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Privacy, Security, Copyright, Public Information, Accessibility and Disclaimer Policies for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Copyright Statement

Disclaimer

Privacy Policy

Security Policy

Public Information Act Policy

Accessibility Policy

Link Policy

Social Media Policy

Reporting Suspected Fraud, Waste and Abuse


Copyright Statement

The contents of all material available on this internet web site are copyrighted by the Texas Department of Licensing andRegulation unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted on an individual document, file, home page, or the like, the TDLR grants permission to copy and distribute the files, documents, and information provided that they are copied and distributed without alteration and in the format provided. Consult the copyright holders of non-TDLR material concerning their use.


Disclaimer

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) makes no representations, guarantees, or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, currency, or suitability of the information provided via this web site. The TDLR specifically disclaims any and all liability for any claims or damages that may result from the TDLR web site or the information it contains, including any web sites maintained by third parties and linked to the TDLR web site. The responsibility for content rests with the organizations that are providing the information. The inclusion of links from this site does not imply endorsement by the TDLR.


Security and Intrusion Detection

Many agency sites use information collected on a site to detect potentially harmful intrusions and to take action once an intrusion is detected. In some situations, the policy of the agency may be not to collect personal information such as from IP logs. In the event of authorized law enforcement investigations, however, and pursuant to any required legal process, information from those logs and other sources may be used to help identify an individual.

We use a secure socket layer (SSL) connection to enhance the security of any information you choose to submit to us on our web site. In other areas of our web site, we provide only the security necessary to maintain our web site and information we provide to you.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes and are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Texas Penal Code Chapters 33 (Computer Crimes) or 33A (Telecommunications Crimes).


Privacy Policy Notice

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation maintains this web site as a public service. The following is the privacy policy for this site (all pages starting with www.tdlr.texas.gov):

  1. Our site uses cookies to save passwords so that visitors do not have to re-enter passwords upon revisiting our site. Note: A cookie file contains unique information a web site can use to track such things as passwords, lists of pages you've visited, and the date when you last looked at a specific page or to identify your session at a particular web site. A cookie is often used in commercial sites to identify the items selected for a specific shopping cart application.
  2. Our site's registration forms and/or surveys may require users to give us contact information (e.g. name, email address) and unique identifiers (e.g. social security numbers). The customer's contact information is used to contact the visitor when necessary. Unique identifiers are collected for use as account numbers in our record system.
  3. This site has security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information under our control. The maximum encryption available (128 bit) is utilized on our secure server. No system, however, can be guaranteed to be completely safe.
  4. If you send us an electronic mail message with a question or comment that contains personally identifying information, or fill out a form that e-mails us this information, we will use the personally-identifiable information only to respond to your request and analyze trends. We may redirect your message to another government agency or person who is in a better position to answer your question.
  5. Our site gives users the option of removing their information from our list service database. If you wish not to receive future communications from our list service, visit the following URL: http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/newsletters/unsubscribe.htm
  6. This site contains links to other sites. The Texas Department of Licensing andRegulation is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such web sites.
  7. Our site uses visitors' IP addresses to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our web site. The IP address also helps identify visitors and gather broad demographic information.
  8. For site management functions, information is collected for analysis and statistical purposes. This information is not reported or used in any manner that would reveal personally identifiable information. Nor will this information be released to any outside parties unless the TDLR is required to do so in connection with law enforcement investigations or other legal proceedings.
  9. We use Log analysis tools to create summary statistics that are used to assess what information is of most interest to users, determine technical design specifications, and identify system performance or problem areas. The following information is collected for this analysis:

    System date - The date and time of the user/client request.
    User Name - The name of the user that accessed the FTP server.
    User Client IP address
    - The hostname (or IP address if DNS is disabled) of the user/client requesting access.
    Method - The request method used.
    Universal Resource Identifier (URI) - The location of a resource on the server.
    Query string of the URI - Anything after the question mark in a URI.
    Status - The status code the server returned to the user/client.
    Bytes Sent/Received - The number of bytes sent/received by the user.
    Time Taken - The length of time the action took.
    HTTP header, "user-agent" - The user-agent information includes the type of browser, its version, and the operating system it's running on.
    HTTP header, "referrer" - The referrer specifies the page from which the client accessed the current page.
  10. Should this site make forums, message boards, and/or news groups available to its users, please remember that any information disclosed in these areas becomes public information. You should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information.

