VALDOSTA — “Sunshine Laws: A Guide to Open Government in Georgia,” known as the state as "Red Book" has been updated, revised and the sixth edition is now available to the public.
The guide contains the state's open government laws verbatim, reprinted from the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, regarding Georgia’s Open Records Act and Georgia’s Open Meetings Act.
The GFAF red book also provides explanations of these laws and how they apply to the public. For example, the book provides information on how the government should provide access and penalties for government’s non-compliance to open meetings laws and the Open Records Act.
Georgia open government laws underwent rewriting with changes going into effect in April 2012; these changes were in part due to the work of the Georgia Attorney General’s office.
The book provides information so the public can know the law and how to stay informed.
The Red Book also provides a list of resources on open government, which includes websites and phone numbers.
The Red Book is produced by the Georgia First Amendment Foundation in cooperation with the Office of the Georgia Attorney General. It is available from representatives of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, at GFAF open government training events or as a PDF on the foundation’s website at gfaf.org/the-blue-book/.
In the forward of the sixth edition of the Red Book, Attorney General Chris Carr wrote, "Openness and transparency are vital to uphold the public trust and maintaining an efficient, well-functioning government and bureaucracy."
The Georgia First Amendment Foundation’s Blue Book, titled “Georgia Law Enforcement and the Open Records Act: A Law Enforcement Officer’s Guide to Open Records in Georgia,” provides information on open records compliance for the lawful protection of citizens’ rights to public information.
According to the book’s preface, the Blue Book is intended to inform the members of the Georgia law-enforcement community of open records compliance so as to ensure the public is able to observe the workings of its government.
The book includes an overview of Georgia Open Records Act and its process, pending investigations and prosecutions, types of records such as personnel records and juvenile records, record retention and news media access.
A sample open records cost worksheet and information exempt from public disclosure are provided in the appendices of the guide.
The Blue Book is available from representatives of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, at GFAF open government training events or as a PDF on the foundation website at gfaf.org/the-blue-book/.