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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 590-7-17 LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS-AUTOMATED DATA PROCESSING SYSTEM

Rule 590-7-17-.01 Authority

The Secretary of State is authorized to establish and maintain a corporate database on electronic data processing equipment. The equipment and software must be procured, developed and maintained in accordance with standards set forth and approved by the Computer Services Division of the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS). The corporate database shall also include and maintain information on limited partnerships.

Rule 590-7-17-.02 Records

(1) The Secretary of State is authorized to maintain all records and documents required or authorized to be filed by the Code, including but not limited to, applications, certificates, cancellations, amendments, annual registrations and merger documents, in original form or by means of microfilm, microfiche, microphotographic reproduction, photographic reproduction, word processing, computerization, optical disk, electronic disk or diskette storage or other acceptable reproductive methods.
(2) The Secretary of State, after verification of the historic microfilm of limited partnership documents to the automated database maintained by the Secretary of State, may rely on such automated database for the purpose of providing limited partnership information, certifications, and the issuance of limited partnership name certificates.
(3) The Secretary of State shall maintain the integrity of the automated database in accordance with standards prescribed by the Georgia Department of Administrative Services and any Georgia laws. In the event of a malfunction in the electronic equipment or errors in the software programs, the Secretary of State shall not be liable for the release of incorrect limited partnership data or the issuance of a limited partnership name certificate that is not distinguishable from another corporation or limited partnership filed pursuant to the Code.

Rule 590-7-17-.03 Public Access

(1) The Secretary of State has determined that it is in the public interest to provide efficient and immediate access to the information contained in the automated database. Pursuant to these rules and subject to equipment availability, direct access to the database shall be provided on a non-discriminatory basis.
(2) The Secretary of State is authorized to provide inquiry only access to the automated database on a terminal located in the public access area of the Division, if he finds that it is in the public interest to provide such service and sufficient equipment is available to accommodate the demand for such service. In order to provide equal access to the information the Secretary of State is authorized to post a use time schedule for access to such terminal.
(3) The Secretary of State may enter into agreements to provide direct access to the automated database with Corporate Services Organizations, provided that:
(a) The Secretary of State determines that access to and the intended use of the data is not adverse to the public interest;
(b) the automated data processing equipment will support the demands placed on its operation by the Corporate Service Organization; and
(c) the Corporate Service Organization:
1. files an application with the Secretary of State that will include the intended use of the data to the Secretary of State and provides to the Secretary of State the information requested on the application form;
2. agrees to conform with the policies and procedures set forth by the Secretary of State concerning the utilization of the access;
3. pays the installation and service charge set forth in published fees and services charges maintained by the Secretary of State;
4. agrees to pay the transaction fees and charges set forth in the published fees and service charges maintained by the Secretary of State or establishes a depository account to be used for the payment of such fees or charges;
5. agrees to pay the cost of any software necessary to provide direct access; and
6. provides and pays for all modems, data transmission lines and communications equipment and charges directly related to the access.
(4) The Secretary of State may disconnect the direct access provided by this Rule in the event he determines, after notice and opportunity for hearing, that:
(a) the automated data processing equipment will not support direct access and will not allow the staff of the Secretary of State to perform its required functions;
(b) the Corporate Service Organization is violating the terms of its agreement with the Secretary of State or its use of access is not in the public interest; or
(c) The Corporate Service Organization is delinquent in payments to the Secretary of State of charges due under the terms of the agreement and as published in the fees and charges maintained by the Secretary of State.
(5) Neither the Secretary of State, nor his staff, shall be liable for any services or information provided by a Corporate Service Organization to any person or entity.

Rule 590-7-17-.04 Electronic Filings

(1) The Secretary of State is authorized to accept electronic filings for all documents authorized, permitted, or required to be filed under the Code, including, but not limited to certificates of limited partnership, applications for certificates of authority, annual registrations, amendments, mergers, consolidations, cancellations, annual registrations, and changes of registered agents or offices.
(2) Prior to accepting electronic filings the Secretary of State shall:
(a) determine that appropriate and sufficient security precautions have been advised to maintain the integrity of the filings and the database;
(b) obtain the approval from the Computer Services Division of the Department of Administrative Services certifying that adequate electronic safeguards exist to maintain the integrity of the electronic files; and
(c) determine that it is in the public interest to offer electronic filings to the public.
(3) The Secretary of State is authorized to develop and publish policies and procedures necessary to effectuate electronic filings into the corporate database. Such policies and procedures shall be made available to applicants seeking approval to utilize electronic filing.

Rule 590-7-17-.05 Service Charges

The Secretary of State may impose service charges in order to have immediate electronic access to, or the ability to make electronic filings into, the corporate database or a database maintained by a Corporate Service Organization. Such charges shall be posted on the Fee Schedule prepared and maintained by the Secretary of State. Service charges may only be changed by the posting by the Secretary of State of such changes in the public access area of the Division offices for a minimum of thirty (30) days prior to any such change being effective.