Obtaining Open Records

Open Records

The Texas Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552) gives the public the right to request access to government information. All government information is presumed to be available to the public; however, certain exceptions may apply to the disclosure of the information.

What is an “open records request”?

An open records request is a written request for public information contained in the files or records of a Texas governmental agency, including Harris County ESD #1. Public information is any information collected, assembled, maintained under a law or in connection with the transaction of official business by a governmental body, or for a governmental body if the governmental body owns the information or has a right of access to it. To be public information, it cannot be confidential under law or exempt from disclosure by the Public Information Act.

An open records or public information request must be for inspection or copies of an existing document or record. We are not required to generate a new document in order to respond to a request. Public information requests are governed by the Texas Public Information Act. For more information related to public information requests, please visit the Attorney General’s Website.

How do I request public information?

To request public information from us, the request must be in writing and must be mailed or hand-delivered to us as follows:

Hand-delivered and mailed requests:

President – Open Records Request
Harris County ESD #1
2800 Aldine Bender Rd.
Houston, TX  77032


What should I include in my request?

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Describe the documents that you desire and be specific. If you don’t know exactly what documents may be involved, describe the information you are seeking as specifically as possible, and we will determine if responsive documents exist.
  • We are prohibited by law from asking you the purpose of your request, but you may provide it if you believe it would help us gather the information you request.


How long will it take to answer my request?

We will respond to a request for information promptly but no later than 10 business days after we receive the request. If you have a particular need for expedited treatment, we will attempt to meet that need but we cannot guarantee an early response date.

What does it cost to receive public information?

The permissible charges for public information are set by the Texas Building and Procurement Commission and may be found at 1 TAC §§111.61 et seq.; also see 7 TAC §3.112.

Charges Per Request:

  • 50 pages or less $0.10 per page  (Waived if under $10)
  • More than 50 pages $0.10 per page + $18/hr for personnel costs necessary to compile the documents


Additional Charges:

  • Actual cost of postage or delivery method requested