How to File a Request

The first thing to do before filing a RTK request is to determine which Commonwealth or local agency is most likely to have the records you want. Next, determine who the Open Records Officer is (each agency is required to have one). More tips for filing effective RTK requests are available right here on our website.

How to File an Appeal

All appeals must be made in writing and must be submitted to the Office of Open Records within 15 business days from the mailing date of the Agency's response or the date that the request was deemed denied. If that timeframe expires before you provide the required information to the OOR, you lose your right to appeal and may need to file a new RTK request with the Agency.

Sunshine Act

The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 701-716, requires agencies to deliberate and take official action on agency business in an open and public meeting. It requires that meetings have prior notice, and that the public can attend, participate, and comment before an agency takes that official action.

Training

The Office of Open Records ("OOR") conducts training on the Right-to-Know Law ("RTKL") at the request of groups that wish to learn about the application of the RTKL, including those seeking records and agencies responding to those requests. In addition, the OOR will often partner with various organizations or associations (such as the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Pennsylvania State Associations of Township Supervisors, or the Pennsylvania State Associations of Boroughs) to provide a presenter or panelist.


Find an AORO

Look up a specific Agency Open Records Officer, or register a new Officer.

Email Subscriptions

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Body-Worn Cameras, Forensic Evidence & the Right to Know

23 January 2017

On Friday, January 27, I’ll be taking part in Forensic Friday, a regular program organized by Duquesne University’s Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law. The topic is Balancing Safety, Justice and Privacy: Body-Worn Cameras, Forensic Evidence & the Right to Know. Also part of the program are State Senator Randy Vulakovich; State … Continue reading Body-Worn Cameras, Forensic Evidence & the Right to Know


Presentation to Doylestown Intelligencer

19 January 2017

Yesterday, George Spiess (Chief of Training & Outreach for the Office of Open Records) and I had the opportunity to discuss the Right-to-Know Law and the Office of Open Records with employees of the Doylestown Intelligencer. We very much appreciate the invitation. Here’s the presentation we used: Doylestown Intelligencer – Jan. 18, 2017 – PDF … Continue reading Presentation to Doylestown Intelligencer


How to Find Government Contracts in Pennsylvania

15 December 2016

At least one state has recently considered legislation which would make it harder for the public to review contacts involving government agencies. Here in Pennsylvania, the Right-to-Know Law makes all state government contracts valued at $5,000 or more easy to review online. The state contract database is maintained by the state Treasurer, and it allows … Continue reading How to Find Government Contracts in Pennsylvania


Updating the Standard RTK Request Form

14 December 2016

Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law gives the Office of Open Records the duty to “develop a uniform [request] form which shall be accepted by all Commonwealth and local agencies” (Section 505(a)). The OOR’s standard Right-to-Know request form hasn’t been updated since 2013. We’re now in the process of reviewing and updating the form — with the goal … Continue reading Updating the Standard RTK Request Form


RTK Request Received by the OOR for Home Addresses

13 December 2016

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent decision in Pennsylvania State Education Association vs. The Office of Open Records, 2016 Pa. LEXIS 2337, 41 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 1310 (Pa. Oct. 18, 2016), opens with this text: This case involves an examination of the scope of the “personal security” exception to disclosure under the Right to Know Law … Continue reading RTK Request Received by the OOR for Home Addresses


Charter School Leaders Seminar

6 December 2016

Earlier today, I spoke at the Charter School Leaders Seminar in Harrisburg, an event hosted by the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools. I touched on some of the basics of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, the Sunshine Act, the functions of the Office of Open Records, and the regulatory process. It was a great event, and … Continue reading Charter School Leaders Seminar


PA NewsMedia Assoc. – Mediation Discussion

16 November 2016

Earlier today, I spoke with members of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association about the mediation program offered by the Office of Open Records. It was a great discussion, and I very much appreciate the invitation. Here’s the presentation I used: Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association – Nov. 16, 2016 – PPTX Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association – Nov. 16, 2016 … Continue reading PA NewsMedia Assoc. – Mediation Discussion


Presentation to PA Economic Development Institute

3 November 2016

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to discuss the Right-to-Know Law and the Office of Open Records with the Pennsylvania Economic Development Institute at a conference in Monroe County. I very much appreciate the invitation. Here’s the presentation I used: Pennsylvania Economic Development Institute – Nov. 1, 2016 – PPTX Pennsylvania Economic Development Institute – … Continue reading Presentation to PA Economic Development Institute


Presentations from OOR’s 2016 Annual Training

3 November 2016

Last week, the Office of Open Records hosted our annual training session about the Right-to-Know Law and the Sunshine Act at the State Museum in Harrisburg. I made a presentation, as did George Spiess, Chief of Training and Outreach, and Charles Brown, Chief Counsel. Here are the presentations used at the 2016 Annual Training: OOR … Continue reading Presentations from OOR’s 2016 Annual Training


Presentation to Potter County Assoc. of Twp. Officials

22 October 2016

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to discuss the Right-to-Know Law and the Office of Open Records with the Potter County Association of Township Officials in Coudersport. I very much appreciate the invitation. Here’s the presentation I used: Potter County Assoc. of Twp. Officials – Oct. 22, 2016 – PPTX Potter County Assoc. of Twp. … Continue reading Presentation to Potter County Assoc. of Twp. Officials


Docket Date Title County Status
2017-0118 01/24/2017 Weir v. Spring Garden Township York Dismissed: Failure to State Grounds
2016-2100 01/23/2017 Peterson v. Northampton District Attorney's Office Northampton Granted
2017-0111 01/20/2017 McKelvey v. Pittsburgh City Allegheny Withdrawn
2017-0095 01/20/2017 Brown v. Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Montgomery Transferred
2017-0005 01/20/2017 Nifas v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Commonwealth Dismissed: Moot
2017-0002 01/20/2017 Jones v. Centre County Centre Partially Granted/Partially Denied
2016-2084 01/20/2017 Gantz v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Commonwealth Denied
Date Organization
January 25, 2017, 1:00 PM Chester County Intermediate Unit
February 24, 2017, 9:00 AM Peters Township AORO Training
March 17, 2017, 2:30 PM Berks County
March 30, 2017, 9:00 AM Lower Allen Township AORO Training (Cumberland County)
April 18, 2017, 12:00 AM Lehigh Valley Cooperative Purchasing Council c/o South Whitehall Township
May 9, 2017, 9:00 AM Delaware Valley Insurance Trusts