’s access to certain governmental records. Governmental records are generally presumed to be available to the public; however, exceptions apply to the disclosure of certain information. The following information describes the Port of Corpus Christi Authority’s (the “Port Authority”) general requirements for persons submitting a public information request under the Act (“PIR”) and its processes and procedures for responding to such PIRs. All requirements set forth herein are intended to comply with the provisions of the Act, as may be revised from time to time, and are deemed to be amended as applicable to comply therewith.
Procedures for Submission of Public Information Request
To request access to or obtain copies of certain Port Authority’s governmental records, please hand deliver or send a written request (via mail or email) to:
Port of Corpus Christi Authority
ATTN: Public Information Officer
400 Harbor Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
How to Request Public Information
There is no form required by law to request public information; however, you may use the Public Information Request Form prepared by the Port Authority. Additionally, Texas law has some public information request requirements.
Open Records Requests Requirements and Suggestions
- The request must be in writing. Only written requests trigger the Port Authority’s obligations under the Texas Public Information Act.
- The request should be for records already in existence. The Port Authority is not required to answer questions, perform legal research or comply with a continuing request to supply information as such information is prepared in the future.
- If you believe that the Port Authority has not responded as required by the Public Information Act, you may contact the Texas Attorney General’s Open Records Division Hotline at (512) 478-6736 or toll-free (877) 673-6839 (877 OPENTEX), or the Nueces County District Attorney or County Attorney. Further information is available at the Texas Attorney General’s website.
- If you have questions about charges for the information you have requested, you may contact the Cost Rules Administrator for the Office of the Attorney General at (512) 475-2497.
What Requestors Can Expect after a Request is Made
The Public Information Act prohibits the Port Authority from asking you why you want the information you have requested. However, the Port Authority may ask you to clarify your request, if we are uncertain as to what you want, and we may discuss with you how the scope of your request may be narrowed, if you have requested a large amount of information.
If the Port Authority wishes to withhold information from you, we must:
- “Promptly” produce public information in response to your request. “Promptly” means that the Port Authority may take a reasonable amount of time to produce the information, which varies depending on the request. The amount of information you have requested is relevant to what makes for a reasonable response time.
- Seek an Attorney General decision within ten business days of our receipt of your request, and state the exceptions to disclosure that we believe are applicable.
- Send you a copy of our letter to the Attorney General requesting a decision, within ten business days. If the Port Authority does not notify you of its request for an Attorney General decision, the information you requested is generally presumed to be open to the public.
- Within fifteen business days of receiving your request, send the Attorney General arguments for withholding the information you requested and copies of the information you have requested. You are entitled to receive this notice; however, if the letter to the Attorney General contains the substance of the information requested, you may receive a redacted copy of the letter. If the governmental body does not send you a copy of this letter, you may request it from the Attorney General by writing to:
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78711-2548
FAX (512) 494-8017
- If the governmental body does not timely request an attorney general decision, notify you that it is seeking an attorney general decision, and submit to the attorney general the information you requested, the information is generally presumed to be open to the public.
- If the Port Authority requests an attorney general decision, you may submit your written comments to the attorney general stating any facts you want the Open Records Division to consider. You may send your comments to:
Open Records Division
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78711-2548
The Public Information Act prohibits the Attorney General from releasing the records.
Third Party Information
- If you have requested information from the Port Authority, and the information requested has an impact on a third party’s interests, the third party may send a letter or brief to the Attorney General stating why its information held by the Port Authority should be withheld.
- In such an instance, you should receive a copy of that third party’s letter to the Attorney General, however, if the letter to the Attorney General contains the substance of the information you requested, you may receive a redacted copy.
- If you do not receive this letter, you may request it from the Attorney General’s Public Information Coordinator, at the above address/fax number.
When an Attorney General Decision is Issued
- The Attorney General usually issues its decisions within 45 days of receipt of the request for a decision. It will send the requestor and the Port Authority a copy of the ruling.
- If you have questions about a decision, you may call the Open Government Hotline at the number above.
- If the Port Authority is required to release certain information to you, it must either:
- release the information to you;
- notify you of the exact day, time and place that copies of the records will be provided or that the records can be inspected; or
- notify you of its intent to challenge the decision in court.
- If the Port Authority fails to do one of these things, you should submit a written complaint to the Open Records Division. You may also file a complaint with your local district or county attorney or follow the litigation option identified in Subchapter H, chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code.
- If you have received a ruling that allows the governmental body to withhold all or some of the information you have requested, and you disagree with the ruling, you can appeal that decision by litigation as provided in Subchapter H, Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code.
Responsibilities of Requestors
All persons who submit a PIR must:
- Submit a written PIR in accordance with the Act and the Port Authority’s reasonable procedures.
