Records Appraisal Report:
Attorney General News or Press Releases

Contents of this report
Agency Contact | Record Series Review

Internal links to series reviews
News or press releases

Archival finding aid
An Inventory of Attorney General Price Daniel Records at the Texas State Archives, 1934, 1938-1941, 1944-1962, 1969-1970, 1978, 1986-1987, bulk 1947-1952

December 6, 2005, Tonia J. Wood, Appraisal Archivist

Agency Contact

This agency contact information was current at the time of the report but may have changed in the interim. Please call (512-463-5455) for current contact information of the agency's records manager or records liaison for these records.

Paula Harris
Manager, Reprographics and Records
PO Box 12548
Austin TX 78711-2548

Record Series Review

Series Title: News or press releases

Obsolete record series? No
Replaced by:

Ongoing record series? Yes
Annual accumulation: approx. 240 releases

Agency holdings:
Covers the terms of Morales through Abbott. For Abbot, releases are in electronic format, from December 2, 2002 to current day's releases. For Cornyn, releases are in electronic format from January 8, 1999 to November 27, 2002. Morales' releases are in paper format, date range and size haven't been given-possibly from January 1991 to January 1999.

Records are news releases prepared by the Office of the Attorney General's Communications Director and staff, dating 1990s to present. Subjects include litigation and settlements (including tobacco, Ruiz, and insurance), child support enforcement, child custody education, paternity establishment, crime victim assistance, consumer protection, immigration fraud, Medicaid fraud, executions, sex offender and child predator investigation, hurricane/storm victim services, open government, identity theft, Internet, antitrust, staff achievements, patients' rights, price gouging, insurance, Enron, nursing home investigations, redistricting, gaming/gambling, colonias, water rights, and drug enforcement.

Cornyn's electronic releases are in html format; Abbot's electronic releases are in php. Electronic releases include imbedded images, video, and links to documents; formats include pdf, jpeg, wmv (Microsoft version of video encoding technology).

News releases are prepared to provide the public with information about the activities of the Attorney General and Attorney General's Office.

Agency Program:
The Attorney General is the lawyer for the people of Texas (elected by the people to a four-year term) and is charged by the Texas Constitution (Article IV, sections 1 and 22) to:

  • defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas
  • represent the State in litigation
  • approve public bond issues

To fulfill these responsibilities, the Office of the Attorney General serves as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issues legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes, sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions, and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.

The Office of the Attorney General has taken on numerous other roles through the years. Texas statutes contain nearly 2000 references to the Attorney General. In addition to its constitutionally prescribed duties, the Office of the Attorney General files civil suits upon referral by other state agencies. In some circumstances, the Attorney General has original jurisdiction to prosecute violations of the law, but in most cases, criminal prosecutions by the Attorney General are initiated only upon the request of a local prosecutor.

Arrangement: Arranged online in reverse chronological order.

Access Constraints: None.

Use Constraints: Some links within older releases are broken.

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Problems: Broken links, and potential for more broken links.

Known related records in other agencies: None.

Previous destructions: None known.

Publications based on records: None

Internet pages based on records:

Series data from agency schedule:
Title: News or press releases
Series item number: 1.1.019
Agency item number: 36
Archival code: R
Retention: 2

Texas Documents Collection holdings: None.

Archival holdings:
The Archives has some records for Attorney General Mark White, including press releases mixed with other materials. The Commission's Sam Houston Library & Research Center has the records of Attorney General Price Daniel, including press releases mixed with other materials.

Gaps? News releases for Jim Mattox and earlier Attorneys General

Appraisal Decision:
News releases are archival because they summarize the activities and accomplishments of the Attorney-General's Office. The news releases can also be used as a starting point for in-depth research. The Texas State Archives does not accept electronic records at this time. The Attorney-General's Office will need to maintain the electronic format news releases for Abbott and Cornyn, paying attention to keeping imbedded images, video, and links active. If the OAG decides not to maintain the releases electronically, then the releases and linked material will need to be printed out on acid-free paper and can be transferred to the State Archives. Video and audio files or entire websites that cannot be readily printed can be omitted. The Attorney General's prepared remarks at press conferences (the most common video footage) should be present in another archival series-Speeches. The Morales' news releases, in paper format, should be transferred to the State Archives now. If news releases are located for earlier attorneys general, those should be transferred as well.

Page last modified: August 31, 2011