Open Records Act
Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A §50-18-70)
Adopted January 2000
Last Revised October 2014
The amended Georgia Open Records Act (2012) has significant consequences for the University of West Georgia, as well as all state-supported colleges and universities. The amended Act made nearly all records accessible to any citizen who requests them. In compliance with the law, UWG will make records available, when appropriate, in a non-adversarial and open manner.
The University of West Georgia is subject to the provisions of the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) that entitles all citizens the opportunity to view records of state agencies upon request and to make copies for a fee, unless the records are exempted by law from disclosure.
The Department of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (IEA) is designated by the University President to respond to ORA requests and to serve as the custodian of records. All UWG departments and units must work in cooperation with IEA to ensure University compliance with the ORA. The open records officer is responsible for compliance with the ORA. The University requires all written requests for records be made upon the duly designated Open Records Officer. The 3-day period begins when the Officer receives the written request.
The University will respond in writing within three (3) business days of the date the request was received. The requestor will be notified of:
- The existence of the records. O.C.G.A.§50-18-71(b)(1)(A)
- A time the records will be available for inspection or provided. O.C.G.A. §50-18-71(b)(1)(A)
- The costs (actual or estimated) for search, retrieval, redaction, production, copies, and postage. The University shall utilize the most economical means to calculate and produce the documents O.C.G.A. §50-18-71(c)(1). The University charges ten cents ($0.10) per page for copies. The hourly rate charged for search and retrieval may not exceed the rate of the lowest-paid, full-time employee capable of performing the search beyond the fifteen (15) free minutes allowed by statute. If the information requested is available on the computer, the University may charge the actual cost of a computer disk or tape onto which the information is transferred and may charge for the administrative time involved. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment may, but is not required to, contact the requester with an estimate prior to fulfilling a request. O.C.G.A §50-18-71(c)(2)
- When the estimated cost is in excess of $25, the requester will be notified in writing and the University may defer search and retrieval until the amount is agreed upon, unless the requester states in his or her request a willingness to pay an amount that exceeds the search and retrieval costs. When the estimated cost exceeds $500, the University requires prepayment prior to beginning search, retrieval, review, or production of the records. O.C.G.A. §50-18-71(d)
- When the University is required to or has decided to withhold all or part of a record, the requester will be notified of the specific legal authority exempting the disclosure by Code section, subsection, and paragraph within a reasonable amount of time not to exceed three (3) business days. O.C.G.A. §50-18-71(d)
- The University may also require prepayment if a requester did not pay for a previous request where the costs were properly estimated. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71(c)(3), (d).
Submit Requests to:
Tara Pearson, Open Records Officer
Attn: Open Records Officer
Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton, GA 30118
Or deliver to the office:
Sanford Hall, Suite 112