||New Jersey Libertarian Party
Open Government Advocacy Project:
West Orange Board of Education
Dear Mr. Kenney:
Please accept this e-mail as my request for government records in accordance with the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and the common law right of access. Please respond and send all responsive documents to me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If e-mail is not possible, please fax responses and responsive records to me at 908-325-0129. Also, I would appreciate it if you would acknowledge your receipt of this e-mail.
I am told that one of the reports for which the Board believes a $150 charge is justified is the \"Gross Pay Report\" an example of which is on-line here:
This report is simply a listing of employees\' names with each employee\'s corresponding gross pay for a specified period of time. It just doesn\'t seem right to me that a public agency should be able to assess a $150 \"special service charge\" for producing such a simple and fundamental report.
I\'ve consulted the Division of Archives and Records Management\'s records retention schedule M700105-001 which is on-line here: http://www.nj.gov/treasury/revenue/rms/pdf/m700105_001.pdf The 13th page of the schedule lists, as \"Records Series # 0024-0001\" a \"Payroll Records and Reports File\" which is described as follows:
\"Payroll Records and Reports File Includes: payroll summaries, payroll stubs, overtime slips, payroll trial balances, payroll printouts, payroll/personnel notices, summer payment plan, agency payroll accounts, and payroll reports including: distribution by account, noncontracted pay lists, payroll deduction summaries and register, base pay and extra compensation, deduction registers, direct deposits, posted payroll, check register, social security, TPAF, PERS, State and Federal Income Tax deduction, and health insurance.\"
Suppose, for example, that a citizen wanted to know how much each Board employee made, in gross salary, during 2011. It would seem that one or more of the records in the Board\'s \"Payroll Records and Reports File\" would contain the information requested. For example, it appears that the \"payroll printouts\" and the \"payroll deduction summaries and register,\" which are records that the Board is required to maintain for seven years, might satisfy the citizen\'s inquiry.
In order to test my theory, I am requesting (see below) a record or records showing how much money each Board employee made, in gross salary, during 2011. Unfortunately, I don\'t much about the exact contents of the payroll records that the Board is required to keep, so it\'s difficult for me to determine exactly which records that are kept in the Board\'s \"Payroll Records and Reports File\" to request.
But, I do know that the New Jersey Supreme Court has stated that the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) \"is designed both to promote prompt access to government records and to encourage requestors and agencies to work together toward that end by accommodating one another.\" Mason v. City of Hoboken, 196 N.J. 51, 78 (2008).
In fulfillment of the Supreme Court\'s mandate, would you please fulfill my request below by sending me whatever payroll records the Board maintains to help me accomplish my goal of learning the 2011 gross salary of each Board employee? I hope to accomplish this in a manner that is least expensive and cumbersome for both me and the Board.
A record, or if necessary, multiple records showing how much money each Board employee made, in gross salary, during 2011.
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