TEXAS PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT
February 21 & 22, 2017
Double Tree Hotel
Cost: TPA Member-$250.00* / Non-Member $280.00*
*Credit Card fees extra
Includes Lunch on Tuesday and coffee breaks
TCOLE hours:12 MCLE Hours: 12 pending approval from the State Bar
The Texas Police Association will sponsor a 12 hour seminar on the "Public Information Act" at the Double Tree Hotel in Austin on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 21&22, 2017.
This course, which is designed for law enforcement personnel, government attorneys and government staff responsible for Open Records/Public Information Requests and will include legislation enacted by the 83rd Texas Legislature and the most current Case Law, Attorney General decisions and their application.
The seminar will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21st and conclude at 12 noon on Wednesday, February 22nd.. Registration will open at 8am on February 21st. Lunch will be provided for all seminar attendees at the hotel on February 21st. Coffee and soft drinks will be provided during the breaks.
As “Transparency in Government” continues to be a political issue, the number of requests for information from government agencies continues to increase. The timely responses to these requests are often complicated by changes in the law through court opinions. These challenges can easily lead to frustration on the part of the public and/or mistakes in releasing protected information by the government agency. The increasing number of opinions on what and how information is released under the Act from the Attorney General's office add to the potential for confusion in determining what information is subject to release and what information falls within the exceptions to the Act.
This training is designed to provide you and your staff with definitive answers to your questions on open records and how you and your staff fulfill your responsibilities to open government. This training is designed to give a practical guide to those officials who have the responsibility to respond to open records/public information requests. While the legal aspects of the Act will be covered, they will be taught in a manner which provides guidance in interpreting the Act along with instruction in drafting requests for opinions from the Attorney General's office.
The training is organized in such a manner that it covers all the statutory material and case law in a logical, self-paced presentation which is designed to facilitate questions and class participation.
Counsel: The course will be taught by Mr. John C. West, Jr., J.D. Mr. West is currently on the General Council for the Office of the Inspector General of the Texas the Dept. of Criminal Justice. Mr. West was formerly the Chief of Legal Services for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Prior to his appointment as Chief, Mr. West served as General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel for D.P.S. Mr. West has been involved with Public Information Act since it was passed in 1973. Mr. West has been licensed to practice law since 1969
Topics to be covered in this seminar are:
History and Development of the Concept of Open Records in Texas
Provisions Covered by the Texas Public Information Act
Requesting Opinions under the Public Information Act
What to ask, When to ask, How to ask
Pitfalls of the request process
Knowing when to be reasonable
Protecting your interests
Status of the act with respect to:
Open criminal case exception
Opinions, evaluations and recommendations
Peace officer pictures and addresses
Special Right of Access for Individuals
Federal Freedom of Information and Federal Privacy Acts
Sanctions under the Act and Impact of Failure to Comply
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA)
The Double Tree Hotel, located at 6505 IH 35 North, has reserved a block of rooms for seminar attendees at a prevailing Government Rate. Please refer to the group name of “Texas Police Association 2016a Open Records Seminar” when making reservations. The hotel's telephone number is (800) 347-0330 or (512) 454-3737.
Enclosed is a registration form for you and the members of your party. You are reminded that in order for the registration to be accepted, a fee of $250.00 must accompany each registration.
TCOLE training credit will be given to peace officers attending this program. MCLE credit through the State Bar of Texas is still under review by the MCLE committee.
If you need any additional information, or if we may assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to call our office at (512) 458-3140.