Saturday, January 10, 2009

Report on Open Records Project

Report on Texas Campaign to Stop Killer Coke's
University Open Records Project

The Texas Campaign to Stop Killer Coke’s University Open Records Project is an endeavor to obtain all of the Coca-Cola contracts between Texas state universities and colleges through the use of the Texas Open Records Act, a.k.a. Public Information Act, Chapter 552 of the Government Code. This project was undertaken with an eye towards organizing around the greater Killer Coke movement in Texas. The goal of the Campaign is to kick Coke out of our schools, businesses and governmental agencies for it’s worldwide labor, human rights and environmental abuses. See for more information.

The scope of this project includes requesting Coke contract information from six categories of Texas colleges and universities including the University of Texas (17), Texas A & M (11), Texas State Colleges (18), Texas Tech (18), University of Houston (7), and Texas Community Colleges (1). The number in parenthesis following each category represents the number of campuses and/or entities that were sent Open Records requests. In total, 72 Open Record requests were sent by email or first class mail between July 7, 2008 and September 1, 2008. The requests sought essentially the same information:

“All active contracts or agreements between [University or College], including its agents or any other [University or College] related entities, and The Coca-Cola Company. This includes but is not limited to all active contracts or agreements between [University or College] and any vending companies furnishing Coca-Cola products.” (A complete sample Open Records Request is located at the end of this report.)

Of the 72 requests, most of them were responded to timely within the ten-day initial response window proscribed by the law. About a third had to be called and reminded to respond at least once. Several had to be called more than once. If a Coke contract existed, most campuses released their Coke contract without delay. A handful requested that the Attorney General rule on whether the contract should be released. In every case that the Attorney General has ruled on, the ruling was to release the contracts in question. Finally, minority of campuses and/or entities have neglected to send their contract or have failed to specify that they do not have a Coke contract.

More specifically, as of January 1, 2009, contracts representing at least 38 entities and/or campuses have been received. 37 out of the 38 campuses that responded waived all fees associated with producing the documents. Only UT San Antonio required payment of $16.50 for postage and photocopying of 135 pages before they would release the information. About two-thirds of the responses were sent in electronic format, either by email or fax. Campuses for which contracts were received are:

1. University of Texas (UT) Austin
2. UT Arlington
3. UT Brownsville
4. UT Dallas
5. UT Pan American
6. UT Permian Basin
7. UT Tyler
8. UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
9. UT Health Science Center Houston
10. UT Health Science Center San Antonio
11. UT Anderson Cancer Center
12. UT System Administration
13. UT Investment Management Company
14. Texas A & M College Station
15. Texas A & M Prairie View
16. Texas A & M Tarleton State University
17. Texas A & M Kingsville
18. Texas A & M Corpus Christi
19. Texas A & M International
20. Texas A & M Commerce
21. Texas A & M Texarkana
22. Texas A & M System Health Science Center
23. Lamar University
24. Lamar Institute of Technology
25. Lamar State College at Orange
26. Sul Ross University
27. Texas State University San Marcos
28. Midwestern State University
29. Texas Southern University
30. University of North Texas System
31. University of North Texas Dallas
32. University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth
33. Texas Tech University Lubbock
34. Texas Tech University Health Science Center Amarillo
35. Texas Tech University Health Science Center El Paso
36. Texas Tech University Health Science Center Odessa
37. Angelo State University
38. Austin Community College

As of January 1, 2009, the following 8 entities and/or campuses have responded that they do not have a current Coca-Cola contract:

1. UT El Paso
2. UT San Antonio
3. Texas A & M System
4. Sam Houston University
5. Sul Ross State University – Rio Grande College
6. Texas Womens University
7. Texas Womens University Health Science Center Dallas
8. Texas Womens University Health Science Center Houston

As of January 1, 2009, the following 26 entities and/or campuses have either failed to send their contract or failed to respond as to whether a contract exists.

1. UT Medical at Galveston
2. UT Health Science Center at Tyler
3. Texas A & M West Texas
4. Texas State University System
5. Lamar State College at Port Arthur
6. Stephen F. Austin State University
7. Texas Tech University (TTU) System
8. TTU Albilene
9. TTU Amarillo
10. TTU Fredericksburg
11. TTU Highland Lakes
12. TTU Center at Junction
13. TTU Center at Seville, Spain
14. TTU Health Science Center System
15. TTU Health Science Center Lubbock
16. TTU Health Science Center Abilene
17. TTU Health Science Center Dallas
18. TTU Health Science Center Highland Lakes
19. TTU Health Science Center Permian Basin
20. University of Houston (UH) System
21. UH Clear Lake
22. UH Downtown
23. UH Victoria
24. UH System at Cinco Ranch
25. UH System at Sugar Land
26. UH System Distance Learning

The contracts will be posted online shortly. Please check back in the upcoming days and weeks.

In Solidarity,

Texas Campaign to Stop Killer Coke

Angelo State 8-31-08

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