- The Public Information Act
- TCAnet Goal
- General Principles
- General Acceptable Use
- Additional Guidelines
- Authorized Users – Acceptable Use
- Policy Enforcement
- Link Policy
- To improve the usefulness of our Web site, we collect traffic information from our site’s server logs. This information does not identify the visitor individually. The information we collect consists of:
- Your internet service provider. For instance, if you connect to our site using America Online (AOL), our system will track that someone using AOL connected to the site. However, your actual identity will not be known. We will not know any personally identifiable information about you, including your name and email address.
- The Internet Protocol number.
- The date and time that the page was visited.
- We collect the e-mail addresses of those individuals who communicate with us via e-mail or who give us their e-mail address.
- We collect information that those individuals and organzations who communicate with us via e-mail or who submit forms, applications, or surveys on our website voluntarily provide.
- We use e-mail addresses and volunteered information to send news and information, notices of upcoming events and deadlines, and other forms of pertinent information to those who request it.
- We will not market the information we collect.
- The information that we collect will be retained and maintained as required by Texas records retention laws (Government Code Section 441.180 et seq.) and rules. Different types of information are required to be kept for different periods of time.
- The information that we collect may be subject to public disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act.
For further information or inquires, please contact the Texas Commission on the Arts directly: 512-463-5535.
Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, gives you the right to access government records; and an officer for public information and the officer’s agent may not ask 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, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision, or information for which an exception to disclosure has not 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 itemized 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 General Services Commission. 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, or has amended the request, 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 General Services Commission 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.
A. Information to be 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 days of the date the governmental body sent it or the request is considered automatically withdrawn.
- If estimated costs exceed $100.00 (or $50.00 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 $100.00, or obtain a security deposit, before processing additional requests from you.
B. 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 Commission on the Arts, please send your request:
By mail to:
Jim Bob McMillan, Deputy Director
Texas Commisssion on the Arts
P.O. Box 13406
Austin, Texas 78711-3406
By e-mail to:
By fax to: 512-475-2699
In person at:
E.O. Thompson Building
920 Colorado Street
Austin, Texas 78701
For complaints regarding failure to release public information please 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 General Services Commission at 512-475-2497.
If you need special accommodation pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), please contact our ADA coordinator, Chuck Winkler, at 512-936-6575 or TTY 512-475-3327.
The goal of the Texas Cultural and Arts Network (TCAnet) is to serve as a hub for information about the arts and cultural industry in Texas. The intent is to create a presence on the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW) that is truly reflective of the vitality, diversity, and appeal of the arts and cultural industry in Texas.
To accomplish this goal, the Texas Commission on the Arts has set forth these objectives for TCAnet:
- to provide easy access to high quality information on the arts and cultural industry of Texas
- to promote the arts in Texas
- to educate the public about the value of the arts
- to make the Commission more accessible and useful to all citizens
Technological information resources are provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts to its staff, partner organizations, constituents, Texas educators, and the general public in support of the agency’s mission and goals. Access to computer networks and systems, owned and operated by the Texas Commission on the Arts, imposes certain responsibilities and obligations on the users and is granted subject to the Commission policies and state and federal laws. Appropriate use must always adhere to ethical standards, reflect professional honesty, and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources.
This document outlines the acceptable use of these resources by the general public and authorized users. The intent of the guidelines listed below is to identify general uses which are consistent with the provision of technological information resources by the Commission on the Arts and the State of Texas. It is not intended to enumerate all possible uses and misuses.
- Use for any legal activity in furtherance of the aims and policies of a TCA constituent organization or the Commission is acceptable.
- Use for the exchange of data or information for professional development, personal enrichment, to stay current on topics, or to debate issues in the field is acceptable.
- Use for disciplinary, professional, associations, advisory or instructional activities related to the user’s professional field is acceptable.
- Use in applying for or administering grants or contracts for professional use is acceptable.
- Use for general administrative activities and communication in support of professional use is acceptable.
- Use originating from a network of another authorized organization or an affiliated network which meets the acceptable use guidelines of TCAnet is acceptable.
- Use which is incidental to otherwise acceptable uses, except those which are illegal or specifically unacceptable, is acceptable.
- Any use of TCAnet for illegal purposes, or in support of illegal activities, is prohibited.
- Development of computer systems which violate the guidelines outlined herein are prohibited.
- Establishing network connections which create routing patterns inconsistent with the effective and shared used of TCAnet is prohibited.
- Malicious use of any kind is not acceptable. Malicious use includes, but is not limited to, harassment of other users, attempts to develop or introduce virus programs into systems, attempts to cause system outages, attempts to discover passwords or attempts to disrupt the regular business of State government. All uses must be consistent with guiding ethical statements, applicable acceptable use policies, and community standards. State resources must not be used in any way which violates applicable laws, regulations, or TCA policies. Use of State resources which precludes or hampers the use of those resources by others is prohibited.
- The creation or transmission (other than properly supervised and lawful research purposes) of any offensive, obscene, or indecent images, data or other materials is prohibited.
- Use of the network for political lobbying is prohibited.
- The creation or transmission of defamatory material is prohibited.
- The transmission of materials such that it infringes on the copyright of another person is prohibited.
- The creation or transmission of material which is designed to or likely to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety is prohibited.