- Include sufficient description and detail of the requested information to enable the Port Authority to accurately identify, locate, and provide the requested items
- Request information or records already in existence; [NOTE: The Act does not require a governmental body to create new information, to do legal research, or to answer questions. The Port Authority is not required to supply information that is generated in the future or provide recurring information on a periodic basis.]
- Cooperate with the Port Authority’s reasonable requests to clarify the type or amount of information requested
- Respond promptly in writing to all written communications from the Port Authority (including concerning any written estimate of charges)
- Make a timely payment for all valid charges assessed by the Port Authority
- Keep appointments for inspection of records or for pick-up of copies made with the Port Authority
Rights of Requestors
All persons who submit a PIR have the right to:
- Receive treatment equal to all other requestors, including receipt of accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, as applicable.
- Receive a statement of estimated charges in advance, as provided under the Act
- Choose whether to inspect the requested information, receive a copy of the information, or both, as permitted under the Act
- Be notified when the Port Authority requests that the Texas Attorney General provide a ruling on whether certain information requested under a PIR may or must be withheld
- Be copied on the Port Authority’s written comments to the Texas Attorney General stating the reason(s) why certain stated exceptions apply to the requested information
- Lodge a complaint with the Texas Attorney General regarding improper charges for response to a PIR to the General Services Commission for the Office of the Attorney General at (512) 475-2497
- Lodge a complaint with the Texas Attorney General or the Nueces County Attorney or the Nueces County District Attorney, as appropriate, regarding any alleged violation of the Act
Rights of the Port Authority in Response to a PIR
Concerning PIRs, the Port Authority has the right to:
- Establish reasonable procedures for inspecting or copying information
- Request and receive clarification of vague or overly broad PIRs, request that the requestor narrow or define the scope of a PIR, or request that additional time be granted for collecting and providing access to requested information, as applicable
- Request a Texas Attorney General ruling, in accordance with the Act, concerning whether any requested information may or must be withheld
- Receive timely payment for all copy charges or other permitted charges, as set forth under the Act
- Obtain payment for overdue balances exceeding $100 or obtain a security deposit before processing additional requests from the same requestor
- Request a bond, prepayment or deposit if estimated costs exceed $100, as described under the Act
Responsibilities of Port Authority concerning a PIR
The Port Authority shall:
- Treat requestors equally
- Complete Texas open records training, as required by law
- Be informed of Texas open records laws and educate applicable employees on the requirements of same
- Inform the requestor of any cost estimates and any changes in the estimates, as set forth under the Act
- Confirm that requestor agrees to pay applicable costs prior to incurring the costs, pursuant to the Act
- Provide requested information promptly, in the manner and timeframes required under the Act
- Inform the requestor if any requested information will not be provided within 10 business days, and provide estimated date on which such information will be provided
- Cooperate with the requestor to schedule a reasonable time(s) for inspecting/copying information, as applicable
- Follow the Texas Attorney General’s applicable rules on charges, including not overcharging on items and not billing for items that must be provided without charge
- Inform third parties if a PIR includes information that may have an impact on such third party’s proprietary interests and provide a copy of such notice to requestors, in accordance with the Act [NOTE: A requestor who does not receive a copy of any such letter may request a copy from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, at the address/fax number below.]
- Inform the requestor when the Texas Attorney General has been asked to rule on whether certain information may or must be withheld by the Port Authority, which request shall be submitted within 10 business days of the Port Authority’s receipt of the PIR
- Copy the requestor on written comments submitted to the Texas Attorney General stating the reasons why the Port Authority believes that the stated exceptions apply, which comments shall be submitted to the Texas Attorney General within 15 business days of the Port Authority’s receipt of the PIR
[NOTE: If any correspondence between the Texas Attorney General and the Port Authority includes the content of certain information requested, the requestor may receive a redacted copy of the letter and/or enclosures/attachments. If the Port Authority does not send the requestor a copy of its letter to the Texas Attorney General, the requestor may request a copy directly from the Texas Attorney General by writing to Public Information Coordinator at the following address:
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78711-2548
FAX (512) 494-8017]
- Comply with any Texas Attorney General’s ruling on whether an exception applies and/or take such other action as may be permitted or required under the Act
- Respond in writing to all written communications from the Texas Attorney General regarding complaints about violations of the Act
Requestors who believe that the Port Authority has not properly responded to a PIR as required by the Act, may contact the Texas Attorney General’s Open Records Division Hotline at (512) 478-6736 or toll-free (877) 673-6839 (877 OPEN TEX). If a complaint relates to charges, the requestor may contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Cost Hotline toll-free at (888) 672-6787 (888-ORCOSTS) or forward a written complaint to such office. Certain violations of the Act may involve possible criminal penalties. Such violations must be reported to the Nueces County Attorney’s office or the Nueces County District Attorney’s office. Further information is available at the Texas Attorney General’s website.
For additional information regarding filing a PIR, please contact the Public Information Officer at 361-885-6614.