March 13 through March 19 has been designated as Sunshine Week in Pennsylvania. It is a week dedicated to promoting government transparency and accountability.
The Office of Open Records is hosting daily webinars at 2:00 p.m. on various topics and there will be a limited time for questions and answers.
These webinars are conducted via Microsoft Teams and you may be asked to download a small application. Please test the link prior to the webinar and speak with your IT department if you encounter issues. Watch the webinars by clicking here to join the Microsoft Teams meeting.
You may also listen to webinar audio by joining via telephone at (267) 332-8737. The Conference ID is 646 597 282#.
Monday, March 14: Sunshine Act
Learn the how, when, where and why of public government meetings. This panel of speakers will discuss a number of topics including the impact of COVID-19 on public meetings, new agenda requirements, public and live presence at meetings, case updates on Sunshine Act issues, and a practitioner’s view on the Sunshine Act related issues facing specifically local governments and schools. Speakers will be George Spiess, the OOR’s Chief of Outreach and Training, Kelly Isenberg, an OOR Senior Appeals Officer, and Alexis Wheeler, Esq., an Associate Attorney at Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky and Secretary of the Allegheny County Bar Association School and Municipal Law Section.
Tuesday, March 15: Submitting Evidence
Get an inside view of what kind of evidence an Appeals Officer considers when making a decision during an appeal. The speakers will discuss and explain step by step how to successfully submit affidavits and evidence to the Office of Open Records.
Wednesday, March 16: Mediations
Don’t miss our Mediation webinar! This webinar will explore the OOR’s Mediation Program and discuss what this alternative means of resolution actually is, what happens during a mediation session, and why this process may be the easiest, quickest method of successfully resolving a RTKL appeal. The leader of OOR’s mediation program, Katie Higgins, will provide an overview and talk with attorney Paula Knudson Burke about her experiences representing the media in OOR mediations.
Thursday, March 17: Trending Topics in the Right-to-Know Law
Join Executive Director Liz Wagenseller, Deputy Director Nathan Byerly, and Outreach and Training Chief George Spiess for an interesting discussion on “trending topics” within government transparency that impact day to day life. These topics will include but not be limited to discussions about RTKL appeals involving school subjects and curriculum, masking policies, and the 2020 election. The audience is encouraged to send any questions, comments or topics they would like discussed beforehand.
Friday, March 18: Aggregated Data
Data, data and more data. Government agencies collect and store an enormous amount of information. Storage is as varied as the type of data collected. Speakers will discuss the interaction of different types of data with various storage tools and how the RTKL applies.