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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Case Law Citations from 2020 Annual Training

19 November 2020

During yesterday’s Annual Training on Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law and Sunshine Act conducted by the Office of Open Records, Chief Counsel Charles Brown discussed recent court cases of note. Here are the citations to the cases he discussed: Easton Area Sch. Dist. v. Miller, 232 A.3d 716 (Pa. 2020) ACLU of Pa. v. Pa. State Police, … Continue reading Case Law Citations from 2020 Annual Training


Survey Results: COVID-19’s Impact on RTKL & Sunshine Act

19 November 2020

The Office of Open Records recently conducted two surveys about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the administration of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law (open records law) and Sunshine Act (open meetings law). Some of the highlights were discussed yesterday at the OOR’s 2020 Annual Training, and here are the complete results: Results from the COVID-19 … Continue reading Survey Results: COVID-19’s Impact on RTKL & Sunshine Act


OOR 2020 Annual Training – Complete Video

19 November 2020

The Office of Open Records held its 2020 annual training yesterday via Zoom. Most years, our Annual Training only includes voices from the OOR. This year, the training focused on the impact of COVID-19 on the administration of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law and Sunshine Act and we were joined by several extremely smart and knowledgeable people … Continue reading OOR 2020 Annual Training – Complete Video


Presentation from Today’s OOR Annual Training

18 November 2020

Earlier this afternoon, the Office of Open Records hosted its Annual Training on the RTKL and the Sunshine Act. The PowerPoint presentation used during that session is available here: OOR Annual Training – Nov. 18, 2020 (PPTX) OOR Annual Training – Nov. 18, 2020 (PPTX) We plan to provide the entire session on the OOR’s … Continue reading Presentation from Today’s OOR Annual Training


OOR Annual Training: Today at 1:30 p.m.

18 November 2020

The Office of Open Records is hosting its Annual Training today (Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020) at 1:30 p.m. This year’s session will focus on how the pandemic has affected the Right-to-Know Law and the Sunshine Act. Scheduled panelists include: Erik Arneson, OOR Executive Director Charles Rees Brown, Esq., OOR Chief Counsel Nathanael Byerly, Esq., OOR … Continue reading OOR Annual Training: Today at 1:30 p.m.


OOR Conducting Surveys About the COVID-19 Pandemic

10 November 2020

The Office of Open Records is conducting two surveys about the administration of the Right-to-Know Law and the Sunshine Act during the COVID-19 pandemic. We would love to have your input. If you are an Agency Open Records Officer (AORO), please complete this 34-question survey. If you are a requester (e.g., member of the public, … Continue reading OOR Conducting Surveys About the COVID-19 Pandemic


OOR 2020 Annual Training: Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m.

10 November 2020

The Office of Open Records is hosting its Annual Training on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. This year’s session will focus on how the pandemic has affected the Right-to-Know Law and the Sunshine Act. It’s scheduled to include representatives of the OOR, state agencies, local agencies, and the media. There will be plenty of … Continue reading OOR 2020 Annual Training: Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m.


OOR Reviewing RTKL Fee Schedule, Seeking Input

27 October 2020

Section 1307 of the Right-To-Know Law requires the Office of Open Records to establish a RTKL Fee Schedule for Commonwealth agencies and local agencies. Section 1310 of the RTKL requires the OOR to review that fee schedule every other year. The OOR last updated the fee schedule in October 2018. Today, our biannual review of … Continue reading OOR Reviewing RTKL Fee Schedule, Seeking Input


RTKL Webinar for Requesters

26 August 2020

This morning, I hosted a webinar about the Right-to-Know Law designed for requesters, including members of the media and anyone interested in accessing government records in Pennsylvania. Thank you to everyone who participated! Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used: The Right-to-Know Law for Requesters The OOR regularly hosts webinars and in-person training sessions about various … Continue reading RTKL Webinar for Requesters


Act 77 of 2020: Guidelines Published by the Office of Open Records

31 July 2020

NOTE: These guidelines are also available as a PDF. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has challenged public agencies across Pennsylvania to find a way to continue providing access to public records and public meetings during a time when many offices were physically closed and social distancing requirements prevented large gatherings. Among the many lessons learned are … Continue reading Act 77 of 2020: Guidelines Published by the Office of Open Records


Docket Date Title County Status
20202408 11/24/2020 Holman v. Albion Borough Erie
20202378 11/24/2020 Holman v. Marcus Hook Borough Delaware
20202374 11/24/2020 Holman v. Collingdale Borough Delaware
20202266 11/24/2020 Holman v. Stillwater Borough Columbia Withdrawn
20202229 11/24/2020 John v. Pittsburgh City Allegheny Withdrawn
20202194 11/24/2020 Rihl v. Allegheny County Allegheny Granted
20202192 11/24/2020 Breen v. Pennsylvania State Police Commonwealth Denied
Date Organization
December 2, 2020, 10:00 AM Requester and Media Training
December 9, 2020, 10:00 AM Basics of the Right-to-Know Law Webinar
January 6, 2021, 10:00 AM Basics of the Sunshine Act Webinar
January 13, 2021, 10:00 AM RTKL for Law Enforcement Webinar
January 20, 2021, 10:00 AM Right-to-Know Law Payment Issues Webinar
January 27, 2021, 10:00 AM Confidentiality Laws and the Right-to-Know Law