For your information, anyone can go down during business hours and inspect, in person, readily available documents. It doesn't require that someone prepare documents or copies most of the time. In fact, the Texas Open Records Act explicitly says that a citizen cannot make a public entity create reports. When I go down to look at documents, I'm looking at documents that exist. One of those times I went down to look, in person, at the auditing report. I had had a copy given to me at one of the meetings, but LaDonna Green rudely came up after the meeting to demand it back, completely out of line. Only when a government entity does not want to let the public see a document does a copy get made, and then it's for the purpose of asking the Attorney General about either declining to show the document or asking for redactions.
But let's say, for the sake of argument, that a citizen can have up to 36 hours within a given year to look at documents, before being charged to see them. This would, as I said, most ot the time, at least for me, not have any charge for copying before the fact. Does that take 5 minutes to reach into a file cabinet and pull out a file? 10 minutes? 2 hours? I would expect that each time, then, that anyone does an open records request, that the time required to fulfill it would be included, and therefore contestable to the Attorney General's office, in particular the department that deals with cost charges. For example, the hospital district code says that business records are available for inspection during business hours. What I generally do is, to be courteous, arrange a time to come in and inspect, rather than just show up, but I suppose the law provides that someone *could* just show up. That section of code is not even under open records requests.
(b) Access to information in other than standard form. In response to requests for access, for purposes of inspection only, to information that is maintained in other than standard form, a governmental body may not charge the requesting party the cost of preparing and making available such information, unless complying with the request will require programming or manipulation of data
At the very least, ANYONE that believes he or she is being treated unfairly or wrongly charged can always contest it to the Texas Attorney General.
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