On Tuesday November 9, 2010, amendments to the fees established under OPRA became effective. All public agencies in New Jersey are to charge the fees established in the amended provision of OPRA (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5.b). These fees are outlined below:
- Every public agency must charge $0.05 per page for letter sized pages and smaller;
- Every public agency must charge $0.07 per page for legal sized pages and larger;
- Any public agency whose actual costs to produce paper copies exceed the $0.05 and $0.07 rates may charge the actual cost of duplication;
- Every public agency must provide electronic records FREE OF CHARGE (i.e. records sent via e-mail and fax); and
- Every public agency must charge the actual cost to provide records in another medium (i.e. computer disc, CD-ROM, DVD).
How to Calculate Actual Costs
- Custodians should contact their supplier to determine the cost of paper and toner. A supplier is wherever the agency obtains those materials - paper and toner (i.e. central purchasing unit, Staples, Office Depot, etc).
- Calculate or contact copying company to determine the agency's annual copying volume (calendar or fiscal year, however the agency operates). This does NOT only include copies pertaining to OPRA requests - this is ALL copying on all copy machines in the agency for all purposes.
- Contact copying company to determine the average paper life of one toner/ink cartridge (i.e. how many pieces of paper the ink or toner should be able to copy).
- Custodian must maintain documentation of all information provided by copying company or office supplier (i.e. contracts or correspondence from purchasing agent or copying company) regarding this calculation.
- Actual calculation is the total cost of paper purchased for 1 year (calendar or fiscal) + the total cost of toner purchased (calendar or fiscal) ÷ the annual copying volume.
- This calculation can be averaged for all copy machines in an agency that produce letter and legal copies. Special copiers, such as for color printing or blueprints copied in house, should be calculated separately.