- The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission(THGC) is committed to making its web site accessible to the widest possible audience, including people using assistive technology, according to the standards set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) and the state’s Department of Information Resources (DIR) recommendations (per Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 206, Rule §206.50). In an effort to make the site accessible, our web pages:
- Function on various software platforms
- Follow current web standards for XHTML 1.0 and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS2)
- Avoid use of animated material
- Test in the most popular browsers used when viewing our web site as reported to us in our web server statistics software program
- Produce Portable Document Format (PDF) with Adobe Acrobat.
- If you use assistive technology and the format of any material on our web site interferes with your ability to access the information, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
- To respond in a manner most helpful to you, please indicate:
- The nature of your accessibility problem
- The preferred format in which you wish to receive the material
- The web address of the requested material or page in question
- Your contact information
- Additional information about accessibility programs in Texas is available from the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities.
The content of all material on this web site is copyrighted by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC) unless otherwise indicated. Permission to copy, distribute or use in whole or part for any non-commercial purpose without fee is hereby granted provided that the information (files, documents or photographs) is credited to the THGC.
For information on this web site credited to another copyright holder, please contact that source regarding use of their material.
Texas law gives you the right to access government records without government officials asking why you want them. All government information is presumed to be available to the public. Certain exceptions may apply to the disclosure of the information. Governmental bodies shall promptly release requested information that is not confidential by law or information for which an exception to disclosure has been sought.
Rights of Requestors
You have the right to:
- Prompt access to information that is not confidential or otherwise protected.
- Receive treatment equal to all other requestors, including accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
- Receive certain kinds of information without exceptions, like the voting record of public officials, and other information.
- Receive a written statement of estimated charges, when charges will exceed $40, in advance of work being started and opportunity to modify the request in response to the itemized statement.
- Choose whether to inspect the requested information (most often at no charge), receive copies of the information or both.
- A waiver or reduction of charges if the governmental body determines that access to the information primarily benefits the general public.
- Receive a copy of the communication from the governmental body asking the Office of the Attorney General for a ruling on whether the information can be withheld under one of the accepted exceptions, or if the communication discloses the requested information, a redacted copy.
- Lodge a written complaint about overcharges for public information with the Office of the Attorney General. Complaints of other possible violations may be filed with the county or district attorney of the county where the governmental body, other than a state agency, is located. If the complaint is against the county or district attorney, the complaint must be filed with the Office of the Attorney General.
Responsibilities of Governmental Bodies
All governmental bodies responding to information requests have the responsibility to:
- Establish reasonable procedures for inspecting or copying public information and inform requestors of these procedures.
- Treat all requestors uniformly and shall give to the requestor all reasonable comfort and facility, including accommodation in accordance with ADA requirements.
- Be informed about open records laws and educate employees on the requirements of those laws.
- Inform requestors of the estimated charges greater than $40 and any changes in the estimates above 20 percent of the original estimate, and confirm that the requestor accepts the charges, has amended the request, or has sent a complaint of overcharges to the Office of the Attorney General, in writing before finalizing the request.
- Inform the requestor if the information cannot be provided promptly and set a date and time to provide it within a reasonable time.
- Request a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General regarding any information the governmental body wishes to withhold, and send a copy of the request for ruling, or a redacted copy, to the requestor.
- Segregate public information from information that may be withheld and provide that public information promptly.
- Make a good faith attempt to inform third parties when their proprietary information is being requested from the governmental body.
- Respond in writing to all written communications from the Office of the Attorney General regarding charges for the information. Respond to the Office of the Attorney General regarding complaints about violations of the Act.
Procedures to Obtain Information
- Submit a request by mail, fax, email or in person according to a governmental body's reasonable procedures.
- Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the governmental body to accurately identify and locate the information requested.
- Cooperate with the governmental body's reasonable efforts to clarify the type or amount of information requested.
- Information released
- You may review it promptly, and if it cannot be produced within 10 working days the public information officer will notify you in writing of the reasonable date and time when it will be available.
- Keep all appointments to inspect records and to pick up copies. Failure to keep appointments may result in losing the opportunity to inspect the information at the time requested.
- Cost of Records
- You must respond to any written estimate of charges within 10 business days of the date the governmental body sent it or the request is considered automatically withdrawn.
- If estimated costs exceed $100 (or $50 if a governmental body has fewer than 16 full time employees) the governmental body may require a bond, prepayment or deposit.
- You may ask the governmental body to determine whether providing the information primarily benefits the general public, resulting in a waiver or reduction of charges.
- Make a timely payment for all mutually agreed charges. A governmental body can demand payment of overdue balances exceeding $100, or obtain a security deposit, before processing additional requests from you.
- Information that may be withheld due to an exception
By the 10th business day after a governmental body receives your written request, a governmental body must:
- Request an Attorney General opinion and state which exceptions apply.
- Notify the requestor of the referral to the Attorney General; and.
- Notify third parties if the request involves their proprietary information.
- Failure to request an Attorney General opinion and notify the requestor within 10 business days will result in a presumption that the information is open unless there is a compelling reason to withhold it.
- Requestors may send a letter to the Attorney General arguing for release, and may review arguments made by the governmental body. If the arguments disclose the requested information, the requestor may obtain a redacted copy.
- The Attorney General must issue a decision no later than the 45th working day from the day after the attorney general received the request for a decision. The attorney general may request an additional 10 working day extension.
- Governmental bodies may not ask the Attorney General to "reconsider" an opinion.
- To request information from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, please contact us through our site or at the following:
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
P.O. Box 12276
Austin, TX 78711-2276
806 W. 16th St.
Austin, TX 78701
For complaints regarding failure to release public information, please contact your local county or district attorney.
You may also contact the Office of the Attorney General, Open Records Hotline, at 512.478.6736 or toll-free at 877.673.6839. For complaints regarding overcharges, please contact the Office of the Attorney General's Cost Rules Administrator at 512.475.2497.
For more information, see the open records information provided by the Office of the Attorney General Open Records Division.
We support the free exchange of ideas on the social media pages of the THGC—which include our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. However, we moderate these pages and reserve the right to remove comments, posts, photos, or any content at our discretion if it is derogatory, obscene, off topic, or does not adhere to the following guidelines.
The views expressed in comment fields reflect those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the THGC or the Texas state government.
Examples of comments and posts we support include those that:
- Relate to the content in our posts or comments left by readers
- Relate to our mission of Holocaust and genocide education in Texas
- Are thought-provoking and spark discussion or debate while maintaining a positive, courteous, or constructive tone
- Differ with the content in our posts without insulting the writer, agency, or other commenters
Examples of comments and posts we generally oppose—and reserve the right to delete— include those that:
- Are unrelated to content in our posts, comments left by readers, or Holocaust and genocide education in Texas
- Contain political commentary
- Descend into negative or derogatory language
- Are insulting to the writer, the agency, Holocaust and genocide survivors and victims, or other commenters
- Promote or endorse products and services (NOTE: non-commercial links that are on-topic are acceptable)
Comments or posts that WE WILL DELETE WITHOUT NOTICE include those that:
- Contain content we deem obscene, indecent, profane, or otherwise objectionable, including (but not limited to) content of a sexually explicit, racially, or ethnically objectionable nature
- Contain unlawful content or hate speech
- Contain advocacy on a legislative issue such as the budget
- Contain personal attacks, including insults, threats, or defamation
- Contain spam or advertising (or any unique content posted multiple times)
- Are disruptive or inappropriate, including personal conversations better suited for private communication
Numerous violations of the above THGC content guidelines may result in a commenter being blocked from making future comments or posts on this page.