Many individuals and government watchdog organizations have worked to create this free resource for Georgia residents who would like to learn more about their local and state government. It’s been a labor of love for those of us who are open government, taxpayer and education advocates.
The website has a wealth of information, including forms for filing open records requests, a presentation on Georgia’s open meetings and open records laws, links to state and local government websites, research resources, relevant news stories and editorials.
Site visitors will look forward each month to the Georgia Peach Awards, for those who work to advance open government, as well as the Georgia Rattlesnake Awards, for those public officials who fall short of full compliance with open government laws. The February recipients have been chosen and have been posted on the website. Site visitors will have the opportunity to nominate award recipients in the future, so start sending us your nominees.
A tip line is included. From our Contact Page, you can send us tips on government waste, conflicts of interest involving public officials, concerns about campaign finances and violations of open government laws. We have found that when one watchdog uncovers a problem, it serves as a research road map for others who want to ensure that similar problems are not occurring in their community.
Highlighting the need for the Georgia Watchdogs website is the Georgia Attorney General’s report that they have received 6 open government complaints per day during the last 12 months. Georgia was recently ranked 41st in the country (link to article) in public disclosure of taxpayer subsidies and, unfortunately, theCenter for Public Integrity ranked Georgia dead last in government ethics in 2012 (link to article). The Georgia legislature did pass ethics legislation last year, but Georgia still has plenty of room for improvement.
That means there is a lot of work to do and we welcome you into the ranks of those of us who spend evenings and weekends researching instead of relaxing! We think with the resources on this website, you will soon become as focused on this as we are.