If you have any questions about this privacy statement or web site, you can contact:

Webmaster

Texas Department of Licensing andRegulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, TX 78711-2157
webteam@tdlr.texas.gov


Public Information Act Policy

To request information from this governmental body, you may send your request:

  • By mail to:

    Public Information Coordinator
    Office of the General Counsel
    Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
    P.O. Box 12157
    Austin, TX 78711

  • By e-mail to open.records@tdlr.texas.gov
  • By fax to 512-475-3032
  • In person at:

    Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
    E.O. Thompson State Office Building
    920 Colorado Street
    Austin, Texas 78701

Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, gives you the right to access government records; and an officer for public information and the officer’s agent may not ask why you want them. All government information is presumed to be available to the public. Certain exceptions may apply to the disclosure of the information. Governmental bodies shall promptly release requested information that is not confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision, or information for which an exception to disclosure has not been sought.

More detailed information on the Public Information Act may be found at the Office of the Attorney General's web site: http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/2004publicinfohb_toc.shtml.

Rights of Requestors

You have the right to:

  • Prompt access to information that is not confidential or otherwise protected;
  • Receive treatment equal to all other requestors, including accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements;
  • Receive certain kinds of information without exceptions, like the voting record of public officials, and other information;
  • Receive a written statement of estimated charges, when charges will exceed $40, in advance of work being started and opportunity to modify the request in response to the itemized statement;
  • Choose whether to inspect the requested information (most often at no charge), receive copies of the information or both;
  • A waiver or reduction of charges if the governmental body determines that access to the information primarily benefits the general public;
  • Receive a copy of the communication from the governmental body asking the Office of the Attorney General for a ruling on whether the information can be withheld under one of the accepted exceptions, or if the communication discloses the requested information, a redacted copy;
  • Lodge a written complaint about overcharges for public information with the General Services Commission. Complaints of other possible violations may be filed with the county or district attorney of the county where the governmental body, other than a state agency, is located. If the complaint is against the county or district attorney, the complaint must be filed with the Office of the Attorney General.

Responsibilities of Governmental Bodies

All governmental bodies responding to information requests have the responsibility to:

    • Establish reasonable procedures for inspecting or copying public information and inform requestors of these procedures;
    • Treat all requestors uniformly and shall give to the requestor all reasonable comfort and facility, including accommodation in accordance with ADA requirements;
    • Be informed about open records laws and educate employees on the requirements of those laws;
    • Inform requestors of the estimated charges greater than $40 and any changes in the estimates above 20 percent of the original estimate, and confirm that the requestor accepts the charges, has amended the request, or has sent a complaint of overcharges to the Office of the Attorney General, in writing before finalizing the request;
    • Inform the requestor if the information cannot be provided promptly and set a date and time to provide it within a reasonable time;
    • Request a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General regarding any information the governmental body wishes to withhold, and send a copy of the request for ruling, or a redacted copy, to the requestor;
    • Segregate public information from information that may be withheld and provide that public information promptly;
    • Make a good faith attempt to inform third parties when their proprietary information is being requested from the governmental body;
    • Respond in writing to all written communications from the Office of the Attorney General regarding charges for the information.  Respond to the Office of the Attorney General regarding complaints about violations of the Act.

Procedures to Obtain Information

1. Submit a request by mail, fax, email or in person according to a governmental body's reasonable procedures.

2. Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the governmental body to accurately identify and locate the information requested.

3. Cooperate with the governmental body's reasonable efforts to clarify the type or amount of information requested.

Information to be released

You may review it promptly, and if it cannot be produced within 10 working days the public information officer will notify you in writing of the reasonable date and time when it will be available.

Keep all appointments to inspect records and to pick up copies. Failure to keep appointments may result in losing the opportunity to inspect the information at the time requested.

Cost of Records

You must respond to any written estimate of charges within 10 business days of the date the governmental body sent it or the request is considered automatically withdrawn.

If estimated costs exceed $100.00 (or $50.00 if a governmental body has fewer than 16 full time employees) the governmental body may require a bond, prepayment or deposit.

You may ask the governmental body to determine whether providing the information primarily benefits the general public, resulting in a waiver or reduction of charges.

Make a timely payment for all mutually agreed charges. A governmental body can demand payment of overdue balances exceeding $100.00, or obtain a security deposit, before processing additional requests from you.

Information that may be withheld due to an exception

By the 10th business day after a governmental body receives your written request, a governmental body must:

1. request an Attorney General opinion and state which exceptions apply;

2. notify the requestor of the referral to the Attorney General; and

3. notify third parties if the request involves their proprietary information.

Failure to request an Attorney General opinion and notify the requestor within 10 business days will result in a presumption that the information is open unless there is a compelling reason to withhold it.

Requestors may send a letter to the Attorney General arguing for release, and may review arguments made by the governmental body. If the arguments disclose the requested information, the requestor may obtain a redacted copy.

The Attorney General must issue a decision no later than the 45th working day from the day after the attorney general received the request for a decision. The attorney general may request an additional 10 working day extension.

