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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CLE at Widener University Commonwealth Law School

27 September 2016

Earlier today, Charles Brown (Chief Counsel at the Office of Open Records) and I spoke at a continuing legal education at Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg. This presentation was also recorded by PCN for airing at a later date. We enjoyed the great questions and thank the school for inviting us. Here’s the … Continue reading CLE at Widener University Commonwealth Law School


Discussion in Mt. Lebanon

20 September 2016

Last Thursday, I traveled to the Mt. Lebanon Public Library for a great discussion hosted by Rep. Dan Miller about the Right-to-Know Law and the Sunshine Act. My thanks to Rep. Miller for for inviting me to speak. Here’s the presentation I used: Mt. Lebanon Presentation – Sept. 15, 2016 – PPTX Mt. Lebanon Presentation … Continue reading Discussion in Mt. Lebanon


OOR Adopts New RTKL Fee Structure

15 September 2016

Section 1307 of the Right-To-Know Law requires the Office of Open Records to establish a fee structure for Commonwealth agencies and local agencies. Section 1310 of the RTKL requires the OOR to review that fee structure every other year. Today, the OOR adopted a new Official RTKL Fee Structure which can be viewed in its … Continue reading OOR Adopts New RTKL Fee Structure


PA’s Right-to-Know Law: The Basics – Videos

14 September 2016

The Office of Open Records has produced four videos, all available at our new YouTube channel. These videos describe some of the basics of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. Introduction to Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law: How to File a Request Under PA’s Right-to-Know Law: How to Respond to a Request Under PA’s Right-to-Know-Law: How to File an Appeal … Continue reading PA’s Right-to-Know Law: The Basics – Videos


Presentation to PA Assoc. of Nonprofit Organizations

14 September 2016

Yesterday, I took part in the fall conference of the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations. I hosted a seminar called “New Data Resources” and spoke about the Right-to-Know Law, the open data movement, and related topics. My thanks to PANO for for inviting me to speak. Here’s the presentation I used: Pennsylvania Assoc. of Nonprofit … Continue reading Presentation to PA Assoc. of Nonprofit Organizations


Pennsylvania’s Open Data Portal

29 August 2016

Pennsylvania’s Open Data Portal officially opened last week. Users can find data on a variety of topics, including: Structurally Deficient Bridges School Performance Profile State Correction Population At this point, datasets are available from eight state departments, including the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Human … Continue reading Pennsylvania’s Open Data Portal


Draft Fee Structure Update – Seeking Public Comment

1 August 2016

Section 1307 of the Right-To-Know Law requires the Office of Open Records to establish a fee structure for commonwealth agencies and local agencies. Section 1310 of the RTKL requires the OOR to review that fee structure every other year. The OOR has produced a draft update to the Official Fee Structure (PDF) and is accepting … Continue reading Draft Fee Structure Update – Seeking Public Comment


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 … Continue reading New Website, New Features


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, … Continue reading Commonwealth Court Weighs in on Large RTKL Requests


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 … Continue reading Appeals Filed in the First Half of 2016


Docket Date Title County Status
2016-1561 09/28/2016 Gentilquore v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Commonwealth Dismissed: Insufficient
2016-1499 09/28/2016 Yakim v. Monroeville Municipality Allegheny Granted
2016-1485 09/28/2016 Angelucci v. Pennsylvania Office of Open Records Commonwealth Denied
2016-1480 09/28/2016 Sides v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Commonwealth Denied
2016-1228 09/28/2016 Mason v. York City School District York Withdrawn
2016-1216 09/28/2016 Gurney v. Lancaster School District Lancaster Withdrawn
2016-1626 09/27/2016 Todd v. Pittsburgh City Allegheny Dismissed: Failure to State Grounds
Date Organization
September 29, 2016, 9:00 AM Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs
September 29, 2016, 9:00 AM PSATS Sunshine Act and Right-to-Know Law
September 30, 2016, 12:00 AM Philadelphia Area Paralegal Association
October 4, 2016, 9:00 AM Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors
October 4, 2016, 6:00 PM Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors
October 12, 2016, 11:45 AM Chester County Police Chiefs