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Office of Information Security

Office of Information Security

Protocol for Handling Open Records Requests


Columbus State University is committed to providing customer friendly service when responding to requests for public information. The University follows the guidelines set forth by the Georgia Board of Regents (BOR). The General Counsel, Craig Burgess serves as the University's Open Records Officer for purposes of the Georgia Open Records Act. If you would like to request access to University records pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act, please direct all requests to open_records@columbusstate.edu or via phone 706-507-8234.

Response Requirements

Each Open Records request must be responded to within three business days; however that does not mean that materials have to be provided in three days. The law only requires the University to acknowledge receipt of the request, whether the materials are available, and the estimated time and cost to comply with the request

The Open Records Officer will work in cooperation with University departments to fulfill the requests. Because of the time requirements it is imperative for University departments to notify the Open Records Officer if the request will involve significant staff time. If significant time is involved, please consult with the Open Records Officer prior to fulfilling the request and provide a time/cost estimate. In the official response, the requester will be informed of the associated costs and given the option to authorize the search or decline.

Costs to Fulfill Requests

While individuals have the right to request and receive public records, the University is not required to provide materials at no cost. The University has the right to assess a reasonable charge and therefore it is imperative to keep accurate records of time estimated/involved in the search and retrieval of documents. The rate that can be charged is the salary of the lowest-paid full-time employee, who, in the discretion of the Open Records Officer, has the necessary skill and training to respond to the request. There is no charge for the first 15 minutes of the retrieval time. If copies are requested, the requester shall be charged twenty-five cents per page.

The Process

The Open Records Act provides for a number of legitimate exceptions. It is important that the requester and the University departments complying with an Open Records request to be specific concerning the requested information. There may be cases where information needs to be redacted or withheld for legal reasons. For questions and concerns of this nature consult the Open Records Officer who will if necessary research with the BOR Legal Team to determine a resolution before the materials are compiled.

For more information and a complete text of the Georgia Open Records Act : georgia.gov