Sunday, December 13, 2015
GRC is asked to review improper use of extensions in responding to OPRA requests
December 11, 2015
The drafters of OPRA wisely required records custodians, absent a good reason, to either grant or deny access to requested records within seven business days. Without a hard deadline, records requests could be stalled indefinitely.
In a December 9, 2015 letter, the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG) asked the Government Records Council (GRC) to review Bayonne’s practice of granting itself extensions to the seven business day period without giving a specific reason or date by which a response will be provided. In its letter, NJFOG cautions that Bayonne’s practice “undermines OPRA’s public policy goals and does violence to the public’s right to know.”
The OPRA request and response from Bayonne that prompted NJFOG's letter to the GRC are available here.
The New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG) is the only non-profit organization in the state dedicated solely to improving New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA). We work to educate the public about these laws as well as increase governmental compliance, transparency, and accountability.