State Investment Council Boycott Information (NJ)

Russel Neiss filed this request with the Department of the Treasury of New Jersey.
Tracking #

C129416

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Russel Neiss

To Whom It May Concern:

The Director of the Division of Investment is required to submit to the legislature annually a report of all investments that are held in companies that boycott companies operating in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territory.

Pursuant to Open Public Records Act ("OPRA"), I hereby request the latest report submitted.

Additionally, I am seeking:
1. Any contracts or invoices made or paid between the State Investment Council and any independent research firm to identify companies that boycott Israel (From 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2017).
2. Records of any correspondence between the State Investment Council and other institutional investors that have divested from companies that boycott Israel (From 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2017).
3. Any information provided to the State Investment Council by non-profit organizations, research firms, and government entities regarding companies that boycott Israel (From 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2017).

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 7 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Russel Neiss

From: Department of the Treasury

Thanks,
Department of the Treasury
Government Records Access Unit
609-633-1300

From: Russel Neiss

Dear Ms. Jablonski,

Thank you for the update. I am amenable to a 15 business day extension -- (though I'm reminded of Shakespeare's dictum in Julius Caesar to "beware the Ides of March")

I look forward to hearing from you again by March 15, if not sooner. Again, thanks for your response and professionalism.

Best,
Russel Neiss

From: Department of the Treasury

Thanks,
Department of the Treasury
Government Records Access Unit
609-633-1300

From: Russel Neiss

Dear Ms. Jablonski,

I do not agree to your extension which has no basis in state law.

As you are no doubt aware, OPRA requires that custodians must ordinarily grant immediate access to contracts and invoices as per C.47:1A-5e.

The GRC and the courts have found that immediate access means at once, and without delay. While exceptions may be granted for instances in which the requested records are in use, in storage, or require medium conversion, that is not the case here where you request additional time to "review the documents for confidential, privilege and exempt material."

According to a plain reading of the law, there should be no excuse for you to require 32 business days to grant access to "any contracts or invoices made or paid between the State Investment Council and any independent research firm to identify companies that boycott Israel (From 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2017)" as per my initial OPRA request, since, as you are no doubt aware, immediate access is not equivalent to 32 business days.

Further, while the rest of my request (Records of any correspondence between the State Investment Council and other institutional investors that have divested from companies that boycott Israel [From 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2017] and, Any information provided to the State Investment Council by non-profit organizations, research firms, and government entities regarding companies that boycott Israel [From 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2017]) is not subject to the immediate access required above, you previously sought and received a deadline extension for those records. OPRA is exceedingly clear that in the event of an extension "The requestor shall be advised by the custodian when the record can be made available. If a record is not made available by that time, access shall be deemed denied." (C.47:1A-5i).

Therefore, if I do not receive copies of the responsive records by end of day Monday, March 19, 2018, I intend to institute a proceeding to challenge your denial decision by filing an action in Superior Court or by filing a complaint with the Government Records Council as per my rights under C.47:1A-6.

Thank you for your time and your anticipated assistance in this matter.

Best,

Russel Neiss

From: Department of the Treasury


  • Neiss OPRA C129416 Partial Release_Redacted

  • Neiss R C129416 Investment Partial Release Attached - Still due 3-29-18_GELcomments

From: Russel Neiss

Dear Ms. Jablonski,

Thank you for this partial response. I look forward to the completion of the request at the end of the month.

Best,
Russel Neiss

From: Department of the Treasury


From: Department of the Treasury

Thanks,
Department of the Treasury
Government Records Access Unit
609-633-1300

From: Russel Neiss

Dear Ms. Jablonski,

Again, thank you for these documents.

I wish to follow up on the withheld monthly reports from ISS.

Is it the contention of your agency that these documents are fully exempt under 47:1A-1.1 (7),(12), & (1), and that there is no portion of these monthly records that are responsive to the request that can be released while redacting the exempt information?

Again, thank you for your time and attention.

Best,
Russel Neiss

From: Department of the Treasury

Mr. Neiss,

The reports are exempt in their entirety from OPRA's definition of a "government record" as being advisory, consultative and deliberative.
Thanks,
Department of the Treasury
Government Records Access Unit
609-633-1300

Files

pages

Close