Georgia passes new open records law impacting public school athletics

A bill allowing public school athletic departments in Georgia to have increased time to respond to open records requests was signed into law by governor Nathan Deal on Monday.

The law, which impacts the University of Georgia, provides up to 90 business days to respond to open records requests, as opposed to the three business days that were previously granted. The reported reason for the amendment concerns requests for recruiting information.​


Advocates: Bill could shield too much from Georgia open records law

A bill that passed the state Senate and is barreling toward passage in the House would expand an exemption to the state’s public records law in the name of economic development, but open government advocates fear the bill could be used to justify secrecy in far more than recruiting companies.

The bill, SB 323, would allow any state agency to conceal documents about economic development projects involving business expansions of $25 million in investment or 50 jobs. After a deal is signed or negotiations terminated, the records would become public.


Georgia schools may be forced into more transparency

Georgia school officials may be working with less state control, but lawmakers want them to work more openly, as well.

Two proposals that cleared the state House of Representatives this week would require school administrators to publicly post information about curriculum and finances. Rep. Dave Belton, R-Buckhead, sponsored a measure that requires districts to “make readily accessible” school-level details and documents that are already public information.


Study recommends more police transparency in Georgia

A Georgia public interest law center is looking for ways to improve relations between police and the communities they serve as well as drive down the number of incidents involving police officers' use of force.

The Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is making recommendations that its leaders hope could start becoming law as early as this year.


Georgia’s Valdosta State holds First Amendment Forum

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University held a Journalism and Government Transparency Forum Saturday at the Odum Library.  

The event, which was attended by journalists, VSU students and members of the community, discussed Georgia’s sunshine laws, the First Amendment, and how members of the community, not just journalists, could use both to their advantage.  Continue…


County plans open government meeting Friday

An Open Government Symposium this Friday in Valdosta will be hosted by the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners.
Valdosta Daily Times Editor Jim Zachary, director of the Transparency Project of Georgia, will be joined by Hollie Manheimer, executive director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, for the open government training event.


‘Government belongs to us’

The Georgia College Press Association and Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism teamed up to provide concerned citizens, lawmakers, students, and members of the media with insight into government transparency protocols. 'It's important to educate students,' said Jessica Farmer, Coordinator for the Georgia College Press Association.


Symposium focuses on government transparency in Georgia

Valdosta Daily Times Editor Jim Zachary began the first in a statewide series of Open Government Symposiums with the words of Thomas Jefferson, ìInformation is the currency of democracy.î

Elected officials, city and county administrative staff, community watchdog groups, college students and journalists convened at the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University Friday.