Atlanta mayor announces sweeping reform for records requests

ATLANTA — 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, alleging "a culture of political interference" with open records requests at Atlanta City Hall.

[ CLICK HERE to read the entire letter to the City Council ]

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.

"The challenges that we have faced, quite frankly, have been many that we likely could have avoided," Bottoms told Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Aaron Diamant.

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.

"I can't speak to the culture, but what I can speak to is what I intend for my administration to reflect. And that's an administration that is open and transparent," Bottoms said.

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.

"It's about complying with the law as it's written," Bottoms said.

Information from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.

WATCH the initial report from Channel 2 Action News below: