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Transparency Zone, May/June 2024

3 July 2024

2024-0939: The clearance procedures of a prison x-ray body scanner are exempt, but the testing/maintenance records of a prison x-ray machine are accessible under the RTKL. 2024-1033: A list of property addresses and corresponding terminology used by a city councilmember are not exempt under the RTKL as personal notes or working papers. 2024-0921: A county … Continue reading Transparency Zone, May/June 2024


Exemptions, Explained: 708 (b)(8), Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining Agreements

25 June 2024

In this post, we discuss records related to labor relations and collective bargaining agreements, covered in section 708(b)(8).  Senior Appeals Officer Kelly Isenberg provided the legal analysis.  As of June 24, 2024, this exemption has been cited in 99 OOR appeals.   Section 708(b)(8) exempts: Common sense dictates that publicly releasing records related to agency labor … Continue reading Exemptions, Explained: 708 (b)(8), Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining Agreements


Attention Open Records Officers

18 June 2024

Good afternoon. Earlier today, we sent all agency open records officers registered with our office a link to a survey. Understanding the challenges facing agencies who are subject to the Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) is an important goal of the Office of Open Records (OOR); this survey project is a critical way to gather that information. … Continue reading Attention Open Records Officers


Exemptions, Explained: 708 (b)(7), Agency Employee Records

7 June 2024

Next, we discuss records related to agency employees. Section 708(b)(7) protects certain records related to employees’ information. Chief Counsel Kyle Applegate provided the legal analysis for this exemption.  As of June 7, 2024, this exemption has been cited in 584 OOR appeals.   Section 708(b)(7) exempts “the following records relating to an agency employee: The specific … Continue reading Exemptions, Explained: 708 (b)(7), Agency Employee Records


FOIA Buddy

20 May 2024

The OOR has been contacted by numerous agencies who have received Right-to-Know Law requests from requesters using FOIA Buddy. Please read this for more information.


Transparency Zone, April 2024

13 May 2024

The Liquor Control Board demonstrated that granting access to bourbon whiskey delivery schedule records to different County liquor stores would threaten the security of an individual. This decision has been appealed to Commonwealth Court. 2024-0251 The applications of unsuccessful applicants for a position, including those applicants’ names, are exempt records. 2024-0539 The Copyright Act may prohibit … Continue reading Transparency Zone, April 2024


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:


Docket Date Title County Status
20241819 07/12/2024 Robert Petritis v. Pennsylvania Parole Board Commonwealth Withdrawn
20241721 07/12/2024 Hayward Miller v. Philadelphia County Clerk of Courts Philadelphia Dismissed: Lack of Jurisdiction
20241645 07/12/2024 Joshua Vaughn and PennLive v. Dauphin County Dauphin Withdrawn
20241597 07/12/2024 Kevin Souffrant v. Pennsylvania State Police Commonwealth Denied
20241585 07/12/2024 Frank Curry and FOIA Buddy v. Pottsville City Schuylkill Granted
20241574 07/12/2024 Carmine Bloise v. Jefferson Hills Borough Allegheny Transferred
20241511 07/12/2024 Marc Jonas and RP Wynstone, LP v. New Hanover Township Montgomery Denied
Date Organization
July 24, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] The Right-to-Know Law for Law Enforcement Webinar
August 7, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Basics of the Sunshine Act Webinar
August 21, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Payment Issues and the Right-to-Know Law Webinar
September 4, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Basics of the Right-to-Know Law Webinar
September 18, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Laws that Protect Information Webinar
October 2, 2024, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Basics of the Sunshine Act Webinar