Substantial % of Revenue from Public Funding
Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau received requests for information regarding investments that the Bureau made concerning trade shows and conventions. The information request was denied because the Bureau was not sustained by public funds. The Bureau’s financial reports state that 90% of its revenue comes from public sources, however.
- Significance: If an entity that receives 90% of its revenue from public sources is not deemed a “government body,” nonprofits may become an avenue for the government to easily withhold information.
- AG Opinion Citation: 2016 WL 3556069 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2016-13691
- AG Opinion Date: June 2016
Other Examples with Greater than 50% Public Funding
- Central Texas Community Centers- 2015 WL 8491170- Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2015-23893
- Nonprofit, healthcare provider allowed to withhold information pertaining to requestor’s medical records despite receiving only 55% of funds from non-public sources.
- Cypress Creek Emergency Services- 2015 WL 4719386- Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2015-15568
- Cypress Creek Emergency Services allowed to withhold information regarding medical billing services despite receiving greater than 50% of support from Emergency Services District No.11 Funds.
- Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce- 2015 WL 4571865- Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2015-14297
- Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce able to withhold information pertaining to credit card statements and the chamber’s most recent audit report.
More than $1 Million in Government Funding
$5.6 Million in State Funding
Southwest Key, provider of youth justice programs, charter schools, and shelters for immigrant youth, able to withhold information regarding real property purchases and development grants. Southwest Key received $5.6 million in funding from the state in 2016.
- Significance: The government may be able to support entities with millions in funding without having to disclose information about how the money is spent.
- AG Opinion Citation: 2016 WL 7466205- Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2016-27542
- AG Opinion Date: December 2016
Other Examples with Greater than $1 Million in Government Support
- Big Thought- 2017 WL 5176739- Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-24564
- Big Thought, a youth development organization, was allowed to withhold information regarding a request for specified contracts despite receiving more than $2 million in government support.
- Corizon Health- 2015 WL 7430612 – Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2015-20509
- Corizon Health received an information request for all contracts, policies, and procedures related to its operation of jails in the State of Texas. The request was denied despite Corizon Health’s receiving millions in public funds.
- Deep Ellum Foundation- 2017 WL 6559118- Informal Letter Ruling No. OR2017-27615
- Blurb: Deep Ellum Foundation allowed to withhold information regarding the Deep Ellum Improvement District.