What meetings are “open?”
Any gathering of a quorum of the members of a governing body of an agency, or any committee or subcommittee of that governing body, where any public matter, official business or policy of the agency is to be discussed, presented, formulated or at which official action is to be taken, including even the making or consideration of recommendations, is a meeting required to be open under Georgia law. However, if a quorum of a governing body gathers solely for the purpose of making inspections of physical facilities under their jurisdiction or for the purpose of meeting with other governing bodies, officers, agents, or employees of other agencies at places outside of the geographical jurisdiction of the agency and at which no final official action is to be taken, such meetings are not covered under the Open Meetings Act.
O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(a)(2).
What is a public record that is covered under the Open Records Act?
Under the Act, a “public record” includes all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, computer based or generated information, or similar material prepared and maintained or received in the course of the operation of a public office or agency. A “public record” also can include items received or maintained by a private person or entity on behalf of a public office or agency where the records are received or maintained by a private person, firm, corporation or other private entity in the performance of a service or function for or on behalf of a public agency. It does not include any computer program or computer software used or maintained in the course of operation of a public office or agency.
O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70(a), § 50-18-72(e)(2).
How to Make an Open Records Request
An Open Records Request should be made directly to the custodian of the records that are sought.
Under the Georgia Open Records Act, all public records are available for inspection and copying unless they are specifically exempted from disclosure under the law. If a government agency or custodian of public records withholds a public document from production under an Open Records Request, they must cite to the provision of Georgia law that exempts the record from being produced.
A request to inspect or copy records may be made either orally or in writing. For purposes of documenting and clarifying the scope and timing of the request, it is a better practice to make the request in writing
Please direct all requests for records to: Susan Roper, City Clerk
(770) 464-2113 fax
These and other questions about Open Government are discussed in detail at this link:
Georgia Attorney General, Department of Law web site