Georgia Department of Public Safety Fails to Produce Open Records Information

Georgia Department of Public Safety Receives C for Process and D for Compliance

Agency contacted: Georgia Department of Public Safety

Records that were requested: A copy of the contract for the EPORTS GORA Portal

When do you first hear back from the agency?  I first heard back the same day (Oct. 13) within three minutes. However, they were simply telling me to go through the portal, which I was not able to do because my request fell outside of the portal options, which are for copies of an incident report, crash report, or citation. There was no option to click “other” even though my request for a contract fell outside of those. After I told them that, it took another two days for them to send a follow up (Oct. 15). The follow up stated that they had sent the email to the open records department, and had someone working on it. 

Did agency request a fee and if so, how did they explain the charge?  They said in the initial email: “For fee information, please see O.C.G.A. §50-18-71.  If the costs exceed $25.00, we will get confirmation of your intent to pay before we proceed pursuant to O.C.G.A. §50-18-71(d).” Once I received a response, then the next email was just telling me I had to pay the $18 fee. This was their explanation for why: “The production tasks took our IT specialist thirty minutes, at an hourly rate of $73.99 per hour with the first fifteen minutes free for an estimated cost of $18.49.”  

Describe the response. They did not provide the record I requested and instead sent a PDF of one monthly invoice for the online hosting fees.

Assign a grade for contact/process. For the process, I would assign them a C, because they do have a portal, but, since my request falls outside the narrow options available on the portal, it was never given to me.

Assign a grade for response. I would assign them a D. They responded to me about the initial request in a timely manner but never gave me the record I requested but then charged me $18 for a copy of an invoice. It has been over a week of back and forth. They still have not responded to multiple emails I have sent asking for the contract itself.

Anything else to note? They sent me a random invoice instead of the contract I requested and said in their email that the lowest paid employee to provide this was an IT specialist who makes $73.99 per hour.

See the full report card here.


Grading scale for agency’s ease of contacting agency staff and finding or filing for public records.

A: Agency uses an online portal or has a clearly defined process or contact on its website for requesting public records. An “A” agency may also provide the most commonly requested records on its website already such as agendas and meeting minutes.

B: Agency has some public information online such as meeting agendas or meeting times but additional information on how to request public information is not available.

C: Agency website has contact information for staff but nothing specific about how to request public information.

D: Agency has limited contact information on its website but it is not clearly labeled and/or easily accessible.

F: Agency contact information or how to get public records is not available on the website 

Grade scale for agency’s overall responsiveness and compliance with open records law

A: Provided records within the three-day window or less

B Acknowledgment of request within the three-day requirement but records were provided after three days.

C:  Acknowledged the request but then put forth a long timetable for response or requested a high fee or retrieval price for what should be a digital record and/or PDF that could be emailed.

D: Acknowledged the request but no further information or follow-up.

F:  No response