Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority Recieves F for Open Records Accessibility

Gets A for response

Update: Following publication of this piece, UDA updated its website to include an option for requesting public records. This update would have given the agency an A rating under the scale if it had been in place at the time the request was filed.

Agency Contacted Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority

Records that were requested I had requested the contract for downtown parking management.

When do you first hear back from the agency? The Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority did not have a way to submit an open records request, they just had a phone number and address, so I initially filed through Macon-Bibb County on Oct. 13. On Oct. 17th, I got an email from Janice Ross of Macon-Bibb County saying the Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority was a separate organization. On Oct.25., after I had asked for further contact information, she gave me an address and phone number. There was no email provided. A reporter with The Macon Newsroom had the contact email for the UDA’s executive director and I was able to file with that. However, this email is not something a member of the general public would be able to find. 

Did agency request a fee? There was no fee for Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority’s open record requests.

Describe the response The response from where I submitted my opens request first because there was no way to do it online Macon-Bibb County said they could not fulfill it because Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority was a separate organization from them. The process started to move faster when I got contact information for UDA from a reporter.

Assign a grade for contact/process and explain. F. The agency did not have contact information or a way to file open records requests accessible on their website. Their website only has a phone number and street address.

Assign a grade for response and explain. A. The response I got from Alex Morrison from Macon-Bibb County was quick after I formally requested it. I got it hours after I requested it. While they got an A on the response, their contact information was not easily accessible.

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