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.

Regulations Under Development

The Office of Open Records ("OOR") is in the process of promulgating procedural regulations as authorized by Section 504(a) of the Right-to-Know Law ("RTKL"). Through these regulations, the OOR intends to provide greater clarity of the requirements of both agencies and requesters.

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.



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Look up a specific Agency Open Records Officer, or register a new Officer.

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Presentations in Hermitage and Saegertown

3 April 2019

Today, at the invitation of Senator Michele Brooks, I’ll be speaking to groups in Hermitage (10 a.m.) and Saegertown (2 p.m.). The sessions will focus on the Right-to-Know Law and related topics, with plenty of time for Q&A. I’m looking forward to two great events, and I very much appreciate the invitation. Here’s the PowerPoint … Continue reading Presentations in Hermitage and Saegertown


Survey: What Do You Want from OOR Webinars?

1 April 2019

The Office of Open Records is planning more webinars about the Right-to-Know Law, the Sunshine Act, and related topics. It would be a huge help to hear from you: What you would like to see in future webinars, what days of the week are best, what times of day are best, etc. Please help us … Continue reading Survey: What Do You Want from OOR Webinars?


OOR Webinars – Last Week & A Look Ahead

18 March 2019

Prior to last week, the Office of Open Records had hosted precisely one webinar. Last week, which was Sunshine Week 2019, we dove in the deep end with nine webinars. Part of our goal was to see how much interest there might be in this kind of training about the Right-to-Know Law and the Sunshine … Continue reading OOR Webinars – Last Week & A Look Ahead


OOR Website Resources – Presentation

15 March 2019

This afternoon, the Office of Open Records is hosting a webinar about resources available on our website. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation our Chief of Training & Outreach, George Spiess, prepared for this session: OOR Website Resources – March 15, 2019 – PDF OOR Website Resources – March 15, 2019 – PPTX The OOR regularly provides … Continue reading OOR Website Resources – Presentation


2018 OOR Annual Report

15 March 2019

This morning, the Office of Open Records is hosting a webinar to release our 2018 Annual Report. Here’s the 2018 Annual Report: 2018 OOR Annual Report – PDF And here’s the PowerPoint presentation I prepared for the webinar: 2018 OOR Annual Report Webinar Presentation – March 14, 2019 – PDF 2018 OOR Annual Report Webinar … Continue reading 2018 OOR Annual Report


Preparing Affidavits for RTKL Appeals

14 March 2019

This afternoon, the Office of Open Records is hosting a webinar designed to help Agency Open Records Officers and agency attorneys better understand how to prepare affidavits when an appeal has been filed under the Right-to-Know Law. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation that our Deputy Director, Nathan Byerly, prepared for this session: Preparing Affidavits for RTKL … Continue reading Preparing Affidavits for RTKL Appeals


Recent Court and OOR Decisions of Note

14 March 2019

This morning, the Office of Open Records is hosting a webinar focusing on recent court and OOR decisions under the Right-to-Know Law and the Sunshine Act. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation that our Chief Counsel, Charles Brown, prepared for this session: Recent Court and OOR Decisions of Note – March 14, 2019 – PDF Recent Court … Continue reading Recent Court and OOR Decisions of Note


Mediation at the OOR – Presentation

13 March 2019

This afternoon, the Office of Open Records hosted a webinar all about our Right-to-Know Law mediation program. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation that our General Counsel, Delene Lantz, used for this session: OOR Mediation Webinar – March 13, 2019 – PDF OOR Mediation Webinar – March 13, 2019 – PPTX The OOR regularly provides training on … Continue reading Mediation at the OOR – Presentation


Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act – Presentation

13 March 2019

This morning, the Office of Open Records hosted a webinar all about Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act, also known as the open meetings law. Topics covered include providing public notice of meetings, the rules about allowing public comment, executive sessions, and more. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation that our Chief of Training & Outreach, George Spiess, used for … Continue reading Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act – Presentation


2019 AORO Survey Data & Presentation

12 March 2019

Earlier this afternoon, the Office of Open Records hosted a webinar about the 2019 Survey of Agency Open Records Officers (AOROs). This is the third statewide survey of AOROs, the people directly responsible for responding to Right-to-Know Law requests. Some highlights: We received 1,054 survey responses from a wide variety of agency types. Responses were … Continue reading 2019 AORO Survey Data & Presentation


Docket Date Title County Status
2019-0757 05/17/2019 Karwat v. Chester County Judicial District Chester Transferred
2019-0646 05/17/2019 Auman v. East Buffalo Township Union Granted
2019-0602 05/17/2019 Napolitan v. Upper Merion Township Montgomery Granted
2019-0577 05/17/2019 Lynn v. City of Philadelphia Streets Department Philadelphia Withdrawn
2019-0483 05/17/2019 Campbell v. Bellefonte Area School District Centre Partially Granted/Partially Denied
2019-0765 05/16/2019 Kneller v. Luzerne County Judicial District Luzerne Transferred
2019-0731 05/16/2019 Akan v. Allegheny County Allegheny Denied
Date Organization
May 21, 2019, 9:00 AM Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs
May 29, 2019, 12:00 PM Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs
May 30, 2019, 9:00 AM Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs
June 10, 2019, 11:00 AM York County Economic Alliance
June 18, 2019, 9:00 AM Wesleyville Borough
June 24, 2019, 5:00 PM Titusville Area School District