Open Records Act Changes Take Effect
Each year, Georgia Tech receives hundreds of Open Records Act (ORA) requests. That’s why it’s important for employees to familiarize themselves with the ORA changes that Gov. Nathan Deal recently approved.
Changes to the law are effective immediately and include the following:
- The charge per page for paper copies has been reduced from $0.25 to $0.10 per page.
- The act expressly allows Tech to charge for time spent removing confidential information from otherwise public records.
- If the estimated cost to produce the requested records exceeds $25, Tech may require an agreement to pay before searching for responsive records. If the estimated cost exceeds $500, the Institute may require payment before beginning to search for responsive records.
- Tech is expressly permitted to withhold documents protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Tests, scoring keys and related materials are exempt from production under the act, so long as the test will be given in the future.
- If some, but not all, of the records requested are available within three business days after a request, the portion that can be produced within three days must be produced in that time.
- When it will take Tech more than three business days to retrieve the requested records, the Institute may identify any applicable exemptions within three days after retrieving the records.
- The enforcement provisions of the act are not applicable if a request is made orally — only when the request is written.
Employees who have questions or receive record requests should contact the Office of Legal Affairs.