Senate Research Center   S.B. 1182
77R8027 JRD-DBy: Wentworth
State Affairs
As Filed


Within the Texas statutes, Section 552.022, Government Code, states that
certain categories of public information are accessible to the public and
are not excepted from disclosure under Chapter 552 (Public Information Act)
unless they are expressly confidential under other law. In a recent court
case, the issue was raised as to whether or not a government body was
required under Section 552.022 to disclose to the media a report prepared
by a consulting expert in connection with pending and anticipated
litigation.  The Texas Supreme Court held that if documents are privileged
or confidential under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or Texas Rules of
Evidence, the documents are considered to be "confidential under other law"
within the meaning of Section 552.022 and do not have to be disclosed.  As
proposed, S.B. 1182  amends the Public Information Act to clarify that the
exceptions contained in Subchapter C of this Act regarding the litigation
or settlement negotiations involving a governmental body and matters within
the attorney-client privilege apply to certain categories of information
listed in Section 552.022 of the Government Code. 


This bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a
state officer, institution, or agency. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Section 552.022, Government Code, to provide that
without limiting the amount or kind of information that is public
information under this chapter, the following categories of information are
public information and not excepted from required disclosure under this
chapter unless they are expressly confidential under law: 

 _a completed report, audit, evaluation, or investigation made of, for, or
by a governmental body, except as provided by Sections 552.103, 552.107,
552.108, or 552.111; and 

 _information that is in a bill for attorney's fees and that is not
privileged under the attorney-client privilege under Section 552.107. 

Provides that for purposes of this section, the Texas Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Texas Rules of Evidence, and the Texas Disciplinary Rules of
Professional Conduct are not considered to be law that expressly makes
information confidential. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 552.131, Government Code, as added by Chapter
405, Acts of the 76th Legislature, Regular Session, 1999, to provide that
the requirement of Section 552.022 that a category of information listed
under a certain subsection is public information and not excepted from
required disclosure under this chapter unless expressly confidential under
law does not apply to information that is excepted from required disclosure
under this section. 

SECTION 3.  Makes application of this Act prospective.
SECTION 4.  Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2001.