Former Superior Court Judge to Serve as Gloucester County's New Compliance Officer
(Woodbury, NJ) - Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney announced today that former Presiding Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey, M. Allan Vogelson will serve, at no cost, as the county's Compliance Officer for the Open Public Records Act, Fair and Open contract requirements, the Local Government Ethics Law, the Open Public Meetings Act, and other legal requirements and guidelines that relate to the county's open, accessible and transparent government.
"We lead this state in many areas, and now we will be at the forefront of making our government the leader in transparency. Gloucester County already goes above and beyond the letter of the law during our meetings and how we pursue good government, but we can always use guidance from an expert in this area of dealing with complying with the ever changing rules and regulations," said Freeholder Director Sweeney. "Judge Vogelson is revered in the legal community and we are fortunate that he has agreed to work with us on our new endeavor," stated Sweeney.
Sweeney said that the role of the Compliance Officer will be to assist the county in operating through an ever changing landscape of laws, rules, regulations and judicial interpretations that deal with OPRA, open public meetings, the County's Fair and Open contract procedure, Local Government Ethics, among others, to ensure compatibility with the continuously evolving law in these areas.
Director Sweeney stated that the county has always held itself up to higher standards than required by law.
"Gloucester County enacts tough standards. We have always bid projects that weren't legally required to be bid, we enacted a zero-tolerance policy for gifts several years ago and we expect the highest standards in government ethics. The addition of a Compliance Officer to help us ensure our policies and procedures is a natural progression in our dedication to transparency in government," Sweeney said.
"This Freeholder Board is committed to promoting transparency. We are in the process of making the minutes to our meetings available on our website, and we have recently adopted a resolution that eliminates the fee for duplication of records up to the first 50 pages in response to an OPRA request," Sweeney said. "We envision that as our Compliance Officer, Judge Vogelson will help us continue to broaden how we provide public access to government," said Director Sweeney.
Sweeney said the Compliance Officer will provide training and education on a periodic basis to county officer holders, the county's administrative team and county department heads. "The opportunity to gain knowledge and insight from an accomplished Judge with a distinguished judicial career is one that we want to share with all of our employees who lead this government," Sweeney stated.