Presentation for 12/5 Requester Training

Yesterday, the Office of Open Records hosted a training session designed for requesters at our office in Harrisburg.

Topics covered include how to write a good RTKL request, accessing information in databases, significant deadlines in the RTKL, how to appeal a RTKL denial, and more.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used for this session:

Requester Training – Dec. 5, 2018 – PDF
Requester Training – Dec. 5, 2018 – PPTX

The OOR regularly provides training on Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law and Sunshine Act. Our training calendar is available here, and we always welcome requests to provide training.

Our next scheduled training for requesters will take place on March 11, 2019.

New Standard RTKL Request Form

Standard RTKL Request Form (Sample)The Office of Open Records (OOR) is required by Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) to “develop a uniform [request] form which shall be accepted by all Commonwealth and local agencies” (Section 505(a) of the RTKL).

Pursuant to that duty, the OOR has issued a new version of the Standard RTKL Request Form, which is available here in both PDF and DOCX formats:

Right-to-Know Law Forms

The new Standard RTKL Request Form reflects great input from both agencies and requesters. We asked for your thoughts back in September, and you came through. Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions.

We weren’t able to incorporate every idea, of course, but we did incorporate many. We hope and expect that the new form will be significantly more useful for everyone involved in the RTKL process.

As required by Section 505(a) of the RTKL, all Commonwealth and local agencies must accept RTKL requests submitted on the new Standard RTKL Request Form, as well as requests submitted on previous versions of the Standard RTKL Request Form.

The new Standard RTKL Request Form can also be accessed directly via these links:

New RTKL Flowchart

RTKL Flowchart (2018 Final Updated Version)A new version of a flowchart designed by the Office of Open Records to help explain Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law process is now available.

In October, we posted a draft update and asked for suggestions on how to improve it. We appreciate everyone who shared their ideas.

The new flowchart is available here:

Speaking to Journalism Students at Gannon University

Yesterday, I visited Gannon University in Erie to speak to one of Prof. Frank Garland’s journalism classes 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:

Gannon University – Prof. Francis P. Garland – Nov. 20, 2018 (PPTX)
Gannon University – Prof. Francis P. Garland – Nov. 20, 2018 (PDF)

If you’re a professor in Pennsylvania and you’d like me to speak to your class, let me know and I’ll do my best to make it happen.

Speaking at the Mercer County Courthouse

On Monday, I visited beautiful Mercer County to speak to county department heads and employees about Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law.

It was a great session, and I very much appreciate the invitation. (The Mercer County Courthouse, built more than 100 years ago, is a wonderful building that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.)

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used:

Mercer County – Nov. 19, 2018 (PPTX)
Mercer County – Nov. 19, 2018 (PDF)

If you’d like to request training from the Office of Open Records, here’s how to do it.

Speaking to Sisters in Crime: Delaware Valley Chapter

On Saturday, I visited the Tredyffrin Public Library to speak to the Delaware Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime 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:

Sisters in Crime – Nov. 17, 2018 (PPTX)
Sisters in Crime – Nov. 17, 2018 (PDF)

If you’d like to request training from the Office of Open Records, here’s how to do it.

Speaking to Two Journalism Classes at Penn State

Yesterday, I visited Penn State University to speak to two of Cindy Simmons’ journalism classes about Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law.

Both were great sessions, and I very much appreciate the invitation.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used:

Penn State University – Cynthia Simmons – Nov. 13, 2018 (PPTX)
Penn State University – Cynthia Simmons – Nov. 13, 2018 (PDF)

If you’re a professor in Pennsylvania and you’d like me to speak to your class about the Right-to-Know Law, let me know and I’ll do my best to make it happen.