What is an Open Records request?

An Open Records request is a request for public information contained in the files or records of a Texas governmental agency, including the State Securities Board. Open Records or Public Information requests are governed by provisions of the Public Information Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 552. The office of the Attorney General provides general information on the open records process.

An Open Records request must be for the inspection or copies of an existing document or record. An agency is not required to generate a new document to respond to a request, prepare answers to questions, or do legal research.

What is “public information?”

Public information is information that has been written, produced, collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by a governmental body or for a governmental body that owns the information or has a right of access to it.

All government information is presumed to be available to the public. However, state law and judicial decisions have established certain exceptions regarding the disclosure of such information.

What kinds of information does the State Securities Board have?

Information that this agency has includes:

  • Records on securities registered for sale in Texas;
  • Registration and disciplinary records on securities dealers, agents, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives registered in Texas;
  • Interpretative letters and no-action letters developed in response to previous inquiries about how provisions of the Texas Securities Act may apply to specific fact situations; and
  • Records on enforcement actions taken in response to violations of the Texas Securities Act.

Information written, produced, collected, assembled, or maintained by the State Securities Board is public information and available to the public, unless it is made confidential by law. The Texas Securities Act directs that certain information, such as records compiled in the course of investigations and internal notes, memoranda, reports or other communications made in connection with an investigation, is confidential. Exceptions to the general rule that government information is public information may also be also found in the Texas Public Information Act and other statutes.

How do I request public information from the State Securities Board?

To request public information from this agency, put your request in writing and mail, hand deliver, fax, or e-mail it as follows:

  • Mail to: General Counsel, Texas State Securities Board, P. O. Box 13167, Austin, Texas 78711-3167
  • Hand Deliver to: General Counsel, Texas State Securities Board, 208 E. 10th Street, 5th Floor, Austin, Texas 78701
  • Email General Counsel
  • Fax to: General Counsel at (512) 305-8336

What should I include in my request?

Be sure to include contact information, including your name, address, and telephone number. We must have this information to respond to your request; we may also need to contact you to clarify your request.

Describe the documents that you want with as much detail as possible. If you don’t know exactly what documents you need, describe the information you are seeking as specifically as possible. If your description is not clear or could result in a very large number of documents, we will contact you to determine if your request can be clarified or narrowed. If you are uncertain about what documents to ask for, you may find it helpful to contact us before you submit your request, so we can assist you in preparing your request. You may tell us your purpose in requesting the information if you believe that would help us locate the documents you seek, but this information is not required. In fact, state law prohibits us from asking you the purpose of your request.

How long will it take to fill my request?

We will respond to your request within 10 business days after we receive your request. Possible responses to your request could include:

  • If the information is readily available and clearly public, we will provide copies of the requested documents or tell you when and where you may examine the documents;
  • If the documents can not be produced for examination or duplication within 10 business days because they are in active use or in storage, we will tell you when and where the requested documents will be available to you;
  • If we must program or manipulate electronic data to respond to your request, we will tell you what work must be done, the estimated costs, and the estimated time;
  • If the requested information is clearly exempt from public disclosure, we will tell you which provisions of the Public Information Act, the Texas Securities Act, or other statutes apply to your request; or
  • If we believe the information requested is confidential or it is unclear whether the information you are requesting is open to the public, we will notify you that we are submitting a request to the Attorney General for an opinion concerning the records you have requested.

How much will I be charged? Will I be notified in advance?

The State Securities Board charges for the costs of responding to Open Records requests in accordance with state law. If the estimated cost for your request exceeds $40, we will notify you of the estimated cost before we fill your request. We require payment in advance when the estimated cost of producing copies exceeds $100.

The most common charges include:

Standard-size (up to 8 ½ x 14-inch) paper copies $ 0.10 per page
Non-standard (oversize) paper copies $ 0.50 per page
CD $ 1.00 each
Diskette $1.00 each
Audio cassette $1.00 each
Personnel (non-programming) $15.00 per hour
Personnel (programming) $28.50 per hour
Overhead 20% personnel costs
Shipping/postage Actual costs