This week I had the pleasure of speaking with NJ Tech Weekly’s Esther Surden about the technical aspects of my public records research platform, OPRAmachine
Gavin Rozzi was a journalist in Ocean County and finishing up his education at Stockton University when he came up with the idea for OPRAmachine.
OPRAmachine is an open-source platform that lets citizens easily file requests for public records to their local governments, and it makes the requests and answers available to the public.
New Jersey citizens are guaranteed access to public records via a law that allows them to request such access. The Open Public Records Act (OPRA) states that “government records shall be readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination by the citizens of this State, with certain exceptions, for the protection of the public interest.”
Until OPRAmachine: Fulfillment Like The Lawless Wild West Cities, towns, counties and other government entities can interpret how this service is to be implemented. So, until the arrival of OPRAmachine, fulfillment of this service was like the lawless Wild West: People would ask for information from local governments through a traditional paper process, and then hope their requests would be accepted, Rozzi said.