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May 28, 2014

The Honorable Gregg Abbott


Attorney General of Texas
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
Dear Mr. Abbott,
The Dallas Morning News received a cost estimate dated May 15, 2014 (Attachment 1) in response to an open
records request dated Aug. 12, 2013 (Attachment 2) that was submitted to the North Central Texas Regional
Certification Agency (NCTRCA).
We believe that this cost estimate does not comply with instructions from your office to the NCTRCA in a March
25, 2014 letter (Attachment 3), and does not meet the standards outlined in Sec. 552.2615 of the Texas
Government Code. We respectfully ask that we be afforded the appropriate remedies under the law.
In the March 25, 2014 letter regarding ML-509948-13, the NCTRCA was instructed to provide the requestor with
an amended itemized statement of estimated charges that complies with section 552.2615 of the Government
Code within five business days.
We received an amended itemized statement on May 1, well over 30 business days later and more than seven
months after we first filed a complaint about the NCTRCAs first cost estimate.
Further, your office noted in the March 25 letter that the NCTRCA was able to determine the amount of $1,193.63
for items 1,2,6,7 and 8 of our original open records request because it has already completed the work. The
March 25 letter stated that because the NCTRCA failed to provide an itemized statement as required by Section
552.2615 of the Government Code, the agency may not recover more than $40 for the work already completed
on items 1,2,6,7 and 8.
According to the March 25 letter, the NCTRCA stated it will require additional time in order to redact financial
information in accordance with Open Records Letter No. 20132-19244 (2013). Your office indicated that
manipulation of data is a task for which the agency is allowed to charge for labor, but the agency also was
instructed to provide an itemized statement of estimated charges prior to beginning the work.
We would note that the amended cost estimate dated May 15, 2014 provides no cost estimate for such redactions.
Indeed, there is no mention of any kind of cost estimate for items 1,2,6,7 and 8.
Thank you for your consideration.
Regards,

Ed Timms
The Dallas Morning News
214.977.8070
etimms@dallasnews.com
cc: Jose L. Gonzalez, Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, LLP w/o attachments