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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New Website, New Features

18 July 2016

Today, the Office of Open Records website was completely revamped. This post highlights five new features on the website, but first a note: You can continue to find all of the same information that’s always been available on the OOR website. The site has been reorganized, but nothing has been removed. ONLINE APPEALS FORM There’s […]


Commonwealth Court Weighs in on Large RTKL Requests

8 July 2016

This week, Commonwealth Court issued a ruling in Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (SSHE) v. Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF). One of the issues was whether or not the original Right-to-Know Law request submitted by APSCUF to SSHE was specific enough under Section 703 of the RTKL. On that issue, […]


Appeals Filed in the First Half of 2016

7 July 2016

A total of 1,146 appeals were filed with the Office of Open Records in the first half of 2016. Here’s the monthly breakdown: January – 122 February – 317 March – 184 April – 141 May – 198 June – 184 That’s the second-busiest first half of the year ever at the OOR. Here’s a […]


Senate Bill 413 – OOR Testimony

17 June 2016

Senate Bill 413, introduced by Senator Rich Alloway, would extensively revise provisions related to the practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies, establish the Office of Administrative Hearings, and extensively revise provisions on judicial review of Commonwealth agency action. The Senate State Government Committee, chaired by Senator Mike Folmer, held a public hearing this week on […]


911 Caller Info & House Bill 1310

11 May 2016

UPDATE: The changes to HB 1310 were concurred in by the House on May 17, and the bill was signed into law by Governor Wolf as Act 30 of 2016 on May 24. The Senate passed House Bill 1310 today by a vote of 48-1. HB 1310, introduced in the House by Rep. Maria Donatucci […]


Presentation to Criminal Justice Advisory Committee

11 May 2016

Earlier today, I was pleased to speak to the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, a committee under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, in Harrisburg. The topic was video records such as bodycams and dashcams, how they’re currently handled under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, pending legislation on the topic, and other related issues. My thanks to […]


Open Data Initiative Offers Exciting Opportunities

4 May 2016

Over at Governor Wolf’s blog, I was asked to contribute a piece about the recently announced Open Data Initiative. Spoiler alert: I’m a big fan.


Pennsylvania’s New Medical Marijuana Act

26 April 2016

by J. Chadwick Schnee Assistant Chief Counsel On April 17, 2016, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, prime-sponsored by Senator Mike Folmer and also known as the Medical Marijuana Act, into law as Act 16 of 2016. Although the connection between medical marijuana and the Right-to-Know Law may not be obvious, the Medical Marijuana Act […]


Presentation to Township Supervisors

20 April 2016

Earlier today, I was pleased to speak to the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) at their Annual Educational Conference in Hershey. Here’s the presentation I used: PSATS 2016 Annual Conference (PDF) PSATS 2016 Annual Conference (PPTX)


Open Data Initiative for Pennsylvania

20 April 2016

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf announced an open data initiative for Pennsylvania, something I’m very excited about. I’ll have more to say on this in the coming months, but for now here’s the Governor’s complete press release (and here’s a link to the Executive Order he signed). *** Governor Wolf Announces Open Data Initiative to Engage […]


Docket Date Title County Status
2016-1127 07/29/2016 Bucks County Courier Times v. Lower Southampton Twp Police Dept Bucks Transferred
2016-1268 07/28/2016 Jackson v. Chester County Chester Dismissed: Untimely
2016-1266 07/28/2016 Lane v. Pittston Township Luzerne Dismissed: Premature
2016-1233 07/28/2016 Carmichael v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Dauphin Dismissed as Insufficient
2016-1227 07/28/2016 Bennett v. Pennsylvania Department of State Dauphin Dismissed as Insufficient
2016-1147 07/28/2016 Dixon v. Allegheny County Allegheny Denied
2016-1141 07/28/2016 Gonzalez v. PA Department of Revenue Commonwealth Denied
Date Organization
August 3, 2016, 12:50 PM PA State Association of Boroughs Legal Update Conference
August 4, 2016, 3:00 PM Middletown Borough
September 12, 2016, 9:00 AM PA Association of Non-Profit Organizations
September 15, 2016, 7:00 PM PA Representative Dan Miller's Right to Know Information Session
September 21, 2016, 9:00 AM PA Public Utility Commission
September 22, 2016, 9:00 AM PBI Legislative Update CLE