[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Vineland 8-10-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-38 (Ch. 372 of the 1990 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fees — See Ch. 350.
N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., entitled "Open Public Records Act," as currently promulgated and as may be amended, hereinafter referred to as the "Act," is hereby adopted and incorporated herein by reference.
All government records which are made, maintained or kept on file by any City of Vineland employee or officer shall be accessible to the public pursuant to the Act, unless said record does not meet the definition of a government record or is specifically excluded from public access by any provision of the Act.
The City Clerk shall be designated as the custodian of all government records with the exception of records regularly distributed to the public by other departments. To further the efficiency of municipal business and to make records available as soon as possible, department directors shall be designated as deputy custodians for their respective departments. In addition, the following shall be designated as deputy custodians:
When a government record is requested under the Act, the requestor shall complete a records request form and submit said form to the appropriate custodian during regular business hours. All requests shall be in writing and as specific as possible, including the type of record and date created, if known.
The custodian shall promptly comply with a request to inspect, examine, copy or provide a copy of a government record. If the custodian is unable to comply with a request for access, he or she shall indicate on the request form the specific basis for such inability to comply and shall promptly return it to the requestor. The custodian shall sign and date the form and provide the requestor with a copy thereof.
Immediate access ordinarily shall be granted to budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts, including collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts, and public employee salary and overtime information.
Should the custodian doubt whether or not the record requested is a government record as defined by law or is a record exempt from disclosure, the City Clerk shall request an opinion from the City Solicitor. After legal review, the City Solicitor shall issue an opinion and note such opinion on the request form and promptly return it to the City Clerk.
If any part of a particular record is exempt from public access pursuant to the Act, the custodian shall delete, redact or excise from a copy of the record that portion which is exempt from access and shall promptly permit access to the remainder of the record.
If the record requested is temporarily unavailable because it is in use or storage, the custodian shall so advise the requestor and shall make arrangements to promptly make available a copy of the record.
If a request for access to a government record would substantially disrupt municipal operations, the custodian may deny access to the record after attempting to reach a reasonable solution with the requestor that accommodates the interests of the requestor and the City of Vineland.
Unless a shorter time period is provided by statute, regulation or executive order, the custodian shall grant access to a government record or deny a request for access to a record as soon as possible but not later than seven business days after receiving the request, provided that the record is currently available and not in storage or archived. Should the custodian fail to respond within seven business days after receiving a request, the failure to respond shall be deemed a denial of the request, unless the requestor has elected not to provide a name, address, telephone number or other means of contacting the requestor. If the requestor has elected not to provide an address, telephone number or other means of contacting the requestor, the custodian shall not be required to respond until the requestor reappears before the custodian seeking a response to the original request. If the government record is in storage or archived, the requestor shall be so advised within seven business days after the custodian receives the request. The requestor shall be advised by the custodian when the record can be made available. If the record is not made available by that time, access shall be deemed denied.
The City Clerk's office shall conspicuously post in clear, concise and specific terms the right to appeal a denial or failure to provide access to a government record and the procedure for filing an appeal.
Upon the approval of a request to view, inspect, examine or copy a record, the record and the requestor shall remain in the presence of the custodian at all times. Under no circumstance shall any government record be removed from the office where it is normally kept unless accompanied by the custodian or designee.
Should the custodian or other municipal employee be required to observe or monitor the requestor while viewing a record for more than one hour, the requestor shall be responsible for reimbursing the City of Vineland for time spent by the custodian or other employee.
[Amended 1-24-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-7; 6-12-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-43]
Copies of records may be purchased for the fee prescribed by law. If a fee is not prescribed by law, the fee shall be the actual cost of duplicating the records; provided, however, that, where the actual cost for duplication of a record exceeds the rates below, the actual cost shall be imposed. The fees for government records shall be as follows:
[Amended 5-26-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-34]
[Amended 5-26-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-34]
Floppy disc: $5.
Compact disc: $5.
Audio tape: $11.
Information recorded to regular VHS tape: $25 (includes costs of VHS tape and "conversion to medium" special service charge).
Information recorded to digital video disc: $30 (includes costs of digital video disc and "conversion to medium" special service charge).
Mailing labels: $3 per sheet of labels up to 12 inches by 15 inches.
Special service charge.
A special service charge shall be imposed, in addition to the actual costs of duplicating the record, whenever the nature, format, manner of collation or volume of a government record embodied in the form of printed matter is such that it cannot be reproduced by ordinary document-copying equipment in ordinary business size or where such record involves an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort to accommodate the request. A special service charge shall be applied when the custodian must change the medium in which the record is normally kept in order to comply with the request. The special service charge shall include the cost of labor in addition to the cost of materials as well as any other actual costs incurred by the City of Vineland. The requestor shall have the opportunity to review and object to the special service charge prior to it being incurred.
Conversion of records from one medium to another: cost of duplication, plus cost of electronic record medium and special service charge.
Should a third-party vendor be required to fulfill a special service request, the requestor shall be charged the fee as set by the third-party vendor.
A service charge in the amount of $50 per request or an annual fee of $1,500 paid in advance shall be imposed for any electronic file requested. The City Council of the City of Vineland authorizes the Mayor and Clerk to execute any and all agreements for the annual fee subject to the subsection. The appropriate municipal officer shall collect such fee and deposit same with the Office of the Comptroller of the City of Vineland. This fee shall not apply to mortgage companies and mortgage servicing companies in connection with the direct billing and payment of real estate taxes. The fee charged herein is equivalent to the approximate amount of the administration and related costs associated with said request.
A deposit shall be paid prior to filling any anonymous request where it is estimated that the information requested will cost in excess of $5 to produce. The deposit shall be the total estimated cost of producing the request.
A deposit shall be paid prior to filling any request where it is estimated that the information requested will cost in excess of $25 to produce. The deposit shall be 1/2 of the total estimated cost of producing the request.
Postage shall be billed to the requestor for any record requested by mail.
The approved forms of payment shall be cash, personal check, certified check, cashier's check, money order or bank check. No third-party checks shall be accepted. All checks shall be made payable to the City of Vineland.