The Act specifically provides that, “No public officer or agency shall be required to prepare new reports, summaries, or compilations not in existence at the time of the request.” O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71(j). See, e.g., Griffin Indus., Inc. v. Ga. Dep't of Agric., 313 Ga. App. 69, 74, 720 S.E.2d 212, 216 (2011)(given evidence that agency “did not maintain the purported e-mails on its system and would have to extract them from backup tapes using a laborious compilation process, the information sought … ‘was not an existing public record, and non-disclosure thereof did not violate the Act.’).
In the case of electronic records, data and data fields, the Act provides that agencies shall produce electronic copies or, if the requester prefers, printouts of electronic records or data from data base fields that the agency maintains using the computer programs that the agency has in its possession. § 50-18-71(f).
An agency shall not refuse to produce such electronic records, data or data fields on the grounds that exporting data or redaction of exempted information will require inputting range, search, filter, report parameters, or similar commands or instructions into an agency's computer system so long as such commands or instructions can be executed using existing computer programs that the agency uses in the ordinary course of business to access, support, or otherwise manage the records or data. Id.
A requester may request production in the format in which such data or electronic records are kept by the agency, or in a standard export format such as a flat file electronic American Standard Code for Information Exchange (ASCII) format, if the agency’s existing computer programs support such an export format. Id. (providing that in such instance, the data or electronic records shall be downloaded in such format onto suitable electronic media by the agency). Id.
In lieu of providing separate printouts or copies of records or data, an agency may provide access to records through a website accessible by the public. However, if an agency receives a request for data fields, it shall not refuse to provide the responsive data on the grounds that the data is available in whole or in its constituent parts through a website if the requester seeks the data in the electronic format in which it is kept. § 50-18-71(h) (also providing that if an agency contracts with a private vendor to collect or maintain public records, the agency shall ensure that the arrangement does not limit public access to those records).
Pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 19.35(1)(L), “this subsection does not require an authority to create a new record by extracting information from existing records and compiling the information in a new format.”