UPDATE (11/1/2017): The School Board released a revised invoice on 8/23/2017 but has refused to release the original invoice issued by the vendor in June 2017. A court hearing on the OPRA complaint is scheduled for January 9, 2018.
The Wall Township School Board claimed an unapproved yearbook invoice is deliberative and denied release in response to an OPRA request. A lawsuit has been filed with regard to the issue.
NJFOG would argue that billed invoices are public records when an agency receives them and that their status as paid or unpaid — or unapproved for payment — could simply be marked on the invoice. Further, the OPRA statute states: “Immediate access ordinarily shall be granted to budgets, bills, vouchers, …” (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(e)) In order to better oversee local governments, it makes sense that taxpayers should have early access to invoices so that they have the opportunity to catch billing errors before invoices are paid.
NJ Open Government Notes
Wall Township school board sued over refusal to disclose yearbook invoice
by John Paff
August 8, 2017