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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

Transparency Zone, June and July 2023

14 August 2023

Employment applications of agency employees are public but certain information may be redacted from them.  2023-1065. A request may lack sufficient specificity if it requires an agency to make judgments as to which records relate to the request’s subject matter.  2023-1121. The OOR can determine the public status of election-related records but access to those … Continue reading Transparency Zone, June and July 2023

Exemptions, Explained: 708(b)(3)

17 July 2023

Another “Exemptions, Explained” blog post, another security-related exemption. This one, Section 708(b)(3), centers on infrastructure and the legal analysis is provided by Appeals Officer Bandy Jarosz. This exemption is sparingly used, cited in just 301 appeals as of June 10, 2023.  Recently, it is offered as a rationale by agencies in denying access requests for … Continue reading Exemptions, Explained: 708(b)(3)

Phase 3, Full Implementation, of OOR E-File Appeal Portal Process

17 July 2023

During the summer of 2022, we shared the exciting news that the OOR is moving forward with our E-File Appeal Portal, with the goal of having all Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) appeals processed through the E-File Portal in 2023.  Use of the E-File Portal will provide a one-stop location for all records involving all appeals, ending … Continue reading Phase 3, Full Implementation, of OOR E-File Appeal Portal Process

Docket Date Title County Status
20232890 12/01/2023 Dennis Robinson v. Dauphin County District Attorney's Office Dauphin Dismissed: Insufficient (Sec. 1101)
20232885 12/01/2023 Ken Serfass v. Jim Thorpe Area School District Carbon Dismissed: Insufficient (Sec. 1101)
20232876 12/01/2023 Andrew McCormack v. Northern York County Regional Police Department York Transferred
20232862 12/01/2023 Ernset Morris v. Montgomery County District Attorney Montgomery Transferred
20232783 12/01/2023 Casey Monaghan v. Scott Township (Allegheny) Allegheny Withdrawn
20232703 12/01/2023 Dennis Robinson v. Dauphin County District Attorney's Office Dauphin Dismissed: Premature
20232693 12/01/2023 Daniel Muzzy v. Sexual Offenders Assessment Board Dauphin Denied
Date Organization
December 4, 2023, 10:40 AM 2023 COGEL Conference FOI Presentation
December 5, 2023, 10:30 AM PSATS CLE Seminar
December 13, 2023, 10:00 AM [OPEN TO PUBLIC] Basics of the Sunshine Act Webinar