SAWS Open Records Center
COVID-19’s Impact on Open Records Requests at SAWS
While our office continues to work diligently to respond to open records requests in the order they are received, please note that recent disaster declarations made at the state and local level may impact the time frame in which you receive a response. Due to the Stay Home Work Safe Measures made in the recent disaster declarations, access to some SAWS records may be limited. In the event you have requested records which cannot be accessed by SAWS staff while working remotely, the deadline for SAWS to provide a response under the Texas Public Information Act (the “Act”) may be tolled.
Effective immediately, all open records requests submitted to SAWS via email must be submitted directly to OpenRecords@saws.org. This procedure will ensure you receive a prompt response in accordance with the Act.
Notice Regarding Customer Information – House Bill 872 of the 87th Session of the Texas Legislature is in Effect
SAWS may not provide requestors with certain information, including customer addresses, and is not required to seek a decision from the attorney general. Pursuant to HB 872, Texas Utilities Code Section 182.052 now requires SAWS to withhold personal information in a customer’s account record (an individual’s address, telephone number, or social security number), any information relating to the volume or units of utility usage (consumption information), and the amounts billed to or collected from the customer for utility usage.
Tips for a Successful Open Records Request
A public information request must be in writing. A governmental body is not required to answer questions, perform legal research, or create new information in response to your public information request.
Providing as much information as possible within your request will allow departments to complete your request more efficiently. Information such as: name, address, date range, subject matter, and account number (if relevant to your request).
For more information about the TPIA or open records requests, you may wish to refer to the Office of the Attorney General’s Open Government website.
Will there be a fee?
Requests expected to exceed $40 will be provided with a cost estimate for your approval.
Standard fees (non-exclusive list):
- Paper copies (single-sided, black and white, standard size 8.5 x 11) – $0.10 per page
- General labor – $15 per hour (when over 50 pages are requested or records are provided electronically)
- Overhead 20% of the general labor (when applicable)
- Additional fees for postage and providing documents on CD or DVD may be assessed