The University of North Texas System still has not released a commissioned brand audit, and officials have not responded to a second open records request for the document.
The brand audit, conducted by outside firm Carnegie Dartlet, cost $142,000 plus billed expenses and was designed to look at all three universities in the system and their marketing strategies.
Initially, the Denton Record-Chronicle requested the document on March 5. Last month, the Texas Attorney General’s Office ruled that officials did not have to release the audit. However, the ruling did not bar them from releasing the document.
The ruling said the document didn’t have to be released publicly because of the Boeing decision, a 2015 Texas Supreme Court ruling that made it easier to keep negotiations between public and private entities secret.
The Boeing decision was amended by legislation this past legislative session with the passage of Senate Bill 943, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The bill makes contract costs, some bids and parts of the communication process public.
Given the upcoming changes, the Record-Chronicle again requested the document Wednesday, May 29.
According to state law, government agencies have to respond to records requests within 10 business days. This means university officials should have responded by Wednesday, June 12.
Neither university official who received the email responded to a follow-up email sent June 13 asking for the status of the request.
On Wednesday, June 19, the Denton Record-Chronicle filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.