Thursday’s MDJ reported that state Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs) claims that allowing salary information to be accessed by the public violates basic privacy laws. Therefore, he and Rep. John Carson (R-north Cobb) have co-sponsored a bill that would shield private firms and their contractors from the Georgia Open Records Act.
As an instructor at a public university and a former high school teacher, I have not been shielded from the Georgia Open Records Act, just as fire and crime fighters, school personnel and all supportive staff are subject to public scrutiny. All those who serve the public interest are subject to the Open Records Act.
Why should private firms be treated any differently? Just like employees of public agencies, they choose to conduct business with the government. If they don’t wish to conform to these requirements, they don’t have to do business with the government. It is a matter of choice!
Ehrhart and Carson should withdraw this bill and focus on matters that concern the people they are supposed to represent.