Georgia Law Review, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Fall 1978), pp. 97-131


In the realm of government, the goal of publicity translates into "openness," and its proponents have long cited James Madison: "A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." In recent times, openness in government--and the quest for it--have experienced a resounding revival of interest. The result is yet another of those intriguing domains where basic traditional sentiments merge with intense modern reforms. Governments at all levels have felt the impact of that revival, an impact produced by diverse developments in various contexts. Three such developments most prominent on the surface are "open meetings," "disclosure," and "open records." These developments have extended, to at least an interesting degree, to Georgia local governments. That none of the developments has yet run its course does not detract from the importance of what has occurred nor its significance as a benchmark for the measurement of future movement.