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    LegalEase Newsletter | FAQs by Subject

    News Article | July 20, 2022

    Public Information Act

    Legal Guidance

    "My office received a PIA request for information I know we have and should produce. For whatever reason, a portion of the information is stored on a former employee's personal e-mail on their personal device. It was never transferred to their county files. Is the former employee's personal device subject to the Act?"

    If a former employee’s personally owned mobile device contains county information, is their device still subject to the Public Information Act?

    Yes, Government Code §552.002 provides a county officer’s or employee’s e-mails made in the transaction of county business are public information that must be produced, even if they are made on a personally-owned mobile communications device. As defined in Government Code §552.003(7), employees, former employees, officials, and former officials who retain public information on their personal devices and who have not forwarded public information to the appropriate public information officer for their county are ”termporary custodians” of the public information on their personal devices. For more information, see the Public Information Act Handbook.