13 Sep New Open Records Center At TABC!
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has gone live with their new Open Records Center! Some of you are probably asking yourself “What is that?” It is an electronic system that allows you to request public documents or if you are a permit holder, your private documents. TABC says this system will enable members of the public to submit, view, update, and track requests for documents.
On a personal level, I have a love/hate relationship with the Open Records Act. As a government employee, a large part of your work is available to the public. At the TABC, staffing was always an issue, and I have seen requests for Open Records literally bog down the agency. However as a new member of the “public,” I find Open Records can be useful in having a better understanding of government operations and providing me with much-needed data.
So why is this important to you? The name of the system “Open Records Center,” is a bit confusing but can be very useful to you and your business. If you are a permit holder, your “private” records are “open” to you. Therefore, you can use this system to request copies of your records as well as any public documents you may want to view.
Do you want some free advice (and yes it is really free)? After filing your applications or documents with the TABC, follow up and get a copy of the records you filed. But you say, “why would I do that; I have copies”? TABC receives a lot of documents, and yes, humans have to ensure those documents are scanned or put where they should be, and like all things involving humans, there can be mistakes. Getting copies of your filed documents is your quality assurance check that all your documents were filed with your permit. Also, notes are made on those documents that may help you with future filings and don’t you think it would be a good idea to see what the TABC actually has filed to your permit record?
I am very excited about this new system not only for myself and for you, but mostly for the TABC! This is a step in the right direction to streamlining the many requests they receive and will hopefully give them much needed relief to manage those requests. Without a doubt, this has the potential to bring wonderful efficiencies to both sides. I have submitted a request and am anxious to see the request go through the new system. Congrats to the TABC and go check it out!
Let us know your opinions in the comments below.