“The Act is designed to make the production of records expeditious.” Schick v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. Sys. of Georgia, 334 Ga. App. 425, 429, 779 S.E.2d 452, 456 (2015). Many records custodians erroneously believe that the Act permits three business days for their response to any request. In fact, the Act provides, subject to certain exceptions, that responsive records must be produced “within a reasonable amount of time not to exceed three business days.” O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71(b)(1)(a). This means that if records are readily available, an agency must produce them for inspection as soon as reasonably possible in response to a request. Intentionally ‘slow-serving’ a request by unnecessarily delaying production until the third day violates the Act. Cf. McFrugal Rental of Riverdale, Inc. v. Garr, 262 Ga. 369, 369, 418 S.E.2d 60, 61 (1992) (stressing that the Act must be construed to eliminate burdens on the public’s right of access and finding that the imposition of a fee is allowed only when the citizen seeking access requests copies of documents or requests action by the custodian that involves an unusual administrative cost or burden). Pre-authorizing fees up to a certain amount may expedite processing if the requester reasonably expects the fees to exceed $25. See § 50-18-71(d) (providing that in any instance in which an agency will seek costs in excess of $25, the agency may defer search and retrieval of the records until the requester agrees to pay the estimated costs unless the requester has stated in his or her request a willingness to pay more).
Once an enforcement action is filed in district court under K.S.A. 45-222, “proceedings arising under this section shall be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable date.” K.S.A. 45-222(g).