Governmental bodies may not ask the Attorney General to "reconsider" an opinion.

For complaints regarding failure to release public information please contact your local County or District Attorney at (512) 854-9400 for Travis County.

You may also contact the Office of the Attorney General, Open Government Hotline, at 478-6736 or toll-free at 1-877-673-6839. For complaints regarding overcharges, please contact the Office of the Attorney General's Cost Rules Administrator at 512-475-2497.


Accessibility Policy

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is committed to making its web site accessible to all users. To make the site more accessible, we include several features designed to improve accessibility for users with disabilities. Some of these features are described below.

A descriptive text equivalent is provided for images and other non-text elements, aiding users who listen to the content of the site by using a screen reader, rather than reading the site. Skip tags are employed to allow readers to skip beyond redundant content, such as page headers. Clear and predictable navigation is provided throughout the web site.

Major reports and other publications that are on the web site are generally available in HTML or other accessible formats. Some reports and documents are available on the web site as Adobe Acrobat PDF files. We are in the process of ensuring that legacy PDF documents are made accessible if possible, and that new PDF documents are published in an accessible format.

Formatting, functionality and development of content for the web site is performed with the intention of conforming to the requirements of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is committed to making its web site accessible according to the requirements found in TAC 206.51 and 213.21(a)(b). To improve the accessibility of our web site, we test any major redesign with screen readers and other tools. The results of these reviews are incorporated into the web site. We currently use a variety of industry-standard tools for site validation, and it is our goal to achieve the highest level of accessibility attainable.

TDLR welcomes comments on how to improve the site's accessibility for users with disabilities. If you use assistive technology and the format of any material on our web site interferes with your ability to access the information, please contact TDLR at access@tdlr.texas.gov. To enable us to respond in a manner most helpful to you, please indicate the nature of your accessibility problem, the preferred format in which to receive the material, the web address of the requested material, and your contact information.

Additional information about accessibility programs in Texas is available from the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities at http://www.governor.state.tx.us/disabilities.


Requirements Applicable to Those Linking to State Agency Web Sites.

(A) Linking to State Agency Web Sites.

Organizations and individuals (the site owner) are encouraged to link to state agency information. Advance permission is not required before linking. Links should be made using the appropriate base URL of www.agency-identifier.state.tx.us or such other URL as the agency may use. Because state agencies may change subpages at any time without notice, the site owner should routinely verify links to state agency subpages.

(B) What Site Owners May Not Do in Linking to State Agency Web Sites.

Site owners may not capture state agency pages within the site owner's frames, present state agency web site content as that of the site owner, otherwise misrepresent the content of the state agency pages or misinform users about the origin or ownership of the content of the state agency web site. Any link to a state agency site should be a full forward link that passes the client browser to the state agency site unencumbered. The BACK button should return the visitor to the site owner's site if the visitor wishes to back out. Although the content of state agency web sites is available to the public, certain information on some state agency web sites may be trademarked, service marked, or otherwise protected as the state agency's intellectual property, and all agency content is protected by federal copyright laws. Use of protected intellectual property must be in accordance with federal and state law and must reflect the copyright, trademark, service mark or other intellectual property ownership of the state agency. Site owners should not link to individual state agency graphics or tables within state agency pages, especially in an effort to place the downloading burden on the state agency servers. Such an action may be considered a misuse of state resources. Site owners should contact the appropriate state agency to request permission to use a copy of the state agency's graphics within the site owner's pages.

(C) Accessibility.

Owners of sites linked to state agency pages shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that persons with disabilities may access these sites.

(D) Copying and Use of Information by Web Site Owners Linking to State Agency Sites.

The information posted on a state agency web site may be copied so long as it is presented in a non-misleading way and does not imply that either the site owner or the information, as it is presented on the site owner's web site, is endorsed by the State. Use of the information must identify the state agency that is the source of the information, its web address, the date the information was copied from the state agency's web site by the site owner and must be accompanied by a statement that neither the site owner nor the information, as it is presented on the site owner's web site, is endorsed by the State or any state agency. A state agency may not charge a fee to access, use or reproduce information on its web site or to link to information on its web site, unless specifically authorized to do so by the Texas Legislature. To protect the intellectual property of state agencies, copied information must reflect the copyright, trademark, service mark or other intellectual property rights of the state agency whose protected information is being used by the site owner.

(E) Links From a State Agency Web Site.

A state agency that only provides links to other state agencies and institutions of higher education will post a link to this State Web Site Link and Privacy Policy. A state agency that provides links to private web sites shall publish a linking policy that includes its standards and criteria for linking to the private web site. State agencies are strongly encouraged to publish a disclaimer policy that specifically disclaims liability and responsibility for private web site content. State agencies that link to private web sites will post a link to this State Web Site Link and Privacy Policy from the web page that identifies their specific policies.


