Georgia's Open Records law provides the public with broad access to departmental records and documents. The public has a right to see, inspect and copy all "public records." However, no public official or personnel is required to prepare reports, summaries, or compilations not in existence at the time of an open records request.
Public records are broadly defined to include: documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, computer-based or generated information, data, data fields, or similar material prepared and maintained or received in the course of the operation of a public office or agency.
There are some exceptions to the release of certain records, such as insurance and medical information for personnel, or records that are included as part of an active or pending investigation.
The time expenditure cost will be calculated per hour using the salary of the lowest paid employee qualified to conduct the research of an open records request, with no charge for the first quarter hour of employee time expended. Each photocopy will be 10 cents per page. Other fees may apply for different types of media and formats, mailing costs, or other reasonable administrative costs. Payment may be made by cash, check or money order payable to the, "Georgia Forestry Commission."
All open records requests will be processed within three business days of receipt of the request. If the records exist, but are not immediately available, the Open Records Coordinator's response will include a description of the records and a timetable for their release.