Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Regional Commission?

A Regional Commission is a multi-county planning and development organization that partners with local governments in their planning and development efforts and can also serve as a service delivery organization. RC's often constitute the local and regional layers of Georgia’s “bottom-up" planning philosophy. Regional Commissions are owned and operated by the local governments that they serve.

How were Georgia's Regional Commissions created?

Georgia was one of the first states in the country to allow local governments to voluntarily join together and assess themselves local dues for the hiring of professional staffs for their mutual benefit. These organizations were first known as Area Planning and Development Commissions (APDCs). The Georgia Planning Act of 1989 reconstituted the APDCs as Regional Development Centers, and gave them responsibility for developing, promoting and assisting in the establishment of coordinated and comprehensive planning in the state, and with assisting local governments with preparing and implementing comprehensive regional plans in an orderly process so as to develop and promote the essential public interests of Georgia and its citizens. The most recent change was to pass the legislation to enable the RDC to become Regional Commissions thus giving them the ability to provide direct services to the local governments in their perspective regions.

Does a Regional Commission constitute a separate layer of government?

No. By definition, Regional Commissions are organizations created to serve their member local governments. They depend on a variety of funding sources and have no taxing, legislative or regulatory authority.

How are Regional Commissions funded?

RC's are funded by per capita dues from their member local governments. These funds then become “seed” funds often used to multiply available resources by matching federal and state contract funds. Some RC's generate additional funds through user fees for preparation and administration of some grants and special projects.

Who determines the Regional Commission's program of work?

While local units of government are the driving entities of each RC’s program of work, an RC is often mandated to carry out certain efforts in order to receive federal and state funds. Local governments determine the final program of work by approving a slate of projects and programs that include locally requested projects as well as these state and federal programs. An Annual Work Program is adopted by the RC’s Council in concert with the annual budget.

What types of contracts do Regional Commissions receive and from what types of agencies?

A primary function of RCs is to create partnerships between state and federal agencies for funds that benefit the member local governments. The following are a few examples of some existing partnerships: