General Counsel – Public Information Request files, 1998-2015

Texas Governor Rick Perry:
An Inventory of Governor Rick Perry General Counsel Public Information Request files at the Texas State Archives, 1998-2015, bulk 2001-2014

Note that these records are restricted. See the restrictions statement below for information on accessing the records.

Organization History Scope and Contents Restrictions Related Materials Inventory

Overview

govPerrylogoCreator: Texas. Governor (2000-2015 : Perry)
Title: Governor Rick Perry General Counsel public information request files
Dates: 1998-2015
Dates: bulk 2001-2014
Abstract: These records were created and maintained by the General Counsel staff to document public information requests (PIR) received by the Governor’s office during Texas Governor Rick Perry’s term in office and the response to those requests. Many of the public information requests concern appointments to boards and commissions by the governor, his calendars and schedule, correspondence with prominent individuals, criminal justice, education, health and human services, legislation, and litigation. Records include incoming and outgoing requester correspondence and affected third-parties; documents produced by request; documents that were not ultimately collected by or submitted to the requester; exhibits submitted to the office of the attorney general; attorney general rulings; original and redacted copies of records; and records created by the office of the governor. These records encompass both paper and electronic formats, and include appointment and application files, financial documents, official and administrative correspondence, internal memorandums, reports, project proposals, and electronic slide presentations. Dates are 1998-2015, with the bulk dating 2001-2014.
Quantity: 291 cubic ft. and 91.6 GB (159,122 files)
Language: These materials are written predominately in English.


Other Finding Aids

A description of non-electronic records referenced in this finding aid are available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/60016/tsl-60016.html


Organization of the Records

The electronic records are organized by year, and then by the last name of the requester or by PIR number assigned by the agency. In the case that the last name is not known, the materials are identified with the first name used to make the request. File names occasionally provide information such as the PIR number assigned and brief descriptive text such as billing, production, non-responsive, and initial request.

Please see the finding aid listed in the Other Finding Aids section for more information about the organization of the paper records.


Agency History

The General Counsel position within the Texas Office of the Governor was created in October 1973 when the executive director of the governor’s Criminal Justice Division appointed an individual as General Counsel to assist in providing statute interpretations and in other matters relating to policies and procedures. Today the Office of the General Counsel is a separate division in the governor’s office. During the Perry administration, David Morales served as General Counsel, succeeded in 2014 by Mary Anne Wiley.

Duties of the General Counsel include providing statute interpretations; tracking inmates on death row as their cases move through the judicial process including all appeals to the governor for commutations or stays of execution; handling pardon requests sent to the governor; reviewing proposed settlements, land patents, grant requests, contracts, easements, and deeds for the governor; analyzing proposed legislation and regulations for validity and legal effect; assisting appointments staff in determining eligibility and other legal issues related to proposed appointments; handling extradition and requisition matters; coordinating ethics guidelines and training for the governor’s office; advising the governor on federal programs administered by the state; coordinating the governor’s criminal justice policy with the governor’s policy director; and providing legal advice and handling litigation filed against the governor or the governor’s office, in conjunction with actions of the attorney general on the governor’s behalf.


Scope and Content of the Records

The General Counsel to the Texas governor provides statute interpretations; tracks cases of inmates on death row; handles pardon requests sent to the governor; reviews proposed settlements, land patents, and other legal documents; analyzes proposed legislation and regulations; assists appointments staff; handles extradition and requisition matters; coordinates ethics guidelines and training for the governor’s office; advises the governor on federal programs administered by the state; coordinates the governor’s criminal justice policy; provides legal advice and handles litigation filed against the governor or the Governor’s Office. These records were created and maintained by the General Counsel staff to document public information requests (PIR) received by the Governor’s office during Texas Governor Rick Perry’s term in office and the response to those requests. Dates are 1998-2015, the bulk dating 2001-2014. These dates reflect the years that requests were made, and the actual responsive documents produced may include records from prior years as well as from terms of former governors.

Records include letters or emails from requesters stating their specific public information request; correspondence between staff members of the office of the governor and with the requester, affected third-parties, and the office of the attorney general; responsive documents produced i.e. documents collected by the requester; non-responsive documents (documents that were not ultimately collected by or submitted to the requester); exhibits submitted to the office of the attorney general; attorney general opinions; original and redacted copies of records; and records created by the office of the governor including but not limited to appointment files, financial documents, official and administrative correspondence, internal memorandums, reports, project proposals, electronic slide presentations, and PIR logs. Many of the public information requests concern appointments to boards and commissions by the governor, his calendars and schedule, correspondence with prominent individuals, criminal justice (including grants, pardons, and executive clemency for death row inmates), education, electric deregulation, the environment (including emissions, low-level radioactive waste, and endangered species), gambling, Governor’s Mansion guests, the Texas Enterprise Fund, Texas Emerging Technology Fund, Enron, Public Utilities Commission, executions, the West Texas polygamist compound, Texas Film Commission, Texas Narcotics Control Program, Texas Lottery Commission, budget reductions for state agencies, organized prayer in schools, legislation, and litigation. Public information request files may contain as little as a copy of the request or Governor’s Office response or as much as copies of responsive records, Attorney General letter rulings, internal memos, and correspondence with the requester and Attorney General. Requesters include journalists, citizens, government officials and staff (federal, state, and local), campaign staff, and non-profit organization staff.

A significant number of responsive documents include the requester’s name on the top right corner, as well as a page count. Others include the name of the person for whom information is being requested under the PIA request. Sometimes, though not always, smaller PIR response packets will be clipped together. It is not unusual for responsive documents in a PIR to include documents furnished in other PIRs. Also present in these records is a small number of PIR logs for select years, 1999 to 2003. These typically consist of tables providing information such as the name of the requester (or organization), date received, 10-day due date, date produced, method of delivery, topic, requested information, produced information, procedural notes, time spent, and cost.

The extent of the electronic records is provided by the file size and the number of files and folders. The inventory does not list every electronic file or folder.


Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Access
Because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to: privacy and other statutory exceptions (Texas Government Code, Section 552.101); certain legislative documents (Texas Government Code, Section 552.106); attorney-client privilege (Texas Government Code, Section 552.107); certain law enforcement records (Texas Government Code, Section 552.108); certain commercial information (Texas Government Code, Section 552.110); agency memoranda (Texas Government Code, Section 552.111); home addresses, home phone numbers, social security numbers and personal family information of government employees (Texas Government Code, Section 552.117); home addresses, home phone numbers, social security numbers and personal family information of law enforcement officers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.1175); motor vehicle records (Texas Government Code, Section 552.130); 552.134, Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) inmate information (Texas Government Code, Section 552.134); crime victim impact statement (Texas Government Code, Section 552.135); account numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.136); email addresses (Texas Government Code, Section 552.137); and social security numbers of living persons (Texas Government Code, Section 552.147); an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research. The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552).

Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).


The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
[Responsive records were compiled from every division within the governor’s office.]
Texas Governor George W. Bush General Counsel public information request files, 1976, 1980, 1982-1983, 1985-1987, 1989-2000, bulk 1995-1999, 15.25 cubic ft.
Texas Governor George W. Bush Criminal Justice Division public information requests, 1995-1999, 3 cubic ft.
Texas, Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division, Records, 1973-1990, bulk 1987-1990, 28 cubic ft.
Texas Governor George W. Bush General Counsel legal opinions and advice, 1892, 1918, 1921, 1925, 1932, 1942-1944, 1948, 1954, 1956, 1963, 1965, 1968-1969, 1972-2000, bulk 1995-2000, 14 cubic ft.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Texas Governor Rick Perry General Counsel public information request files. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 2015/067, 2015/117
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Office of the Governor in paper format between December 2014 and March 2015 and in electronic format on January 29, 2015.

Processing Information
Processed by Aditi Worcester and Jonathan King, October 2015


Inventory of the Public Information Request files

For an inventory of the paper records please see the finding aid listed in the Other Finding Aids section.

 

Texas-Digital-Archive
PIR, 2001
E2015/117 PIR, 2001 [9.07 MB (423 files)]
[Folder contents include two separate subfolders: AG requests(4 files) and Pre-October 14 requests (155 files).]
PIR, 2002
PIR, 2002 [16.2 MB (349 files)]
[Folder contents include one separate subfolder: Produced documents(21 files).]
PIR, 2003
PIR, 2003 [16.6 MB (341 files)]
[Folder contents include one separate subfolder: Produced documents (33 files).]
PIR, 2004
PIR 2004 [13.4 MB (414 files)]
[Folder contents include one separate subfolder: Produced documents (10 files).]
PIR, 2005
PIR, 2005 [28.2 MB (342 files)]
[Folder contents include two separate subfolders: Requests (2 files) and Responsive documents (32 files)].
PIR, 2006
PIR, 2006 [24.4 MB (469 files)]
[Folder contents include one separate subfolder: Produced documents (10 files)].
PIR, 2007
PIR 2007 [84.5 MB (642 files)]
[Folder contents include eleven separate subfolders: Correspondence (3 files), Fairbank – responsive documents (37 files), Grisham – responsive documents (1 files), Hughes – responsive documents (2 files), MacLaggan – responsive documents (1 file), Poston (Department of Emergency Management Grants) – responsive documents (2 files), Richmond (Enterprise Project List) – responsive documents (1 file), Shapleigh (Economic Development contracts) – responsive documents (43 files), TDEx (3 files), Training (2 files), Washburn (4 files), Williams (Criminal Justice division grants) – responsive documents (2 files), and Yeary (Economic Development) – responsive documents (1 file).]
PIR, 2008
PIR, 2008 [1 GB (11,230 files)]
[Folder contents include three separate subfolders: Attachements (2 files), Dolcefino 395-08 (10074 files), Guest 044-08 – responsive emails (485 files).]
PIR, 2009
PIR, 2009 [2.33 GB (1,710 files)]
[Folder contents include eight separate subfolders: 131-09 Greenblatt (4 files), 444-09 Thomas (3 files), 536-09 Hargrave (3 files), 599-09 Carlton (25 files), 611-09 Bernhardt (11 files), 639-09 Moritz (2 files), 641-09 Cunningham (3 files), 649-09 Drew (686 files).]
PIR, 2010
PIR, 2010 [10.3 GB (12,761 files)]
PIR, 2011
PIR, 2011 [17.8 GB (21,054 files)]
PIR, 2012
PIR, 2012 [22.3 GB, (78,875 files)]
PIR, 2013
PIR, 2013
[12.2 GB (13,514 files)]
PIR, 2014
PIR, 2014
[15.1 GB (12,083 files)]
Scanned documents, 2009-2015 [4.69 GB (1609 files)]
SRC scanned documents, 2009-2014 [5.67 GB (3304 files)]