On July 7, 2002, New Jersey enacted The Open Public Records Act ("OPRA") giving the public broader access to local and state government records. While the previous policy assumed local and state government records to be closed to the public unless deemed open upon a specific request, OPRA reverses that practice, declaring all such records open until challenged. Essentially, the law mandates that government records shall be readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination by the citizens of New Jersey.
How to Get Access to an NJHCFFA Government Record, under OPRA
- A request to inspect, examine, copy, or provide a copy of a government record must be made in writing using the attached "Request for Government Record". The requestor must print out and complete this form, and then hand deliver, mail, or electronically transmit it to NJHCFFA before the request can be granted.
- Once the completed form is received, NJHCFFA will notify the requestor of its status no later than seven business days after receipt of the request, provided the government record is currently available and not in storage or archived.
- If the requested government record is in storage or archived, the requestor will be notified of when the record can be made available. If the record requested is deemed closed to the public, the request will be denied and the NJHCFFA will notify the requestor within seven business days.
- The fee schedule for the duplication of a record is: $0.75 per page for pages 1 through 10; $0.50 per page for pages 11 through 20; and $0.25 per page for each page over 20. Payment is generally due upon receipt of government records. However, if the request is anonymous and the information requested will cost in excess of $5.00 to reproduce, a 50% deposit will be required. Under certain circumstances duplication charges may exceed those described herein in accordance with P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.), as amended and supplemented.
For more information, go to New Jersey's Government Records Council, the central organization that oversees the workings of the OPRA process throughout State government.