National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Report: New Jersey agencies face challenges as advocates seek era of open government data

Meeting the public’s demand for open government data presents opportunities for elected and appointed officials, as well as many challenges, including associated costs and privacy issues, a Rutgers report finds.

Forty representatives from academia, civic groups, media, municipal, county and state government and open government advocates participated in an Open Government Data Thought Forum to learn about issues related to making various data collected and held by government agencies available to the public in unrestricted, reusable and redistributable form.

They also considered solutions to challenges that unfettered public access to data – everything from cultural works and artifacts held by galleries, libraries and archives to census statistics and key socioeconomic indicators – would present.

One of the most important challenges will be to reform the Open Public Records Act to address the “dramatic” technological changes that have occurred since it was drafted more than 15 years ago, said the report’s author, Marc Pfeiffer of Rutgers’ Bloustein Local Government Research Center. Continue…