FOI Foundation files court brief arguing Greater Houston Partnership is governmental body

AUSTIN – The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas has filed a brief with the Texas Supreme Court arguing that the Greater Houston Partnership is a governmental entity and subject to the state open records law.

The FOI Foundation amicus brief was filed Monday in an appeal brought by the Greater Houston Partnership against the attorney general’s office. The FOI Foundation contends the partnership is a “governmental body” under the Texas Public Information Act.

The partnership is supported in part by public funds for the performance of traditional government services, in this case economic development activities, according to the brief.

“The record before this Court is replete with examples of how the interests between GHP and the City of Houston align …” the FOI Foundation’s brief states. It argues that a lower appellate court was correct in deciding the Greater Houston Partnership was subject to the records disclosure requirements of the Texas Public Information Act.

Lawyers for the Greater Houston Partnership said that applying the so-called “Kneeland test,” which has been part of the public disclosure law for more than 25 years, and requiring the public disclosure of records would induce harm, causing the cancellation of current contracts and hindering of commerce.