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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


OOR’s 2023 Virtual Annual Training on Tuesday, November 14

7 November 2023

The Office of Open Records (OOR) will conduct its annual Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) and Sunshine Act training on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 10 a.m. This year’s session, which will be held via Microsoft Teams, will include the following topics: The OOR’s Annual Training is free and open to everyone. Attendees will have ample opportunity to … Continue reading OOR’s 2023 Virtual Annual Training on Tuesday, November 14


2023 Report on Right-To-Know Law Information Posted on Government Agency Websites

3 November 2023

Today the OOR released a report demonstrating that most Pennsylvania government agencies provide Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) information on their websites. However, the compliance rate is lower than in our 2021 review. More encouragingly, all those notified to be out of compliance with this mandate proceeded to post information or pledged to do so in the … Continue reading 2023 Report on Right-To-Know Law Information Posted on Government Agency Websites


Transparency Zone, September 2023

23 October 2023

Bids are exempt prior to the award of a contract; records of an agency proposal evaluation committee are permanently exempt. 2023-1700 A request may be denied if the requester owes fees from a prior RTKL request.  2023-2074 Agency failed to prove that businesses’ contact information can be redacted from mowing bids. 2023-2066 Phone numbers, home … Continue reading Transparency Zone, September 2023


Exemptions, Explained: 708(b)(4)

3 October 2023

The latest “Exemptions, Explained” blog post is the last of the four security-related exemptions. Section 708(b)(4) covers information technology security (or cybersecurity); Appeals Officer Berk Demiral provides the legal analysis. This exemption is rarely utilized, cited in just 108 appeals as of October 3, 2023.  Section 708(b)(4) protects a “record regarding computer hardware, software and … Continue reading Exemptions, Explained: 708(b)(4)


Transparency Zone, August 2023

8 September 2023

A municipality is not required to contact the third-party tax collector for records under Sections 901 or 506(d) of the RTKL. 2023-1553 A school district did not prove that records exchanged between its solicitor and counsel for an entity which purchased real estate are confidential under the Rules of Professional Conduct. 2023-1785 An agency failed … Continue reading Transparency Zone, August 2023


Docket Date Title County Status
20240583 03/01/2024 Michael Fernsler v. Dauphin County Judicial District Dauphin Dismissed: Lack of Jurisdiction
20240461 03/01/2024 Ajani Posey v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Commonwealth Denied
20240446 03/01/2024 Charles Talbert v. Pennsylvania Office of the Budget Commonwealth Dismissed: Premature
20240423 03/01/2024 Walter Woods v. Bradford County Bradford Withdrawn
20240377 03/01/2024 Brian Skutnick v. Scranton City Lackawanna Dismissed: Moot
20240364 03/01/2024 Edward Kennedy v. Pennsylvania Department of Health Commonwealth Denied
20240325 03/01/2024 Tricia Mezzacappa v. Pennsylvania State Police Commonwealth Dismissed: Premature
Date Organization
March 6, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Specificity and the Right-to-Know Law Webinar
March 12, 2024, 1:30 PM New Public Library Directors Orientation
March 13, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Laws that Protect Information Webinar
March 13, 2024, 10:00 AM Sunshine Week Summit
March 14, 2024, 10:00 AM Allegheny County Sanitary Authority Training
March 15, 2024, 1:00 PM Lancaster Bar Association Sunshine Week