- Unsolicited advertising is prohibited. Announcements of new products or services are acceptable providing they do not include solicitation for sale.
- Use of State resources in the furtherance of for-profit activities that do not directly foster the arts and cultural industry or education are prohibited.
Engaging in any other activity that does not comply with the General Acceptable Use Policy presented above is prohibited. From time to time, TCA will make decisions on whether specific uses of TCAnet are consistent with this policy.
Violations of these guidelines should be reported immediately to the agency Information Technology division. TCA staff will notify the user responsible and take appropriate remedial actions.
No person shall intentionally and without proper authorization gain access to, alter, damage, or destroy a computer system or computer network or the software program or the data contained in the computer, computer system, or computer network.
- No person is authorized to utilize in any manner Government computer equipment and software when such use would be for personal financial gain.
- No person without proper authorization may utilize computer equipment or programs to gain access to, copy, or obtain for personal use or information, records or information owned or processed by the Texas Commission on the Arts.
- No person may copy or distribute software, or its documentation without the permission of the copyright holder.
The Commission retains the right to remove any content which it deems not relevant to the purposes of TCAnet or in violation of appropriate state and federal statutes, including the Commission’s Equity Mandate and Obscenity Provision.
In an effort to usher the arts and cultural industry into doing business electronially, both within the industry and with the Commission, TCA will provide password protected accounts to designated users at its discretion. Authorized Users include, but are not limited to, all TCA Commissioners and staff, TCAnet Advisory Committee members, statewide arts and education service organizations, members of the Texas legislature, other appropriate state and federal agencies, and TCA grantees. Potential and past applicants, and those not previously funded may request an account from TCA.
In instances where the Commission determines that information is essential to the development of the arts and culturally industry, TCA reserves the right to house and/or administer the information on behalf of an outside organization or individual on the TCAnet server.
The following information details the appropriate use of TCAnet for authorized users. Any questions about the appropriateness of use for TCAnet should be discussed with the Commission prior to use of the network.
- Only use your own password to log in to a restricted portion of the network. You may not allow other users to use your password to access the network. This is for your own protection and well as the protection of TCAnet.
- Keep your password confidential. If you are using a public machine, such as a terminal in a library, be sure to log-off before leaving the terminal. People have taken advantage of such users by sending rude or inappropriate mail to third parties, as well as engaging in security breeches. Such actions are subject to punitive action as outlined in the Policy Enforcement section of this document.
- You should be aware that no computer security system, no matter how sophisticated, can absolutely prevent a determined individual from accessing information they are not authorized to access. Thus, while TCA tries to provide a reasonable level of confidentiality for the restricted portion of the network, the agency cannot guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of any information exchanged on the network.
Depending on the nature and severity of the policy violation, the Texas Commission on the Arts may take one or more of the following disciplinary actions:
- Verbal, written, or e-mail warning. At the Commission’s discretion, notification may also be sent to an authority figure within the organization employing the user.
- Temporary access denial.
- Permanent access revocation.
Any suspected violation of state and federal information technology laws will be reported to the appropriate legal authority for investigation.
Evidence of attempted or actual system security, integrity, or performance related incidents will be cause for immediate access denial. The purpose of access denial in these cases is to prevent further damage to the system or data while an investigation is conducted.
Demonstrated intent to violate policy will be considered the same as an actual policy violation. Demonstrated intent means evidence of actions, that if successful or if carried out as intended, would result in a policy violation.
As the hub for information about the arts and cultural industry in Texas, TCAnet links to web sites focused on arts and culture. The Texas Commission on the Arts provides links to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Texas and their national counterparts where appropriate. Nonprofit and government sites make up the largest proportion of links on TCAnet.
TCAnet also links to commercial and personal web sites when those sites have relevant educational information for the arts and cultural industry. Links to these sites are more targeted than nonprofit sites; they are direct links to the content instead of general links to the home page. If this direct link is refused by the commercial site, no link is provided on TCAnet.
The technological information resource services offered by the Texas Commission on the Arts are made available AS IS. The Commission makes NO warranty or representation, expressed or implied, concerning the quality of results achieved by the use of the Commission’s information service, know-how, or any other information furnished thereunder, or to any other matter whatsoever, including, but not limited to its marketability or fitness for a particular purpose.
Viewpoints and opinions expressed by TCAnet users are not necessarily representative of the viewpoints and opinions of the staff and governing board of the Texas Commission on the Arts or any branch of Texas State Government. The Commission is not responsible for the actions of, or the accuracy and veracity of statements made by TCAnet users. The Commission trusts that the authorized users of TCAnet will abide by the Acceptable Use Policy set forth herein and will report any misconduct or violation to the Commission immediately.
Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA)
All Rights Reserved.
The Texas Cultural and Arts Network or TCAnet are trademarks of the Texas Commission on the Arts. The above copyright notice and other legends and markings must appear on all complete or partial copies of this information and supporting documentation. If the Texas Commission on the Art’s World Wide Web service is integrated in any non-commercial application, such application should display in its “About” dialog box or in its online help and/or menus, and in its documentation, that it is using the Texas Commission on the Arts’ information service and should list the above notice and legends.
TCA’s information service MAY NOT be distributed as part of a commercial software release or for resale purpose in whole or part without prior written permission from the Commission.