Social Media Policy

Definitions

For purpose of this policy, social media is defined as online communication tools that allow people to post, comment, and share information and includes all of the content posted using these tools. Examples of social media tools include blogs, micro-blogs (Twitter), social networking sites (Facebook), and video and photo-sharing sites (YouTube, Flickr).

Private or personal information means any information that is confidential by law or personally identifiable information that may lead to the identification of a particular person.

Linking

TDLR may link to third party sites. These sites are not official TDLR web sites and therefore, the external sites’ policies apply. The appearance of external links on TDLR’s social media pages does not constitute official endorsement of those sites by TDLR or the State of Texas.

Privacy

TDLR will only post public information on social media web sites. If our communication to you involves or requires private information, TDLR will direct you to other appropriate (private) channels.

TDLR is not responsible for content posted by you or others to TDLR’s social media pages. Individuals who enter personal information on social media sites do so at their own risk; TDLR is not responsible for the public display of such private information. TDLR may remove postings to its social media pages that contain private information but neither TDLR nor its licensors or contractors are responsible for any damages caused by delays in such removal.

Social media content may be subject to public information requests. For more information about public information requests, please refer to the TDLR Public Information Act Policy.

Public Information and Record Retention

Social media sites may contain communications sent to or received by state employees, and such communications are therefore public records subject to State Records Retention requirements. These retention requirements apply regardless of the form of the record (digital text, photos, audio, or video, for example). To the extent that the third party records retention policies are inconsistent with the Texas State Record Retention Schedule, TDLR will archive copies of social media content in order to meet State records retention obligations.

Terms of Service

TDLR social media pages appear on third party sites that have terms of service and policies that are not governed by TDLR or the State of Texas. These third party sites are not official TDLR web sites and the third party’s web site terms of service and policies may apply.

Posting Policy

TDLR’s social media initiative is an extension of its commitment to communicate openly with its customers in the way they prefer. The purpose of TDLR’s social media pages is to facilitate conversations that benefit you and the agency alike.

While we encourage your participation on our social media pages, please keep your postings family friendly. We ask that you follow our posting guidelines. If you do not comply, your post will be removed.

  • We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions nor do we allow content that is abusive, hateful or that may be perceived as defamatory toward anyone or any organization, such as a licensee, an elected official and/or a TDLR employee.
  • We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency.
  • We do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency.
  • We do not allow postings that suggest or encourage illegal activity.
  • We do not allow posts that could compromise TDLR investigations.
  • You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your photos, your username and any information provided.

Users who repeatedly violate the posting policy may be blocked from TDLR’s social media pages.

TDLR’s social media pages are intended to make communication easier but they are not the appropriate venue for complaints about a specific individual, business or organization. We do not allow these types of complaints on TDLR’s social media pages. Instead, please use these resources:

Accessibility

Please view the following alternative pages for accessibility assistance.

Twitter: Easy Chirp
Facebook: Facebook mobile site, http://m.facebook.com


Reporting Suspected Fraud, Waste and Abuse

Fraud, waste, or abuse can be related to the expenditure of state funds for:

  • The General Appropriations Act-expenditures by state agencies, colleges, and universities or use of state grant money.
  • The federal stimulus or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • Hurricane Ike.

Anyone can report fraud, waste, or abuse.

In addition, state agencies, colleges, and universities are required by law (Texas Government Code, Section 321.022) to report suspected fraud or unlawful conduct to the State Auditor's Office if there are facts (not just mere suspicion) that point to fraud or unlawful conduct. Persons or entities reporting fraud to the State Auditor's Office (SAO) do not have to establish probable cause and/or have a suspect.

The SAO investigates allegations of misuse and/or illegal acts involving state resources. This includes funds provided by the State of Texas to aid Hurricane Ike victims.

To report fraud, waste, or abuse occurring at a Texas state agency, college, or university call the SAO Hotline at 1-800-TX-AUDIT (892-8348). In addition, a form to report fraud, waste, or abuse is available on the Fraud Reporting page. Reports of fraud, waste, or abuse may also be mailed to:

State Auditor's Office
Attn: SIU
P.O. Box 12067
Austin, TX 78711-2067.

Persons who report fraud may choose to remain anonymous.

Information to Submit

Provide as much detail as necessary so that appropriate action can be taken. This can include the following:

  • Your name (optional if you would like to remain anonymous).
  • Contact information, such as e-mail, telephone, or address (if PO box, please include a physical address).
  • Description of incident (see FAQ for more details).
 

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