Health and Safety
Cannabis Growing Operations
Texas Department of Public Safety received requests for information regarding applications for certain types of licenses. The Department of Public Safety was allowed to withhold this information. The licenses pertained to several Cannabis growing operations.
- Significance: Cannabis is an important and divisive issue in America today. Refusing to share information about its growing legal presence in Texas does not ensure the safety of all Texans.
- AG Opinion Citation: 2017 WL 3529968 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-17632
- AG Opinion Date: August 2017
Police Body Cams
The City of Houston received requests regarding battery issues with police body cams. The City was allowed to withhold information regarding the request. Houston eventually suspended the rollout of policy body cams. The agreement between WatchGuard and Houston was for $8 million.
- Significance: Police brutality is an important and divisive issue in America today. Pausing and perhaps stopping the rollout of body cams could signal an lack of commitment to ensuring the safety of all people, in what is seen as the most diverse city in America.
- AG Opinion Citation: 2017 WL 2344320 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-10418
- AG Opinion Date: May 2017
Other Health & Safety
- Ector County – Bob Barker Prison Supplies – 2017 WL 3120676 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-14349
- Ector County able to withhold information regarding winning bid and bid tabulations involving prison supplies company.
- Potter County – 2017 WL 934349 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-04041
- Potter County Purchasing Agent allowed to keep private the evaluation process concerning the county’s law enforcement complex.
- Harris County – 2017 WL 990347 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-04615
- Harris County Purchasing Agent’s Office withheld information regarding winning party’s response and best and final offer, as well as final contract to provide Corrections software.
- Uber and Lyft information in San Antonio – 2016 WL 5928106 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2016-21679
- San Antonio able to withhold information involving Uber and Lyft. The city received a request regarding communications between the city council and these companies.
- Yellow Cab information in Austin – 2016 WL 729673 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2016-02978
- City of Austin allowed to withhold information regarding monthly taxi cab reports.
The University of Texas at Austin received requests regarding the winning bid for a specified request for proposal. The companies’ whose information was at issue included “Attain, LLC,” among others. Dr. Susan Wyatt Sedwick is a Senior Consultant with Attain. Previously, she was the Director of the Office of Specified Projects at Texas.
- Significance: People have a right to know whether Texas is awarding contracts based on merit, or if previous relationships and clout are a determinant of how contracts are awarded.
- AG Opinion Citation: 2017 WL 1945473 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-08873
- AG Opinion Date: April 2017
The City of Keller received requests for its electricity contract with Gexa Energy. For many years, Attorney General’s office concluded the terms of a contract and especially the pricing of a winning bidder are public and generally not excepted from disclosure. But because of Boeing the Gexa’s contracts are no longer disclosed.
- Significance: Texans should have a right to know whether their officials are doing everything they can to keep costs low and the lights on in their homes and businesses. Many Texans overpay for energy, and former PUC commissioner said that electric companies “always find a way” around making the market honest and transparent. Now they do not even have to put in the effort of hiding the ball.
- AG Opinion Citation: 2017 WL 2457715 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-11423
- AG Opinion Date: May 2017
Other Final Contracts
- University of Texas purchases from Rapid7 – 2017 WL 6559570 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-28130
- University of Texas allowed to withhold information regarding purchases from IT security software company.
- University of Texas – IMG College – 2017 WL 2642418 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-11983
- University of Texas may withhold information regarding multimedia contracts with IMG College and ESPN.
- Edinburg Consolidated School District – 2017 WL 4867061 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-23038
- Edinburg Consolidated School District may withhold information regarding a project with Johnson Controls.
- Hidalgo County Public Affairs Office – Payment to law firm – 2017 WL 5618276 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-25666
- Hidalgo county withheld information regarding contracts between the county and Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, a law firm.
- IDEA Public Schools, T-Mobile contract – 2017 WL 6041485 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-26644
- IDEA Public School able to withhold copies of proposals, bid tabulations, and scoring sheets concerning T-Mobile.
- Alamo Community College and Broaddus – 2017 WL 6559378 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-28015
- Alamo Community College District allowed to withhold information regarding bidding situation involving Broaddus & Associates, a firm that offers consulting and planning services for construction projects.
- KIPP San Antonio – 2017 WL 6760168 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-28910
- KIPP San Antonio able to withhold information regarding executed contract with AIM, LLC, a company that provides testing for special education students.
- TXDOT – Kennedy Consulting Project – 2017 WL 2783949 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-13250
- Texas Department of Transportation allowed to withhold information about a specified request for qualifications involving Kennedy Consulting, an engineering consulting firm.
- City of San Antonio – Impounding contract $3.0 million – 2017 WL 6559329 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-27902
- San Antonio allowed to withhold information regarding request for proposals for bids pertaining to city’s impounding contract.
- Kingsville contract with Gexa Energy – 2017 WL 5618260 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-25642
- Kingsville withheld information regarding city’s current electricity contract with Gexa energy.
- Edinburg agreement with Lone Star Bank – 2017 WL 4341226 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-21271
- Hidalgo County Public Affairs office able to withhold information related to banking services because of third party objection by Lone Star Bank.
- City of San Antonio contract with Creative Noggin for $1.9 million – 2017 WL 4227268 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-20491
- San Antonio may withhold some of the information regarding contract with marketing agency.
- Houston Municipal Pension System contracts with Investment Firms – 2017 WL 3721352 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-18051
- Houston Municipal Employees Pension System able to withhold information from board of trustees meeting because of third party objection by multiple companies.
- City of Houston contract for Waste Management Services – 2017 WL 4340890 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-20822
- Houston allowed to withhold some information pertaining to waste management services.