Saturday, April 19, 2014
 

FOI Request

Georgia Tech Research Institute Drone Documents

Requested by DroneWatch on Oct. 16, 2012 for the Georgia Tech Research Institute of Georgia

Status: Payment Required , will be 2 days past due from when the payment is received


From Drone Watch on Oct. 16, 2012:

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

1. any requests for proposals, proposals submitted by vendors, contracts, budgets or cost allocations for the purchase, research of and/or use of aerial drones, UAs, UAVs, and UASs (hereinafter “drones”);

2. any policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on use of drones, including on the legal process required (such as a warrant or court order), if any, before operating a drone;

3. any records concerning this department’s use of drones now or plans to use drones in the future including:

a. the types of investigations or instances in which this department is using or plans to use drones, or how it plans to support, manage or oversee the usage of drones by another department or office;

b. policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on storage requirements or procedures for video or static images obtained through use of drones, including retention times;

c. the altitude at which drones can or do fly;

d. drones’ ability to carry weapons.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Shawn Musgrave

 
From Georgia Institute of Technology, Office of Legal Affairs on Oct. 23, 2012:

Mr. Musgrave,

I received your Open Records Act request addressed to Lance Wallace at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (“GTRI”) to review documents on October 17, 2012. After reviewing your request, it has been determined that documents that you requested may be subject to release under the Open Records Act. You requested, “Any requests for proposals, proposals submitted by vendors, contracts, budgets or cost allocations for the purchase and/or use of aerial drones, UAs, UAVs, and UASs (hereinafter “drones”), any policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on department use of drones, including on the legal process required, if any, before operating a drone, and any departmental records concerning this department’s use of drones now or plans to use drones in the future including: a. the types of investigations or instances in which this department is using or plans to use drones, or how it plans to support, manage or oversee the usage of drones by another department or office; b. policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on storage requirements or procedures for video or static images obtained through use of drones, including retention times; c. the altitude at which drones can or do fly; and d. drones’ ability to carry weapons”.

GTRI is a large research institution and performs research in many areas. As provided by O.C.G.A. §50-18-71, the estimated cost to search for, retrieve and redact documents responsive to your request would be $115,000 an could take more than a month. GTRI would need to require payment before the search is begun.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Regards,

___________
Shelley Elizabeth Hildebrand, Senior Attorney
Georgia Institute of Technology
Office of Legal Affairs
760 Spring Street
Room 324
Atlanta, GA 30332-0495
Phone: 404 894 4812
Fax: 404 894 3120

 
From Shawn Musgrave to Georgia Tech Research Institute on Oct. 23, 2012:

Hello:

Thank you for your quick response to our public records request for information regarding GTRI and drones. Please confirm the quoted fee responsive to our request: your estimate of $115,000 seems high, and I wanted to make sure there had not been a mistake.

Best,
Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock News

 
From Georgia Tech Research Institute on Oct. 26, 2012:

Mr. Musgrove,

GTRI does a lot of research involving drones. To fulfill your request, researchers will need to go through all of their files to determine which files contain information about drone research. After these files are identified, qualified personnel must then go through each file to redact any proprietary, classified or export controlled information that is permitted to be redacted under the Act. We have estimated that it will take approximately 20 people 3 months to accomplish this task. The lowest hourly rate of the person able to retrieve, review and redact this information is $12.00. The total cost for 20 people at $12.00 an hour for 3 months is $115,200.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best Regards,
Matt

--
Matt Nagel, APR
Georgia Tech Media Relations & Issues Management
177 North Avenue, Suite 220
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0181
Phone: (404) 894-7460
Cell: 404-660-2928
Fax: (404) 894-7214

E-mail: mattnagel@gatech.edu

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