Your right to know

OPRAmachine is an online platform that allows individuals to submit & browse requests for public records made under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.

Since October, 2017, OPRAmachine has seen:
  • 4393 public records requests
  • 3155 followup messages sent
  • 645 registered users
  • 1119 public bodies
  • 135 annotations added to requests
  • 376 tracked requests

Countdown to OPRAmachine's first birthday

This month, OPRAmachine will be celebrating its first year of revolutionizing public records & transparency throughout New Jersey. The official one year anniversary of the public launch of the OPRAmachine statewide freedom of information portal will be coming up on October 24th, 2018. Throughout October, we will be reflecting on what the site has accomplished in its first year of public availability. We’ll be talking about the positives, including feedback from users and government officials, in addition to the negatives, such as technical and legal challenges that we have encountered in the course of running the site. [Read More]

Toms River OPRA impasse resolved

We have good news for our users who request records from Toms River Township and the Toms River Police Department For a few months now, we have had an impasse with the Toms River clerk’s office and police department over their refusal to honor requests submitted through OPRAmachine. The township recently purchased a proprietary system from GovQA for handling public records requests and attempted to force OPRAmachine users to submit their requests through the proprietary system, which would have prevented the requests from being published on the OPRAmachine website. [Read More]

Lawsuit filed to halt Monmouth County's OPRA obstruction

Monmouth County attorneys unlawfully dodging OPRA requests to cover up county employee negligence This week we announced our multi-plaintiff OPRA lawsuit against the Monmouth County government. Since this summer, Monmouth County officials have been refusing to respond to otherwise legally valid OPRA requests that were submitted using our service. Previously, they had no problem with OPRAmachine, but ever since a county employee failed to properly redact confidential information, county officials have discriminated against OPRAmachine users, refusing their requests solely on the grounds that they dislike the fact that they are automatically published online. [Read More]

NJFOG OPRA & OPMA Seminar in Essex County

Our friends at the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government recently hosted an event in Essex County featuring a wealth of information about both the Open Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act.

Full video below:

OPRA webinar at Montclair University

We recently hosted a webinar at the Montclair University Center for Cooperative Media. We discussed tips and tricks for using OPRAmachine, how the site has served as a public records research tool and platform, along with some of the challenges and interesting use cases for the site.   The webinar was attended by both journalists and other individuals interested in making use of the advanced public records research capabilities provided by our platform. [Read More]

Jeff Epstein interviews OPRA attorney CJ Griffin

OPRAmachine adminstrator & indepdendent journalist Jeff Epstein recently interviewed CJ Griffin, Esq. of the firm Pashman Stein Walder Hayden. Griffin has developed a reputation as one of the leading OPRA advocates in the state. They discussed numerous issues, some of which touched on the OPRAmachine platform and challenges that we have encountered.

Become an OPRA expert with our free webinar

In partnership with the Montclair University Center for Cooperative Media, OPRAmachine Founder Gavin Rozzi will be hosting a free in-person and online webinar to talk about how journalists can harness the power of OPRAmachine to simplify public records research. Rozzi will give a step-by-step demonstration along with taking audience questions at the conclusion of the presentation. Here is Montclair’s official announcement of the event, copied below: “Opening up New Jersey government, one request at a time. [Read More]

Webcast - The OPRAmachine API for developers

On June 29th we recorded a webcast highlighting how developers can make use of the OPRAmachine API in order to integrate our extensive data about New Jersey public records into their next web project. Our JSON REST and RSS API endpoints make getting data about public bodies & OPRA requests from around the state, and we can’t wait to see what the data journalism and developer communites are able to create with our data. [Read More]

Podcast on recent OPRAmachine developments with Jeff Epstein

The thousand-dollar email metadata. Pushback from problematic government agencies. Technical challenges of running a statewide freedom of information portal and cutting-edge case law. These are just a few of the topics we address in the latest OPRAmachine podcast interview. On June 21st, I had the pleasure of joining Jeff Epstein of Citizens’ Media TV for a brief interview addressing some recent developments with OPRAmachine and interesting requests and responses generated in the course of its operation. [Read More]

Legislature moving forward on OPRA reform

The New Jersey State Senate Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Commmittee is expected to take action on the OPRA and OPMA reform bills this Thursday, June 14th, 2018. The OPRA reform measure under consideration will, among other things, expand attorney fee awards for prevailing OPRA litigants as well as ensuring that subcommitees of governing bodies are subject to more stringent transparency & disclosure requirements under the law. The OPRAmachine team supports expanding the scope of OPRA as well as attorney fee awards, as we believe both measures hold value in ensuring that OPRA can be an effective oversight tool for state and local government. [Read More]