Open Records Request
What is a public record?
The Georgia Open Records Act, § 50-18-70, et seq, outlines the process for how members of the public can request and inspect governmental records. According to O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70 (b)(2), the term "public record" includes "all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, computer-based or generated information, data, data fields, or similar material prepared and maintained or received by an agency or by a private person or entity in the performance of a service or function for or on behalf of an agency or when such documents have been transferred to a private person or entity by an agency for storage or future governmental use."
Not all governmental records are public records. No public officer or agency must prepare a new report, summary, or compilation if no such record exists when a member of the public submits an Open Records Request. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71 (j). Even if a record exists at the time of the request, state law may treat some or all of the information contained in such record as exempt from disclosure or confidential. The Georgia Open Records Act outlines applicable exemptions in O.C.G. A. § 50-18-72, and there are numerous confidentiality statutes in federal and state law which may be applicable to an Open Records Request.
How do I submit an Open Records Request?
In accordance with O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71 (b), the Office of Planning and Budget has designated an Open Records Officer - Meaghan Carver - to whom members of the public must submit Open Records Requests using the webform below. Once you submit your request through the webform, you will receive a response to your request within three business days following the office's receipt of your request during normal hours. If the records exist but are not immediately available for production, the response will include a description of the records and a time and cost estimate for their release.
The Governor's Office of Planning and Budget is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM excluding state holidays and emergency closures. You can find the state calendar at team.georgia.gov.
Time and Cost
Under Georgia law, an agency may impose a reasonable charge for the search, redaction, and production or copying cost of records responsive to an Open Records Request. The time and cost will be calculated by using the hourly salary of the lowest paid employee qualified to conduct the research of an Open Records Request, with no charge for the first fifteen minutes of employee time expended.
In addition to charges for the search, redaction, and production of responsive records, the office will impose a fee for the copying of records or data at $.10 cents per page or, in the case of other documents, the actual cost of producing the copy. For electronic records, the office will charge the actual cost of the media on which the records or data are produced. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71 (c).
If the estimated cost for production of the records exceeds $500.00, the office will insist on pre-payment before the Open Records Officer begins search, retrieval, review, or production of the records. The office may require pre-payment for a new request if the requestor has not paid for a prior Open Records Request. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71 (d).