Open Public Records Act

The founding fathers of the US strove to propose a law that requires the public participation and encourages public democracy. In addition, the US Supreme Court has acknowledged the public rights to know. Acquainted citizen are encouraged to practice the law for they may become a productive citizen of the society.

The Legislature created rules relating to human services. On January 8, 2002, the legislature passed the rules and after scrutinizing the law, the acting governor approved the P. L. P. L. 2001, c.  404, and recognized as the Open Public Records Act. The law ratified changes about the public access to government records. This paper will discuss the proposed new rules in relation to the human services. Summary On July 7, 2002, the law became effective. Shortly, the law widens the authority of public to retrieve the public documents and even aids the accession. Specifically, the Section 18 of the law approves the public agencies to take anticipatory exploitation in advance to put the law into a smooth and efficient practice.

In addition to governing the law, the Department of Human Services also proposed rules regarding the accession of public records. It proposed the establishment of the procedure by which public may gain access to public documents under the supervision and facilitation of the department or agency supervised by the department. Besides, the custodian of the records is obliged to adopt an application form for the accession for the process to be effective.

The act gives the authority to the public to retrieve government papers unless exempt from such access by: “P. L. 1963, c. 73 as amended and supplemented; any other statute; resolution of either or both houses of the Legislature; regulation promulgated under the authority of any statute or Executive Order of the Governor; Rules of Court; any Federal law, Federal regulation or Federal order” (Department of Human Services New Jersey, 2007).

In addition, the act also requires that the government should be careful and attentive from public access of papers. It must safeguard records from all forms of “robbery” especially the personal profile of one person if the disclosure thereof could damage the name of the person or violating the privacy of the person. The rules recognized the rights of people for accessing public documents as well as safeguarding person’s reasonable expectations of solitude and the reliability and veracity of government operations. Social Impact

Primarily, the act will have a positive impact towards citizen for they are authorized by the law to view public documents for their references and information controlled by the Department of Human Services. For its facilitation, the law requires the department or any agency within the department to prepare documents for the ready access of the public. Access may be in the form of inspection, copying or examination by citizens of state unless exempt by law or rules. However, the law requires the department from indiscriminate disclosure of the records that could be used against a person or group of person.