December 11, 2014

Open Government Training

In addition to any other training which you may receive concerning your position on a County Child Welfare Board, it is necessary for you to complete Open Government training within 90 days of your appointment to the board by the Commissioners Court.  This was mandated by legislation in 2005, which required public officials to receive training in the requirements of the Open Meetings Act and Public Information Act beginning January 1, 2006.  This requirement is now found in the Texas Government Code, §§ 551.005 & 552.012.

DVD’s are made available from the Office of the Attorney General in Austin, so that a number of persons may take the trainings together; or, you may take it in privacy of your own setting, at your own speed, with a computer and an Internet connection.

The training is fairly simple, but is a bit lengthy (each of the two videos is about 1 hour), and you may need to stay with your computer, moving the mouse occasionally to ensure that the training images do not shut down.  You may stop the video whenever you choose, but you must complete watching each video to obtain information necessary to prove your completion of the course.

To watch the videos, go to  Near the top right of the page, look for the column that says “Open Government Training” and click your mouse on it.  That brings up another page and text box near the center which is entitled “Videos and Certificates” which lists under it “Open Meeting Act Training” and “Public Information Act Training.”  To take the courses simply click once on the course title and when the video window appears click on the start arrow.

After viewing each video, an Access Code number will appear on your computer screen.  Write down the number and go back to the previous page of the website and click on “Print Course Completion Certificate(s)” and follow the directions.

Once you have printed both certificates, you should deliver them to your County Clerk to be filed with similar certificates of other elected and appointed officials.  Please make additional copies and bring them to the next Child Welfare Board meeting to be filed with certificates from  other board members at the DFPS office.

Texas Attorney General’s Open Government Training

Volunteer Training Sample Letter

Public Information Handbook