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.



Find an AORO

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

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Presentation to the Pennsylvania Library Association

14 October 2019

Yesterday in Erie, I spoke to members of the Pennsylvania Library Association about Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. Many thanks to PaLA for the invitation. I very much appreciate it and loved having the chance to speak to librarians. When my family lived in Christiana, PA, in the 1980s, the wonderful Moores Memorial Library was right down … Continue reading Presentation to the Pennsylvania Library Association


Annual RTKL & Sunshine Act Training: Nov. 7

11 October 2019

The Office of Open Records’ Annual Training on Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law and Sunshine Act will take place on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 1:30 p.m. The free event has been approved for 2 CLEs for attorneys. You can join us in person at the Commonwealth Media Center in the State Capitol Building, or via webinar. For … Continue reading Annual RTKL & Sunshine Act Training: Nov. 7


The RTKL & the SCOTUS Food Marketing Institute Decision

10 October 2019

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, which dealt with trade secrets and other commercial information that may be confidential under the federal Freedom of Information Act. The Supreme Court held that, “Where commercial or financial information is both customarily and … Continue reading The RTKL & the SCOTUS Food Marketing Institute Decision


Presentation for Media & Citizen Requesters

10 October 2019

Later this morning at the Office of Open Records in Harrisburg, I’ll lead a training session about Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. This session is designed especially for members of the media and members of the public interested in using the RTKL to request government records. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I’ll use: Media & Requester Training – … Continue reading Presentation for Media & Citizen Requesters


Coffee and the Capitol with PSATS

9 October 2019

I recently spoke to Joe Gerdes, Director of Government Relations for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, about the Right-to-Know Law and how townships across Pennsylvania can be better equipped to handle requests as efficiently as possible. It was a great conversation, and I appreciate the invitation. Here’s the complete video from our “Coffee … Continue reading Coffee and the Capitol with PSATS


Speaking to Students at SSHE

9 October 2019

Last night, I visited the State System of Higher Education’s Dixon Center in Harrisburg to speak to a group of students from across the state about Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. I was invited to speak by Dr. Duane Milne. It was a great discussion, and I greatly appreciate the invitation. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used: … Continue reading Speaking to Students at SSHE


Speaking to Students at Messiah College

4 October 2019

Earlier this afternoon, I visited Messiah College in Grantham to speak to Dr. David Dixon’s journalism class about Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. It was a great session, and I very much appreciate the invitation. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used: Messiah College – Dr. David Dixon – Oct. 4, 2019 (PPTX) Messiah College – Dr. David … Continue reading Speaking to Students at Messiah College


Oct. 10 – Requester Training in Harrisburg

4 October 2019

The Office of Open Records is hosting a training session for requesters (media and non-media) at our office in Harrisburg on Thursday, Oct. 10, starting at 11 a.m. This event will focus on various areas of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, including: How to file a good RTKL request Timelines and deadlines Fees under the RTKL Information … Continue reading Oct. 10 – Requester Training in Harrisburg


Presentation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

1 October 2019

Earlier this afternoon at the office of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I led a training session about Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. Many thanks to the Post-Gazette for the invitation. I very much appreciate it. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Oct. 1, 2019 (PPTX) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Oct. 1, 2019 (PDF) If you’re interested … Continue reading Presentation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Presentation at Center for Media Innovation

1 October 2019

This morning at Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation in Pittsburgh, I led a training session for media requesters and the public. The session focused on Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. Many thanks to CMI and its director, Andrew Conte, for the invitation. I very much appreciate it. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used: Center for … Continue reading Presentation at Center for Media Innovation


Docket Date Title County Status
2019-1704 10/17/2019 Bush v. Franklin Township, Erie Erie Withdrawn
2018-2086 10/17/2019 Monek v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole Commonwealth Withdrawn
2019-1879 10/16/2019 Moore v. Sadsbury Township Lancaster Dismissed: Premature
2019-1852 10/16/2019 Daman v. Tussey Mountain School District Bedford Withdrawn
2019-1846 10/16/2019 Daman v. Pottsville Area School District Schuylkill Withdrawn
2019-1845 10/16/2019 Daman v. Peters Township School District Washington Withdrawn
2019-1836 10/16/2019 Daman v. Elizabethtown Area School District Lancaster Withdrawn
Date Organization
October 23, 2019, 9:00 AM AORO Training
October 24, 2019, 12:00 PM Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs
October 25, 2019, 9:10 AM PA State Association of Township Supervisors-Regional Conference (Conneaut Lake)
October 29, 2019, 10:00 AM Records Retention for Local Government
October 30, 2019, 9:10 AM PA State Association of Township Supervisors-Regional Conference (Gettysburg)
November 4, 2019, 10:00 AM South Whiltehall Township Police Department