State law requires each elected or appointed member of a governmental body to take at least one hour of training in both the Open Meetings Act and the Public Information Act. In addition, a city’s officer for public information (often the city secretary) must take at least one hour of training in the Public Information Act.

With regard to the Public Information Act training, a public official (for example, a member of a municipal governing body) may designate a public information coordinator to satisfy the open records training requirement. For example, a city secretary could fill this role.

The training must be completed no later than 90 days after a person takes the oath of office or assumes the responsibilities of the office. Once a person has taken the training, the requirement is satisfied; the law does not require a refresher or update.

The attorney general’s office allows the training requirement to be met in three ways: (1) live training provided by that office; (2) a video that is available free of charge or online; and (3) certification of other entities, such as TML, to provide the training. TML is certified to offer training and frequently conducts workshops that satisfy the training requirements.

For detailed information, please visit www.oag.state.tx.us and click on the “Open Government” tab at the top of the page, then select “Open Government Training” on the right.

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

Back to Legislative Update Index