Atlanta mayor announces sweeping reform for records requests

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced new policies that drastically reform how the city responds to requests made under the Georgia Open Records Act.

The announcement came in a letter to the City Council dated Monday, and was made only days after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News filed a complaint with Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, alleging “a culture of political interference” with open records requests at Atlanta City Hall.

The complaint, filed on Wednesday, outlines 10 examples of alleged violations of the Georgia Open Records Act dating back to July 2016. The media outlets seek mediation through Carr’s office to create enforcement measures to ensure compliance.

Bottoms’ new open records policy appears to incorporate some of the suggestions in the AJC and Channel 2 Action News complaint, including establishing an official records custodian and mandatory open records training for all city employees.

It also requires that all employees be subject to disciplinary action for failing to comply with the policy, which Bottoms says will be implemented immediately.