How did Georgia use the Federal Trade Commission to audit the films?
GA — GA has had a longstanding dispute with the federal government over the state’s audit practices.
It’s been that way for years, and the state has filed suit over the auditing process.
Georgia has filed its latest lawsuit today against the federal agency, alleging that the agency is improperly trying to get its hands on Georgia’s public information.
The lawsuit says that the federal audit process is “a form of governmental intrusion and is in violation of Georgia’s freedom of information act.”
GA’s complaint says that “the federal agency is seeking information on Georgia through an improper request for information.”
“The federal government is seeking confidential, personal and confidential business information,” the complaint says.
It adds that “Georgia’s privacy and public trust are at risk because of this improper request.”
Georgia’s suit says the federal auditor used state-provided data to conduct the audit.
The complaint also alleges that the auditors “made numerous misleading statements in their request for confidential information and that they failed to disclose the nature and scope of the federal inquiry.”
The lawsuit also alleges “that they were misled by Georgia’s own policy and practices” when requesting information.
GA says that it was unaware that it could be audited, until it learned about the audit from the federal auditors.
“This information was never provided to the auditor or any of his agents,” the lawsuit states.
It says that in March, the Georgia auditor requested that the state audit the film, “The Good Wife,” which had been produced in Georgia.
The auditors found that it contained confidential information, but were not able to access it because the information was redacted.
Georgia’s lawsuit says the Federal Communications Commission has “a legal obligation” to audit Georgia’s auditing procedures.
“Georgia has a constitutional right to an audit,” the suit says.
“And as a sovereign, Georgia has a legal obligation to provide information to the commission regarding its audit of Georgia.”
The federal government’s complaint against Georgia says that this “is a direct conflict of Georgia and the Constitution.”
The suit says that Georgia’s “constitutional right to a free and open process of public administration and the right to be free from unwarranted intrusions by the federal executive branch cannot be denied.”
GA also says that if the federal inspector is allowed to inspect the film at home, “that would be an invasion of the constitutional rights of the Georgia citizens.”
GA says it is reviewing its legal options.
The attorney general’s office has not yet responded to ABC News’ request for comment.