Has any guidance been issued on continuing to comply with OPRA requests?

The Government Records Council (GRC) has issued a Special Statement (PDF) regarding P.L. 2020, c.10 and COVID-19 impacts on the Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

In addition, the Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) has also offered the following recommendations, “when responding to OPRA requests, local government records custodians document in writing any emergency-related barriers to providing the requestor with a final response within the standard OPRA response timeframe. Examples of such barriers can include building access restrictions or a delay in the availability of personnel needed to provide responsive records to the custodian or review responsive records to determine necessary redactions. As when requesting an extension of time to respond under normal circumstances, the custodian should inform the requestor in writing of the specific reasons for the delay, as well as soonest possible date after the normal statutory deadline by which the custodian reasonably expects to respond under the circumstances. To the greatest extent possible, the custodian’s initial response to the requestor should adhere to the standard timeline for an OPRA request response.”

This information should be reviewed with your municipal records custodian and municipal attorney for further guidance.

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1. Who is responsible for managing public health emergencies in municipalities?
2. What tools are available to respond to a public health emergency?
3. How do I get questions answered about coronavirus?
4. Can our municipality appropriate additional funds to our Local Board of Health to address this epidemic?
5. Has any guidance been issued on continuing to comply with OPRA requests?
6. When is the new date for primary election day?
7. What are the deadlines for school districts with elections postponed until May?
8. Where can I find the latest information on the CARES Act?
9. Can local governments restrict short-term stays to prevent the spread?
10. How can we continue operating when we are experiencing staffing shortages?
11. Can we proceed with fire code enforcement during the pandemic?
12. Has any guidance been given on hosting public meetings?
13. Where can I find information on the budget deadline extension, levy cap exemptions and estimated tax bills?
14. Where can I find COVID-19 related resources from the League?