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Georgia Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for Georgia State Agencies

Do you represent a Georgia State Government Agency and wondering how you should archive all your web and social media content? Are you trying to determine what you need to do both from a legal and a technical point of view? Here’s a guide to the different Laws and processes you should follow.

What Laws govern Records Management in the State of Georgia?

Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. §§ 50-18-70 to 76) and Open and Public Meetings Act (O.C.G.A. §§ 50-14- 1 to 6) – otherwise known as Georgia “Sunshine Laws” govern Open Records and in the State of Georgia.

Do Georgia State Records Laws include Website and Social Media content?

Yes they do. NARA state that it is a “[P]ublic expectation that all web content is both permanently valuable and accessible” – and so social media and web records are subject to these standards as well as the relevant metadata being pertinent to these laws.

“Public records” are broadly defined to include documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, computer-based or generated information, and similar material prepared and maintained or received in the course of the operation of a public office or agency. The law also specifically designates “computer records” as public records subject to the Law.

What agencies are subject to these laws?

“Agency” is broadly defined in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(a)(1) to include “every state department, agency, board, bureau, commission, public corporation, and authority…every city, county, regional or other authority established pursuant to state law” and more.

All private entities that carry out governmental functions are subject to the Sunshine Laws.

What is my agency required to do in line with these regulations?

Each state agency shall prominently retain and make available for inspection and copying public records at the central office of such local agency to ensure transparent and open governance. Your agency website must be retained in electronic format and remain usable, searchable, retrievable and authentic for the length of the designated retention period. When archiving and making records available, an agency shall utilise the most economical means available.

In which form do I need to archive my records?

Websites must be retained in their original format: HTML, CSS, PDF etc.

How can we transfer website archives made with PageFreezer to the Georgia State Digital Archives?

PageFreezer exports all data on request in the original file format including the required metadata. This data set can be transferred by FTP or by other means to the Georgia State or Agency Digital Archives.

Case Note: As Chief Justice Weltner noted in Davis v. City of Macon: “Public men and women are amenable ‘at all times’ to the people, they must conduct the public’s business out in the open.”
How can PageFreezer help our agency?

PageFreezer has been working on our Archiving technology and processes since 2006 – We know how to properly archive Web Sites, Blogs and Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. Just ask any of our over 500 clients including US Cities, Counties and other Government Agencies as well as Multinationals, Financial Service Firms, Healthcare Providers …

Our clients know our technology is secure, reliable and authenticated. More importantly they appreciate the ease-of-use.

That’s why our complex technology is simple to use – The archiving is automatic and retrieval is a matter of signing in, going to the date you want, and browsing your site just like you did when the content was just published.

If you have questions about any of this or about how to actually implement effective Online Public Records management start a free trial, schedule a demo or contact us directly.

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Links:

http://www.open.georgia.gov/Georgia Open Sunshine LawsDigital Records Georgia