The Negative Bound Of Georgia Case Study

1316 Words 5 Pages
ID number: 68417
The Negative Bound of FOIA

The Constitution and statutes of State of Georgia highlight a core belief that openness is the best mode of governance, both to ensure accountability and inspire trust. In this light, Georgia’s Sunshine Laws grant sweeping access to the meetings and documents of the state government. The law’s breadth and depth are some of the most comprehensive nationally, reflecting the ideals of the those who penned the constitution. However, their broadness highlights questions of privacy and independence. According to Georgia case law, an organization acting as a contractor for the government can itself be treated as a public agency under the state’s FOIA regulations. As I will argue, this interpretation of
…show more content…
Georgia’s definition of agencies is uniquely broad , reflecting the law’s intent to preserve and promote the principles of openness written into the state Constitution. In Red & Black Publishing vs. Board of Regents (1993), a split Court declared it constitutional for Red & Black Publishing to access University of Georgia student court records because the student court is a function of the Board of Regents and thus subject to FOIA. While the Court recognized that this might reveal sensitive, uncomfortable, and at times damaging information, it ruled to protect the transparency and confidence paramount to trust building. Hackworth vs. Board of Education (1994) affirmed this, ruling that bus drivers for public school districts act as the vehicle for the government to perform its duty and are thus a public agency. This broad definition of “agency” aligns the law’s application with its intent to allow access to information regarding operations and responsibilities of public agencies to evaluate spending efficiency and promote confidence in government. If access was denied, the intent of the Open Records Act would not be fully …show more content…
It fights government control of science and innovation, ensuring that the government hasn’t created a portfolio of well-funded labs advancing projects favorable to their agenda. A robust, unbiased scientific community is critical to progress, and FOIA may protect those within state universities and research facilities from powerful external influences that carve narrow paths of innovation and discourage contrary evidence. Though this use of FOIA offers significant benefits to Georgia’s citizens, a critical evaluation exposes significant disadvantages as well, the most significant to public research and educational institutions. The disadvantages fall into two categories- innovation and balance of

Related Documents