By Josh Baugh

In his first foray into crafting policy as a council member, Greg Brockhouse wants to rebuild residents’ trust in how the city handles requests for public information.

It may sound a bit wonky, but it’s an important issue because it’s about the public’s ability to obtain the records of its government.

Under state law — the Texas Public Information Act, to be precise — governmental bodies are required to provide records when they’ve been requested by a member of the public. Certain types of documents are excepted from disclosure, but those governmental entities have to ask the state’s attorney general for permission to withhold any requested document — even those that cannot be released under state law.

The state law, however, doesn’t dictate exactly how the public records must be assembled, and the city policy that guides San Antonio’s municipal government leaves requesters distrustful of the process, Brockhouse said Tuesday.
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