Description of Risk
A violation of ORA requirements could result in fines and penalties for the Institute and the record custodian, including criminal liability, as well as adverse publicity for the Institute.
As a public institution, Georgia Tech is subject to the Open Record Act, O.C.G.A. 50- 18-70 et seq. The law requires that Georgia Tech make available for public inspection public documents within three business days of receiving a request. The Institute’s policy regarding ORA is available at http://www.policylibrary.gatech.edu/open-records-act-policy
Employees receiving ORA requests are instructed to contact their supervisor and Office of Legal Affairs without delay, for assistance in a correct response. Further information is available through Office of Legal Affairs web site http://www.legal.gatech.edu under the subject “topics”. Open records request details should not be released without the approval of the Office of Legal Affairs.
The purpose of reviewing this area is to promote awareness on the issue of the importance of compliance with the Open Records Act. Proper and timely responses to ORA requests ensure legal compliance and responsible stewardship of public information.
- Ensure that the school or business unit has an explicit plan for responding to ORA requests
- Ensure that all faculty and staff are informed and periodically reminded of the rules and regulations regarding timely and accurate responses to ORA requests
COMMUNICATE WITH EVERYONE
It is a good practice to communicate this issue at any orientation your unit may have, and periodically during faculty and staff meetings. If this is not practical, the issue could be communicated via email, hard copy memo, included in the faculty/staff handbook, posted on the web page or on physical bulletin boards, whatever means works most efficiently for your mode of operation.
KNOW PROPER ORDER OF RESPONSE
- Notify your immediate supervisor that you have received an ORA request
- Notify the Office of Legal Affairs that you have received an ORA request
- Begin collecting the materials that have been requested
- Ensure that you have authorization for release from your supervisor or the Office of Legal Affairs prior to releasing the material