Archive for the ‘OPRA’ Category

Selective Transparency

Jeb Bush released 250,000 pieces of email chat that he wouldn’t mind the electorate seeing leaving Chris Christie with few options to upstage him beyond releasing any Jerry Jones emails or a list of porn sites he’s visited, whichever he deems less embarrassing, but this selective openness misses the point as to what citizens should have a right to see.

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OPRA Denied

Note: This blog was almost entirely written as of 10:40 this morning.  It is posted now with only a change in the second work of the blog title (it could be either Denied, Delayed, or Completed) and the link (or lack of one) in the last word of this blog in anticipation of receiving some communication from the NJ Government Records Access Unit (GRAU).

New Jersey has an Open Public Records Act that allows you to get immediate access to budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts (including collective negotiations agreements and individual employment contracts), and public employee salary and overtime information.  For other records, like how much the New Jersey state Pension and Benefits Commissions has spent to date, it takes more time.  A lot more time.

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Killing OPRA [Un]intentionally

When bureaucrats are left to reform laws they always seem to be for their own convenience.

So it is with S1451 and S1452 which seeks to update New Jersey’s Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and Open Public Records Act (OPRA) respectively which have served New Jersey citizens* well to varying degrees.  When I started getting into this government watchdogging about five years ago it was a chore to rustle up something as basic as a budget.  Now budgets, audits, check registries, contracts, ordinances, resolutions, and more are online for most government entities and you can ‘OPRA’ practically anything else.  That may soon change.  Or, more to the point, that shall soon change.

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