Texas Attorney General Opinion: H-836 Page: 4 of 5
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The Honorable Charles Barden - page 4 (H-83V
In accordance with the definitions and examples in these
cases and other criteria which it may devise, the Board is
required to make a determination of whether confidentially-
labeled information relates to secret processes or methods
of manufacture. We emphasize that the Board must make its
determination in any particular case on the basis of the
particular facts relevant thereto.
Your final question is whether information determined
to be confidential may be disclosed to other governmental
bodies. In our opinion, the policy of interagency
cooperation would permit the Board to disclose such infor-
mation to other state agencies. In Attorney General Opinion
H-242 (1975), we held that information which was not acces-
sible to the public under the Open Records Act may never-
theless "be transferred between state agencies without
violating its confidential character," on the basis of a
recognized need to maintain an unrestricted flow of infor-
mation between state agencies. See Attorney General Opinion
U-683 (1975); Attorney General Oinion M-713 (1970). Likewise,
confidential information may be disclosable to county and
municipal governments which are recognized as agencies of
the state. Payne v. Massey, 196 S.W.2d 493, 495 (Tex. Sup.
1946); Bexar County v. Linien, 220 S.W. 761, 763 (Tex. Sup.
1920); State v. Iti 7f DalrIs, 319 S.W.2d 767, 773 (Tex.
Civ. App. -- Austn 1958), aff'd sub nom., State v. Austin,
331 S.W.2d 737 (Tex. Sup. 1960).
The situation is different, however, with regard to the
federal government. Although the statute requires the Board
to "advise, consult and cooperate with . . . the federal
government," section 3.19(4), we do not believe that the
Board may thereby disclose confidential information to the
federal government. As we stated in Attorney General Opinion
H-242 (1974), the policy supporting interchange of informa-
tion is absent when a federal agency requests information
that is not required by law to be disclosed to it, since the
state cannot effectively insure that the federal agency will
maintain the confidentiality of the information. Although
the state may permit the federal government access to public
information in the state's possession, it may not permit
access to non-disclosable information, unless some other law
requires its disclosure. Thus, absent a federal law requiring
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: H-836, text, 1976; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth271360/m1/4/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.