The Georgia Open Records Act is a state statute that applies to all departments and individuals within the University of West Georgia. The Act requires that public records be open and available for inspection by a requesting party within a reasonable amount of time after the receipt of the request unless exempted by law from disclosure (e.g., student educational records).
The University of West Georgia has designated an Open Records Officer for the University, to whom all Open Records Act requests should be made. The Open Records Officer is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Georgia Open Records Act and coordinating the University’s search, retrieval, and disclosure of records pursuant to open records requests, subpoenas, and requests for production of documents for non-party.
The University requires all written record requests to be made upon the duly appointed Open Records Officer. The 3-day response period begins when the Officer receives the written request.
Individuals Requesting Documents
UWG recommends using the online submission form or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your request. Although the use of the form is not required, it is designed to help requestors provide enough detail to clearly identify the records desired. Please be advised that some documents may not be released due to privacy laws or statutes that prohibit their release. All written requests containing personally identifiable information (PII) such as social security numbers, date of birth, etc., shall be sent by mail or fax.
You will be assessed a $.10 per page copy fee of any information that you request. You will also be charged a search and retrieval fee based on the hourly rate of the lowest-paid, full-time employee who retrieves and copies these documents beyond the fifteen (15) free minutes allowed by statute. The Open Records Officer is not required to contact you with an estimate before fulfilling a request unless the costs exceed $25.
Members of the University Community
Any Open Records requests must be forwarded immediately upon receipt to the Open Records Officer for initial response on behalf of the University. An individual department should NOT contact the person making the request, even for clarification, unless directed to by the Open Records Officer.
Open Records requests received by University personnel must be faxed, e-mailed, or delivered in-person to the Office of Legal Affairs, Mandeville Hall, Room 204. Requests containing personally identifiable information (PII) such as social security numbers, date of birth, etc., shall be sent by e-mail.
There is no legal requirement that an Open Records request must be in writing. Employees must create documentation when a verbal request is received. The document must contain date/time of request, description of records requested, and the requester’s contact information. Forward document to Open Records Officer.
Within three business days of receiving the request, the Open Records Officer will:
- notify the requester of the existence of records,
- provide a cost estimate for search, assembly, copies, and
- obtain authorization to proceed with responding to the request.
Records shall be provided in their entirety without redaction to the Open Records Officer upon request. Failure to comply may result in penalties for the university employee under the provisions of the law. The Open Records Officer, in consultation with University General Counsel, will determine for the institution if records are subject to the Act.
For departments/units to be eligible for reimbursement from monies collected in response to Open Record Requests, the following conditions must be met:
- Submit Open Records Reimbursement Sheet (PDF) with documents responsive to the request,
- Total department/unit dollar amount to transfer is greater than one hundred dollars ($100), and
- Total dollar amount of the completed request is greater than one hundred dollars ($100).
The Open Records Officer may waive charges of less than ten dollars ($10).