Excerpts from Special Statement of the Government Records Council 2021-01

From: Frank F. Caruso, Director

Date: June 10. 2021

RE: P.L. 2021, c.104 Ends Public Health Emergency and Reinstates OPRA's Response Time Frame, with an Exception

"In response to the signing of P.L. 2021 c. 104 on June 4, 2021, the Government Records Council ("GRC") is issuing the following guidance on the impact of the termination of the COVID-19 public health emergency and reinstatement of OPRA's statutory response time frame, with an exception."

"P.L. 2021 c.104 thus provides that, notwithstanding a continued state of emergency, OPRA's statutory time frames immediately apply to all OPRA requests received by a "public Agency" as defined in NUSA 47:1A-1.1. However, should a "public agency" receive an OPRA request seeking access to "records related to the COVID-19 response," a custodian is permitted to abide by the abeyance of the time frame set forth in NJSA, 47:1A-5(1)(2)."

"In closing, the GRC stresses that custodians shall immediately resume normal OPRA operations, except in those limited circumstances where a requester is seeking records directly related to that agency's COVID-19 response."

OPRA - Open Public Records Act

On January 8, 2002, the New Jersey State Legislature passed P.L. 2001, c. 404, known as the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), which enacted changes in the law concerning public access to government records. This law expanded the public's right of access to government records and facilitated the way in which that access is provided by the custodian of those records.

Publicly available information that does not require an OPRA request:

Request Public Records from

Sussex County Superintendent of Schools.
Sussex County Board of Elections.
Sussex County Sheriff's Office.
Sussex County Board of Taxation.
Sussex County Prosecutor.

OPRA Request Form (Other government functions)
If you are requesting information from core government departments, please print out form, complete it and mail it to the address at the top of the form, or fax it back to the Custodian of Records at 973-383-1124.

You can also email the form to publicrecords@sussex.nj.us.