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Transparency Zone, March 2024

5 April 2024

A requester is entitled to a refund of duplication fees paid for records produced by the agency that are not responsive to the request. 2023-2227 The identity of the requester and motivation for the request are irrelevant in determining whether records are exempt from disclosure. 2024-0266 The RTKL’s exemption for trade secrets or confidential, proprietary … Continue reading Transparency Zone, March 2024


Exemptions, Explained: 708 (b)(6), Personal Identification Information

3 April 2024

Even the most dedicated transparency advocates will draw a line when it comes to the disclosure of certain personal information in records. Section 708(b)(6) of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law (“RTKL”) allows government agencies to withhold personal identification information from public access.   In this edition of “Exemptions, Explained,” with legal analysis provided by Appeals Officer Angela Edris, … Continue reading Exemptions, Explained: 708 (b)(6), Personal Identification Information


The Demand for Election Records

12 March 2024

The 2020 presidential election will go down in history as one of Pennsylvania’s most memorable. The impact on Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) requests was swift, prolonged, and intense. Requesters sought records related to mail-in ballots, voting machines, and security policies. More than three years later, election related RTKL appeals still remain above pre-November 2020 levels. With … Continue reading The Demand for Election Records


2023 Annual Report

11 March 2024

The Office of Open Records is proud to present its 2023 Annual Report. Read it here. Highlights from this year’s annual report include: Share this:


Transparency Zone, February 2024

4 March 2024

An agency may enforce a policy that requires use of the “standard statewide RTK form” for all requests. 2024-0292 An agency may respond to a request by directing a requester to a publicly accessible website that contains all of the data points. 2024-0196 Bridge inspection reports are exempt from access under the Vehicle Code. 2024-0329 … Continue reading Transparency Zone, February 2024


Sunshine Week Summit 2024 (In-Person and Virtual)

1 March 2024

In celebration of Sunshine Week 2024, the Office of Open Records is joining other stakeholders on March 13 from 9-12 for a great discussion: You may join us virtually or in person in Harrisburg at the beautiful new State Archives Building. There is an opportunity for 2.5 CLE credits for attorneys. For registration and more … Continue reading Sunshine Week Summit 2024 (In-Person and Virtual)


Transparency Zone, January 2024

1 February 2024

An inmate was granted access to email communications between prison officials about movies and tv series. 2024-0023 The names of individuals who played golf at a course operated by a township are not public records. 2023-3106 An agency may charge copying fees if it only keeps physical copies of a requested record. 2023-3129 Vehicle crash … Continue reading Transparency Zone, January 2024


Transparency Zone, November/December 2023

8 January 2024

An agency may redact bank account and routing numbers on financial records to prevent unauthorized access. 2023-2422 The Department of Corrections proved that it did not have records related to the price it paid for a certain shampoo. 2023-2231 A request for the “last time [a] robotic stopwatch was calibrated” and the corresponding costs provided … Continue reading Transparency Zone, November/December 2023


Transparency Zone, October 2023

15 November 2023

A fire inspector’s report is found to be related to a noncriminal investigation and can be withheld.  2023-1964 The Department proved that the Request asked questions rather than seeking records, thus properly denying the request.  2023-2460 While fees cannot be assessed for the provision of electronic records, agencies are not required to convert records that … Continue reading Transparency Zone, October 2023


Exemptions, Explained: 708 (b)(5), Medical Records

14 November 2023

With the conclusion of the four security-related exemptions, the “Exemptions, Explained” blog series moves on to the issue of personal information. Section 708(b)(5) protects individual medical information; Deputy Chief Counsel Katie Higgins provided the legal analysis.  As of November 14, 2023, this exemption has been cited in 397 OOR appeals.   Section 708(b)(5) protects a “record … Continue reading Exemptions, Explained: 708 (b)(5), Medical Records


Docket Date Title County Status
20240977 04/12/2024 Jonathan Valentin v. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) Commonwealth Dismissed: Insufficient (Sec. 1101)
20240974 04/12/2024 Anthony Yankevich v. Clearfield Borough Clearfield Dismissed: Untimely
20240972 04/12/2024 Ralph Duquette v. Hempfield School District Lancaster
20240832 04/12/2024 Michael Padilla v. Phoenixville Area School District Chester Withdrawn
20240611 04/12/2024 Bruce Siwy and USA TODAY Network in Pennsylvania v. Fulton County Fulton Granted
20240579 04/12/2024 Jenn Foster v. Towamencin Township Montgomery Partially Denied: Partially Moot
20240467 04/12/2024 Rev. John Hansen and Christ's Evangelical Lutheran Church v. Trumbauersville Borough Bucks Denied
Date Organization
April 24, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Basics of the Sunshine Act Webinar
April 25, 2024, 2:00 PM Public Defender Association Training
April 29, 2024, 6:00 PM Berks County Libraries Presentation
May 2, 2024, 7:45 PM Castle Shannon Library Sunshine Act Training
May 8, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Payment Issues and the Right-to-Know Law Webinar
May 15, 2024, 11:00 AM Delaware County Municipal Managers COG Training