Record-Breaking Month in June

The Office of Open Records received more appeals in June 2015 than in any previous month — and it wasn’t even close.

We received 313 appeals last month, eclipsing the previous record of 244 in September 2013.

Because I’m a bit of a stats geek, here’s a look at the top 10 busiest months in the history of the OOR (note that two of the top three are from this year):

  1. June 2015 — 313 appeals received
  2. Sept. 2013 — 244
  3. April 2015 — 241
  4. Oct. 2013 — 240
  5. Aug. 2013 — 235
  6. Aug. 2012 — 231
  7. April 2013 — 222
  8. Dec. 2013 — 221
  9. July 2013 — 220
  10. March 2012 — 217

In the first half of 2015, the OOR received a total of 1,181 appeals (an average of 197 per month). If that pace continues, 2015 will be the second-busiest year to date in terms of appeals received.

One strong trend that’s not changing is that the complexity of appeals is increasing. As both requesters and agencies become more knowledgeable about the Right-to-Know Law, the issues that arrive at the OOR on appeal tend to be more intricate and require a greater time commitment for deeper levels of legal research and analysis by our attorneys.

2 thoughts on “Record-Breaking Month in June

  1. Here’s a thought–the busiest months often appear in odd numbered years. Is there a correlation to local government RTK requests and appeals in municipal election years (odd numbered years)? I am not saying there’s anything wrong with that–just wondering if RTK isn’t sometimes merely a political tool?

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    • It is an interesting statistical parallel. In processing and deciding the appeals, there is no indication on their face that the appeals are being widely used as a political tool. However, we have never conducted a survey of the names of the parties and compared or contrasted that with issues or candidates in local elections. Additionally, the RTKL prohibits agencies from requiring requesters to disclose the purpose or motive for requesting records. Thanks for commenting.

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