GOVERNMENT RECORD COST RULES
The Texas Attorney General’s Office oversees the rules for how much government agencies may charge for records under the Texas Public Information Act. These cost rules are set out in the Texas Administrative Code. Governmental agencies do not have to charge for producing copies of records, and they are permitted to waive the costs if releasing the records benefits the public.
A requester may ask for an itemized cost estimate in advance. A requester may also ask to examine the records in person on the premises rather than having copies made.
The cost for a standard paper copy is 10 cents per page. Other permitted charges include $1 for a diskette; $1 for a CD; $2.50 for a VHS video cassette; $1 for an audio cassette; 50 cents for oversized paper copies; and the actual cost for items such as specialty paper copies and data cartridges.
If the labor of a programmer is needed to fulfill a public information request, that programmer labor may be charged at a rate of $28.50 per hour. A labor charge of $15 per hour may be imposed for the time to process a request, though such a charge generally cannot be attached to a request of fewer than 50 pages. The labor cost cannot be charged for an attorney or legal assistant who spends time reviewing the request.
In some cases, an overhead charge or computer resources charge may be applied.
To contact the Attorney General’s Office about cost rules information or to voice a complaint, call the toll-free cost hotline at (888) 672-6787, fax the office at (512) 481-1992 or contact the office by mail at:
Education and Enforcement Section
Open Records Division
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78711-2548