Volunteers needed for data collection

We are seeking volunteers to help fill OPRAmachine with more governmental agencies. This is an easy way to get involved in help making government accountable and accessible from the comfort of your home.

As it stands now, OPRAmachine will be launching in beta with support for all 33 municipalities, MUAs, school boards and housing authorities for Ocean County. It is the goal of the development team to expand on a county-by-county basis throughout New Jersey in order to bring this powerful tool to more citizens following our launch in Ocean County.

In order to power OPRAmachine, we need to collect the email addresses for each custodian of records. Usually this will be the municipal clerk. Some towns have separate OPRA custodians for their police departments, which we would want as well.

The software that powers the site accepts the following fields of data, which will be used to generate the listing of governmental agencies that can receive OPRA requests from our interactive web interface:

We will likely be setting up online documents in Google Drive in order to allow volunteers to collaborate, or volunteers can submit information via email.

Our roadmap is to add support for other areas of New Jersey, one county at a time. Since this is being done on a volunteer basis, our ability to add more towns and counties to OPRAmachine will depend on our volunteers.

We currently have a volunteer that has offered to take on the work of Burlington County for the first update to the site. Anybody from the Burlington area that already has email addresses of OPRA records custodians is encouraged to reach out and we will put you in touch with the volunteer working on this.

A blank template to start filling out can be downloaded from here, in .csv format. Ideally, we’re looking to have each CSV file have a listing of all municipalities in each county, so that they can be maintained and updated as addresses change in the future.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to reach out via email or via our Facebook page and we can point you in the right direction. Thanks in advance!

 

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