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:

Presentation for OOR’s 2018 Annual Training

Office of Open Records LogoThis afternoon at 2:00 p.m., the Office of Open Records will hold its annual training session on Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law and Sunshine Act.

The session is taking place in Harrisburg, but you can also join us by webinar. (Get all the details and sign up here.) It’s free, and 2 CLEs (1 substantive, 1 ethics) are available for attorneys.

The session will include presentations by me (Erik Arneson), Director of Training and Outreach George Spiess, Chief Counsel Charles Brown, General Counsel Delene Lantz, and Deputy Director Nathan Byerly. We’ve combined all of our PowerPoint slides into a single presentation:

OOR Annual Training 2018 (PPTX)
OOR Annual Training 2018 (PDF)

Complete video will be available sometime after the session ends.

Draft Update to RTKL Flowchart

RTKL Flow Chart DRAFTMany years ago, the Office of Open Records created a flowchart to help explain Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law process to both agencies and requesters.

In response to some suggestions to make the flowchart even more useful, we’re updating it. And we’d love to have your input.

Here are two versions of the flow chart, both in PDF. The current version first, followed by the draft update:

If you have any thoughts you’d like to share, please do! Leave a comment on this blog post, or use the OOR’s comment form.

Presentation for Requester Training

Earlier today, the Office of Open Records hosted a training session designed for requesters here 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 – Oct. 11, 2018 – PDF
Requester Training – Oct. 11, 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.

Some upcoming training sessions of note include:

Annual Training in Harrisburg on Nov. 1

Open records_logo stackedThis year’s Office of Open Records (OOR) Annual Training session will take place on Thursday, Nov. 1, in Harrisburg.

Register here for the OOR’s annual training.

The training, which will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., will cover Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) and Sunshine Act, including:

  • An overview of important OOR resources available on the OOR website for both agencies and requesters to help with your RTKL practice.
  • A review of ethical issues in both the RTKL and the Sunshine Act. This session will discuss the ethical components of both laws and provide practice tips to ensure compliance.
  • An examination of relevant RTKL case law and notable OOR decisions from the past year. This session will also look at upcoming legal trends as well as proposed OOR regulations and the possible effect both could have on your RTKL practice.

The OOR’s Annual Training is free and open to everyone. (While everyone is welcome to attend, those most likely to benefit include elected and appointed public officials, Agency Open Records Officers, and attorneys who regularly deal with the RTKL and/or the Sunshine Act. The OOR will schedule separate sessions to focus on issues more of interest to requesters, such as this session on Oct. 11, 2018.)

The Annual Training can be attended in person or online via webinar.

This program is pending approval for CLE credit (ethics and regular).

Soon after the event, a video of the training will be available online.

Register here for the OOR’s annual training.

You can also see the OOR’s entire training calendar.