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Legislative Reference Library of Texas
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Rules

RULE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 1.01. DEFINITIONS. In these rules:

(1) "Alternative depository" means a depository for legislative records, other than the library, approved by the director under Section 3.03.

(2) "Board" means the Legislative Library Board.

(3) "Director" means the director of the library.

(4) "Legislative entity" and "legislative record" have the meanings assigned by Section 324.001, Government Code.

(5) "Library" means the Legislative Reference Library.

(6) "Records management" has the meaning assigned by Section 441.180, Government Code.


Sec. 1.02. DELEGATION OF CERTAIN BOARD DUTIES. The director shall generally represent the board in its relations with members of the legislature, state and local officials, and the general public, and shall perform the functions and duties assigned to the board under Section 324.0085(c)(1), Government Code, as added by Chapter 1250 (H.B. 4181), Acts of the 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019, in accordance with these rules and in a manner that ensures the library's efficient operation.


Sec. 1.03. GENERAL DUTIES OF DIRECTOR.

(a) The director shall implement procedures that persons must use to request access to legislative records. The procedures must allow the requestor to designate the request either as a request for public information made under Chapter 552, Government Code, or as a research request not subject to the requirements of that chapter.

(b) The director shall develop and implement a comprehensive strategic plan regarding the preservation and management of legislative records.

(c) The director or the director's designee may make certified copies of archival legislative records or other historical resources in the custody of the library. The certified copies have the same force and effect as if certified by their original custodian or owner.

(d) The director shall serve as or designate a member of the library staff to serve as legislative archivist to administer the state archives program with regard to legislative records under Sections 324.0085, Government Code, as added by Chapter 1250 (H.B. 4181), Acts of the 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019, and 441.181, Government Code.


RULE 2. MANAGEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE RECORDS

Sec. 2.01. RECORDS MANAGEMENT STANDARDS.

(a) The director shall ensure that legislative records and archival legislative records are managed and preserved in accordance with best practices for records management.

(b) Retention policies for legislative records must:

(1) ensure that legislative records are preserved as long as administratively valuable;

(2) require that archival legislative records are appropriately preserved and archived; and

(3) provide for the destruction of records after the applicable retention period has expired.

(c) In establishing retention periods for legislative records, the director shall consider retention periods prescribed by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for similar nonlegislative records.

(d) The director shall take reasonable measures to ensure that the confidentiality of any archival legislative record maintained by the library is preserved until state law allows access to the record.


Sec. 2.02. RECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULES.

(a) The director shall develop and approve records retention schedules for legislative entities. In developing a records retention schedule for a legislative entity, the director shall consult with the legislative entity or with the appropriate officers of the house to which the legislative entity belongs.

(b) The director shall update a records retention schedule as necessary to accommodate changes in the records maintained by an affected legislative entity or for other appropriate cause.


RULE 3. ALTERNATIVE DEPOSITORIES

Sec. 3.01. USE OF ALTERNATIVE DEPOSITORIES. The director may approve an institution, including a library or archive, to serve as an alternative depository for legislative records.


Sec. 3.02. APPLICATION FOR PLACEMENT OF MEMBER'S RECORDS IN ALTERNATIVE DEPOSITORY.

(a) A member of the legislature may apply to the director to place records that were created or received by the member's office during the member's term in a depository other than the library. The member must submit an application in a manner prescribed by the director.

(b) The director shall approve an application under Subsection (a) if the depository specified in the application is an approved alternative depository.

(c) If the depository specified in an application under Subsection (a) is not an approved alternative depository, the director shall consider whether the depository qualifies for approval under Section 3.03. If the specified depository is approved as an alternative depository, the director shall approve the application under Subsection (a).


Sec. 3.03. APPROVAL OF ALTERNATIVE DEPOSITORY.

(a) The director may approve an institution, including a library or archive, to serve as an alternative depository if:

(1) the director determines the institution is able to adequately preserve legislative records on behalf of the library and make the records reasonably available to members of the public who wish to research the records; and

(2) the institution agrees in writing to accept legislative records and serve as an alternative depository in compliance with these rules, other applicable law, and requirements prescribed by the director.

(b) The director shall establish requirements to ensure an alternative depository adequately preserves legislative records and makes the records reasonably available to the public. The requirements may include:

(1) maintaining minimum hours of operation and staffing;

(2) providing adequate environmental controls and fire prevention and mitigation measures for stack, storage, and processing areas used for legislative records;

(3) complying with procedures to avoid accidental interfiling of legislative records with the depository's own materials;

(4) limiting public access to stack, storage, and processing areas used for legislative records;

(5) designating at least one staff member whose responsibilities include appraising, arranging, preserving, and describing legislative records and assisting researchers in the use of legislative records;

(6) providing researchers with access to legislative records and monitoring use of the records to avert destructive handling or theft;

(7) providing suitable research work space for researchers and providing other facilities and equipment necessary to use and copy legislative records;

(8) complying with laws governing public access to legislative records, including Chapters 306, 323, 324, and 552, Government Code;

(9) complying with written instructions given by a member of the legislature to the library regarding public access to communications between the member or the member's office and the public or the Texas Legislative Council;

(10) making legislative records equally available to qualified researchers;

(11) requiring that researchers who are minors be supervised by a responsible adult;

(12) making legislative records available to researchers free of charge, other than charges for photocopies made on depository equipment and amounts necessary to reimburse the depository for postage or other direct costs incurred to assist a researcher;

(13) prohibiting depository staff from making inquiries of persons seeking to inspect or copy legislative records other than to establish the person's proper identification or to identify the records being requested; or

(14) any other requirements applicable to a specific depository that the director considers necessary or advisable to assure proper care and availability of legislative records.

Sec. 3.04. OWNERSHIP AND CUSTODY OF RECORDS.

(a) Ownership and legal custody of legislative records placed in an alternative depository remains with the legislature as provided by Section 324.0086, Government Code.

(b) A legislative entity that transfers legislative records to the library or alternative depository may retrieve the records for the entity's own use. The director and library employees shall assist the legislative entity with retrieval of the records and shall return the records to the library or alternative depository following the entity's use.

(c) With the written approval of the legislative entity that owns legislative records placed in an alternative depository, the director may instruct the alternative depository to transfer the records to the library, and the alternative depository shall promptly transfer the records to the library in accordance with the director's instructions.


Sec. 3.05. TERMINATION OF ALTERNATIVE DEPOSITORY STATUS. An institution's status as an alternative depository may be terminated by either the director or the institution on one year's notice in writing to the other party, or at an earlier date if agreed to by both the director and the depository. In the event of termination, the alternative depository shall promptly return all legislative records placed in the depository to the library.