During the summer, 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 by spring of 2023. Use of the E-File Portal will provide a one-stop location for all records involving all appeals, ending the cumbersome practice of individuals keeping track of numerous documents and contact information.
On August 1, 2022, we began Phase 1, of the three-phase process, by electronically processing all appeals involving Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction, with a few exceptions, through the E-File Appeal Portal system. Additionally, with the help of numerous volunteers, we have processed many appeals involving a variety of local agencies. With the exception of few minor issues, the Portal was a success.
Today, we are pleased to announce that, after making minor improvements based on what was learned during Phase 1, the OOR is ready to move into Phase 2. During Phase 2, in addition to the Commonwealth agencies currently utilizing the E-File Portal, every third appeal received that involves a local agency will be assigned for processing through the E-File Portal. In this phase, the OOR will not seek permission from the parties prior to assigning the appeal to the E-File Portal. Phase 2, will begin on Monday, December 5, 2022. Voluntary use of the E-File Portal is still encouraged.
You may want to refer to the OOR E-File Appeal Portal User Guide available on the OOR website. Please review it with your relevant staff and stakeholders. OOR staff will be available for questions, resolve any user problems, and receive feedback. Information about Phase 2, will also be posted on the OOR website. We are looking forward to working with all of you towards the goal of establishing the E-File Portal as a speedier and more efficient system for processing RTKL appeals across the Commonwealth.
The full rollout will occur in Phase 3, and it is anticipated to occur in the spring of 2023. A firm date will be provided in early 2023.