(877)TEX-MEAL
Tips for Submitting Your Public Information Request
How to Submit Requests  Minimize 
  • Submit your request in writing to: 
  • Your written request should include, at a minimum, the following information:
    • Your name and current contact information (email, phone number, address);
    • The manner in which you  are requesting the information be delivered to you (postal mail, email, in person), and the format in which you would like it provided (electronic or printed files);
    • A detailed description of the information you are requesting;
    • Any relevant dates, incident, investigation, or report numbers; and
    • Any other information that may helpful to promptly identify the information and provide a response to your request.

Avoid Common Mistakes That Delay Requests  Minimize 
  • Be as clear and specific as possible. Specific details will help the Texas Department of Agriculture staff members provide you with the exact information you need in a timely manner.
  • Include the specific time frame you are looking for. If the time period is for a specific year, specify whether the year is the Federal Fiscal Year, State Fiscal Year, Calendar Year, or Program Year. 
  • If looking for data associated with a specific school, entity, or person include known details such as the entity’s identification number or the associated city, zip code, and address.  
  • If the Public Information Office needs additional information to process your request, they may contact you directly. Please be sure to respond as soon as possible in order to avoid any delays in receiving your request.


Other Information  Minimize 
  • We are only able to accommodate requests for documents and information already in existence. If the information is not available, you will be notified within 10 business days.
  • Certain information is considered confidential, privileged or sensitive and is not subject to release. If the Public Information Office believes the requested information falls within one of these exceptions, it must request an opinion from the Texas Office of the Attorney General within 10 business days.
  • For some requests, there may be a charge to cover the expense of gathering and sending the information. If estimated costs exceed $100, TDA will require a deposit of 50% of the estimated charges. A person requesting public information may ask the governmental body to determine whether providing the information primarily benefits the general public, resulting in a waiver or reduction of charges.
    NOTE: One way to avoid charges is to keep your request narrow and specific. Ask for information for only the time period and location that you need.
  • If you have follow-up questions regarding your request, you may address those to the Public Information Officer, who will usually put you in touch with a subject-matter expert. However, if you need additional information, you should submit a new public information request for additional documents.


In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

 (1) mail: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
 
 (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
© 2017 Texas Department of Agriculture