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A Citizen’s Guide to Open Government

Table of Contents

I. Georgia’s Open Records Act. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

A. What Records Are Available To The Public?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

B. The Open Records Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

C. Appropriate Fees for Copies of Records. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

D. Remedies and Penalties for Non-Compliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

II. Georgia’s Open Meeting Laws. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

A. What Meetings Are Open?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

B. What Actions Are Open To The Public?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

C. How Should Government Provide Access?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

D. Penalties for Non-Compliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

III. Appendices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

1. The Open Records Law. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

2. The Open and Public Meetings Law. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

3. Sample Open Records Request. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

IV. Open Government Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36