Georgia health agency stymies requests for public records during pandemic

In the first four months of COVID-19 when Georgia saw more than 84,000 confirmed cases and nearly 3,000 deaths, journalists, advocates and lawyers submitted more than 40 records requests for emails about the Department of Public Health’s response to the pandemic. The requesters sought emails regarding the state’s allocation of resources, Gov. Brian Kemp’s April…

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NFOIC Post: Atlanta launches new culture of transparency

By Daniel Bevarly, NFOIC executive director, dbevarly@nfoic.org Anyone interested in transparency in state and local governments must be following the developments in the City of Atlanta. The former administration of Mayor Kasim Reed was investigated for corruption leading to a guilty plea last month by a former cabinet member. Mayor’ Reed’s administration includes another dishonor: his…

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Evans County (GA) BOE Emails Permanently Deleted

llOnGeorgia filed an Open Records Request in late June seeking the personnel file of former employee Sharon Threatte, documentation on employee salaries at the district office, and emails related to the pay of Sharon Threatte and the pay classification of district office employees. Superintendent Martin Waters quoted more than $11,000 in fees for said records…

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City of Atlanta agrees to settle records case with AJC and Channel 2

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News have agreed to drop their claims against the city of Atlanta for what the media organizations described as “systemic violations” of the Georgia Open Records Act, according to an agreement reached this week. Under the agreement, the city will work with the news outlets over the next…

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Atlanta’s Open Checkbook: a tool for transparency

Following a federal bribery probe investigating former Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration’s muddy financial dealings, the City of Atlanta announced a new transparency tool called Atlanta’s Open Checkbook. The Open Checkbook shows the City of Atlanta’s expenditure of more than $2 billion between 2017 and 2018. “Rather than waiting for the public to ask or waiting for…

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Atlanta Meets Self-Imposed Transparency Portal Deadline

Working to deliver on one of five goals set earlier this year with the debut of the new Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Atlanta officials gathered to mark the debut of a portal aimed at tracking city funds Sept. 4. The initiative known as Open Checkbook was announced on April 10, less than a month after the…

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