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.

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:

Oct. 11 in Harrisburg: RTKL Training for Requesters

The Office of Open Records is hosting a training session on Thursday, Oct. 11, at our office in Harrisburg which will focus on Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) issues of importance to requesters.

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 also be time for questions and answers.

Sign up here to join us on Oct. 11.

NOTE: This training will be most useful for interested residents and members of the media. It will be of limited value to agency employees and agency attorneys.

If you’re interested in this kind of training but can’t join us for this event, the presentation used in the training will be posted to this blog, we’ll be providing additional requester training sessions (including webinars) in the future, and we’ll be creating more YouTube videos focused on requester issues.

Visit the OOR website for more information about upcoming OOR training sessions and to subscribe to the OOR’s email newsletter.

Requesters: Keep a Copy of Your Request

When you submit a request under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, it’s very important that you keep a copy of the request. (An electronic copy is fine.)

This is important because if you’re denied access to records and decide to file an appeal with the Office of Open Records, you’ll need to provide four things:

  • A copy of the Right-to-Know request;
  • A copy of the Agency’s response (unless the request was “deemed denied,” meaning the Agency didn’t respond at all);
  • A written statement explaining the grounds on which the requester asserts that the record is a public record; and
  • A written statement addressing any grounds stated by the agency for denying the request.

If the case is appealed beyond the OOR (to a Court of Common Pleas or to Commonwealth Court), the OOR is required to provide a certified copy of the full record, which must include all four of those items.

By the way, the best way to file an appeal with the OOR is to use our Appeal Form, which can be downloaded in PDF or Word format. We’ve designed the form to be as simple and user-friendly as possible.