December 6, 2012
Collegian receives open records from USG
By David Schick
After 140 days, the Collegian has obtained records in response to its Open Record Act request, which was submitted to the University System of Georgia on July 18, 2012.
The USG initially responded with a $2,963 cost to fulfill the ORA request.
The Collegian subsequently contacted the Student Press Law Center who wrote a letter to the USG questioning the “excessive” costs. The USG responded by reducing the cost to $1,882.
SPLC then referred the Collegian to Attorney Daniel Levitas who wrote another letter to the USG stating that the fees seemed “arbitrary, capricious, and deliberately designed to obstruct access to public information of obvious critical concern.”
Levitas demanded a reduction of the fees under the threat of filing a law suit.
Following the letter from Levitas, the USG reduced the cost to $291 – a 90% reduction from the original estimate.
Despite the compromise, the USG spent an additional 42 days extracting, preparing, and reviewing the documents for “proprietary information.”
Levitas wrote an email stating that the delay was “troublesome” and requested that the USG “release the records as promised with all deliberate speed.”
The documents obtained by the Collegian so far only represent a partial amount of the Open Records Act request.