New Jersey scored the highest in the state for the state of its laws and regulations preventing government ethics violations. Part of the high score was attributed to New Jersey's Open Public Record's Act.
My experience, however, is that many towns are still ignoring the law. The work of John Paff and our committee has forced many towns to obey the law.
New Jersey scored well because of its Open Public Records Act, but John Paff said that law doesn't go far enough. Paff, the chairman of New Jersey Libertarian Party's open government advocacy project, said he's filed hundreds of requests for information under OPRA.
Paff said there are too many exemptions. And even though a citizen can appeal when denied access to a record, he said the Government Records Council moves far too slowly.
"It's taking them like 18 months or two years to adjudicate a complaint," Paff said. "So that's an issue because by the time you get the record, even if you prevail, a lot of times whatever it is that you were trying to prove in the first place or whatever case you were trying to make has expired and no longer has any relevance."