Presentations in Hermitage and Saegertown

Today, at the invitation of Senator Michele Brooks, I’ll be speaking to groups in Hermitage (10 a.m.) and Saegertown (2 p.m.). The sessions will focus on the Right-to-Know Law and related topics, with plenty of time for Q&A.

I’m looking forward to two great events, and I very much appreciate the invitation.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I will use:

Hermitage & Saegertown – Sen. Michele Brooks – April 3, 2019 (PDF)
Hermitage & Saegertown – Sen. Michele Brooks – April 3, 2019 (PPTX)

Recent Court and OOR Decisions of Note

This morning, the Office of Open Records is hosting a webinar focusing on recent court and OOR decisions under the Right-to-Know Law and the Sunshine Act.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation that our Chief Counsel, Charles Brown, prepared for this session:

Recent Court and OOR Decisions of Note – March 14, 2019 – PDF
Recent Court and OOR Decisions of Note – March 14, 2019 – 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.

This is Sunshine Week 2019, and we’re hosting a series of webinars. I hope you can join us for some or all of them!

2019 AORO Survey Data & Presentation

Earlier this afternoon, the Office of Open Records hosted a webinar about the 2019 Survey of Agency Open Records Officers (AOROs).

This is the third statewide survey of AOROs, the people directly responsible for responding to Right-to-Know Law requests.

Some highlights:

  • We received 1,054 survey responses from a wide variety of agency types.
  • Responses were received from agencies in all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties.
  • More than 90% of agencies reported spending less than 5 hours per week responding to RTKL requests. (That includes 61.5% of agencies which spent less than 1 hour per week.)
  • The median number of requests received was 13.5; the average was 43.2.
  • 509 agencies reported receiving 12 or fewer requests.
  • 101 agencies reported receiving 100 or more requests.
  • The majority (51.2%) of requests were “general requests.” The next largest category was commercial requests (30.2%). News media requests were just 3.8% of the total.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used for this session, which includes more data from the survey and related information:

AORO Survey Results Webinar – March 12, 2019 – PDF
AORO Survey Results Webinar – March 12, 2019 – PPTX

And here’s the underlying data, exported into Excel files in the three ways Survey Monkey allows (all three are ZIP files):

2019_AORO_All_Summary_Data
2019_AORO_All_Responses_Data
2019_AORO_All_Individual_Responses

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.

This is Sunshine Week 2019, and we’re hosting a series of webinars. I hope you can join us for some or all of them!

Basics for New AOROs – Presentation

This morning, the Office of Open Records hosted a webinar designed for new Agency Open Records Officers (AOROs).

Topics covered include agency obligations under the Right-to-Know Law, what to do when a request is received, fees and payments, and the OOR’s appeal process.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation that our Chief of Training & Outreach, George Spiess, used for this session:

Basics for New AOROs Webinar- March 12, 2019 – PDF
Basics for New AOROs Webinar- March 12, 2019 – 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.

This is Sunshine Week 2019, and we’re hosting a series of webinars. I hope you can join us for some or all of them!

Presentation for Requester Webinar

Earlier this afternoon, the Office of Open Records hosted a webinar designed for requesters.

Topics covered include how to write a good Right-to-Know Law 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 Webinar – March 11, 2019 – PDF
Requester Webinar- March 11, 2019 – 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.

This is Sunshine Week 2019, and we’re hosting a series of webinars. I hope you can join us for some or all of them!

9 OOR Webinars Next Week

As part of Sunshine Week 2019, the Office of Open Records is hosting a series of nine webinars addressing various topics related to Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law and Sunshine Act. Some will be of more interest to agencies, some of more interest to requesters, and some will be of interest to both groups.

Here’s the complete schedule, along with links to sign up:

Right-to-Know Law Training for Requesters
Monday, March 11, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Basics for New Agency Open Records Officers
Tuesday, March 12, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

2019 Agency Open Records Officer Survey Results
Tuesday, March 12, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Sunshine Act Training
Wednesday, March 13, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

About Office of Open Records Mediation
Wednesday, March 13, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Recent Court and Office of Open Records Decisions of Note
Thursday, March 14, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Preparing Affidavits for Appeals
Thursday, March 14, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Releasing the 2018 Office of Open Records Annual Report
Friday, March 15, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Office of Open Records Website Resources
Friday, March 15, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

After you sign up for a webinar, you’ll receive a confirmation email. About 30 minutes prior to the start of each session you sign up for, you’ll receive another email which includes a link to join the webinar. The OOR’s webinars run via Skype, so you may need to download a small app to participate, but in our testing the process has been pretty seamless.

We hope you can join us for one or more of the sessions!

In-Person Training for Requesters on 3/11

Office of Open Records LogoOn Monday, March 11, the Office of Open Records is hosting an in-person training session for requesters at our office in Harrisburg.

The session will examine Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law from the perspective of someone who wants to obtain records. Topics to be 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.

There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

I hope you can join us! Sign up here to register.