SURVEY: OPRA HAS CREATED MORE OPEN GOVERNMENT

New data from clerks across New Jersey say that the Open Public Records Act has created a more open government. The new Monmouth University poll shows that most municipal clerks (63%) report that OPRA has increased government transparency.  Still, just 44% of town clerks say that OPRA has really been successful in its overall goal to promote more government transparency, while 20% say it has been unsuccessful, and 37% say it has had no real impact either way. 

The typical New Jersey municipality receives 50 OPRA requests per year.  However, the number of requests varies widely.  Clerks in municipalities with more than 25,000 residents report receiving a median of 250 OPRA requests in 2009.  This number drops dramatically to a median of 72 requests for towns with 7,500 to 25,000 residents; 30 requests for towns of 2,500 to 7,500 people; and 13 requests per year for smaller towns.