*** CODE SECTION *** 08/27/01
(a) As used in this article, the term “public record” shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, computer based or generated information, or similar material prepared and maintained or received in the course of the operation of a public office or agency. “Public record” shall also mean such items received or maintained by a private person or entity on behalf of a public office or agency which are not otherwise subject to protection from disclosure; provided, however, this Code section shall be construed to disallow an agency’s placing or causing such items to be placed in the hands of a private person or entity for the purpose of avoiding disclosure. Records received or maintained by a private person, firm, corporation, or other private entity in the performance of a service or function for or on behalf of an agency, a public agency, or a public office shall be subject to disclosure to the same extent that such records would be subject to disclosure if received or maintained by such agency, public agency, or public office. As used in this article, the term “agency” or “public agency” or “public office” shall have the same meaning and application as provided for in the definition of the term “agency” in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-14-1 and shall additionally include any association, corporation, or other similar organization which: (1) has a membership or ownership body composed primarily of counties, municipal corporations, or school districts of this state or their officers or any combination thereof; and (2) derives a substantial portion of its general operating budget from payments from such political subdivisions.
(b) All public records of an agency as defined in subsection (a) of this Code section, except those which by order of a court of this state or by law are prohibited or specifically exempted from being open to inspection by the general public, shall be open for a personal inspection by any citizen of this state at a reasonable time and place; and those in charge of such records shall not refuse this privilege to any citizen.
(c) Any computerized index of a county real estate deed records shall be printed for purposes of public inspection no less than every 30 days and any correction made on such index shall be made a part of the printout and shall reflect the time and date that said index was corrected.
(d) No public officer or agency shall be required to prepare reports, summaries, or compilations not in existence at the time of the request.
(e) In a pending proceeding under Chapter 13 of this title, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” or under any other administrative proceeding authorized under Georgia law, a party may not access public records pertaining to the subject of the proceeding pursuant to this article without the prior approval of the presiding administrative law judge, who shall consider such open record request in the same manner as any other request for information put forth by a party in such a proceeding. This subsection shall not apply to any proceeding under Chapter 13 of this title, relating to the revocation, suspension, annulment, withdrawal, or denial of a professional education certificate, as defined in Code Section 20-2-200, or any personnel proceeding authorized under Part 7 and Part 11 of Article 17 and Article 25 of Chapter 2 of Title 20.
(f) The individual in control of such public record or records shall have a reasonable amount of time to determine whether or not the record or records requested are subject to access under this article and to permit inspection and copying. In no event shall this time exceed three business days. Where responsive records exist but are not available within three business days of the request, a written description of such records, together with a timetable for their inspection and copying, shall be provided within that period; provided, however, that records not subject to inspection under this article need not be made available for inspection and copying or described other than as required by subsection (h) of Code Section 50-18-72, and no records need be made available for inspection or copying if the public officer or agency in control of such records shall have obtained, within that period of three business days, an order based on an exception in this article of a superior court of this state staying or refusing the requested access to such records.
(g) At the request of the person, firm, corporation, or other entity requesting such records, records maintained by computer shall be made available where practicable by electronic means, including Internet access, subject to reasonable security restrictions preventing access to nonrequested or nonavailable records.