A Look Back at 2015

This blog debuted on June 25, 2015. Because I’m a total statistics geek, here’s a look at some of the site stats for 2015:

The Basics

  • 38 blog posts this year
  • 2,458 visitors this year
  • 5,437 pageviews this year

Most Popular Posts (Date Posted)

Top Months (Pageviews)

  • October (1,442)
  • November (1,208)
  • September (1,075)

Visitors’ Home Countries (Pageviews)

  • United States (5,324)
  • United Kingdom (9)
  • Russia (9)

A Few More Stats

  • Most Popular Day: Thursday (22% of pageviews)
  • Most Popular Hour: 1 p.m. (9% of pageviews)

2015 Busiest Year Ever for OOR

2015 is now officially the busiest year on record at the Office of Open Records.

With 219 appeals filed in November, the OOR has received a total of 2,687 appeals in 2015. That’s 209 more than were received in 2013, the previous record. And, of course, we still have a full month to go in 2015.

Here’s a look at how many appeals have been received by the OOR each year:

  • 2015: 2,687 (through the end of November)
  • 2014: 2,016
  • 2013: 2,478
  • 2012: 2,188
  • 2011: 1,772
  • 2010: 1,228
  • 2009: 1,155

Fewer than 10% of OOR Decisions Get Appealed

A conversation on Twitter earlier today caused me to investigate (more accurately, caused me to ask someone in the office to investigate) how many Final Determinations issued by the Office of Open Records have been appealed to court.

OOR decisions involving state agencies can be appealed to Commonwealth Court. According to our figures, that’s happened 604 times since the law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2009.

OOR decisions involving local agencies can be appealed to the county Court of Common Pleas. Our figures indicate that’s happened 519 times.

As of today, the OOR has decided more than 13,000 appeals.

Thus, approximately 8.6 percent (1,123 out of 13,000) of the OOR’s decisions have been appealed to court.

Note: The numbers above are accurate to the best of our knowledge. Under the Right-to-Know Law, the OOR should be notified of any court appeal, but there have been instances where that hasn’t happened.

October 2015 – Another Record Month

The Office of Open Records received a record number of appeals in October, marking the third time this year a new record has been set. The top five busiest months ever, and six of the top seven, are from this year.

Here’s a look at the top 10 busiest months in the history of the OOR:

  1. Oct. 2015 — 353 appeals received
  2. Aug. 2015 — 344
  3. Sept. 2015 — 328
  4. June 2015 — 313
  5. July 2015 — 261
  6. Sept. 2013 — 244
  7. April 2015 — 241
  8. Oct. 2013 — 240
  9. Aug. 2013 — 235
  10. Aug. 2012 — 231

Through the end of October, the OOR has received 2,468 appeals in 2015. That’s just 10 appeals short of the record set in 2013, making it a certainty that 2015 will be the busiest year ever for the OOR.

September 2015 Appeals – Another Busy Month

Another month, another busy month here at the Office of Open Records.

September was down — slightly — from the record-breaking level of August, but it’s still the second-busiest month on record in terms of appeals received. We received 328 appeals in September.

Here’s a look at the top 10 busiest months in the history of the OOR:

  1. Aug. 2015 — 344 appeals received
  2. Sept. 2015 — 328
  3. June 2015 — 313
  4. July 2015 — 261
  5. Sept. 2013 — 244
  6. April 2015 — 241
  7. Oct. 2013 — 240
  8. Aug. 2013 — 235
  9. Aug. 2012 — 231
  10. April 2013 — 222

Through the end of September, the OOR has received 2,115 appeals in 2015. That already ranks 2015 as the third-busiest year on record, and we have three full months to go.

August 2015 Appeals Statistics

August was another record-breaking month here at the Office of Open Records. More appeals came in our door last month than in any month before.

We received 344 appeals in August. At this point, four of the top five months in history (including each of the top three) have been in 2015.

Here’s a look at the top 10 busiest months in the history of the OOR:

  1. Aug. 2015 — 344 appeals received
  2. June 2015 — 313
  3. July 2015 — 261
  4. Sept. 2013 — 244
  5. April 2015 — 241
  6. Oct. 2013 — 240
  7. Aug. 2013 — 235
  8. Aug. 2012 — 231
  9. April 2013 — 222
  10. Dec. 2013 — 221

July 2015 Appeals Statistics

In June, the Office of Open Records received more appeals than in any previous month. We didn’t break that record in July, but we did receive the second-most appeals ever.

We received 261 appeals in July, which means three of the top four months in history have been in 2015.

Here’s a look at the top 10 busiest months in the history of the OOR:

  1. June 2015 — 313 appeals received
  2. July 2015 — 261
  3. Sept. 2013 — 244
  4. April 2015 — 241
  5. Oct. 2013 — 240
  6. Aug. 2013 — 235
  7. Aug. 2012 — 231
  8. April 2013 — 222
  9. Dec. 2013 — 221
  10. July 2013 — 220

Edited on Aug. 17, 2015: The number of appeals filed in July was 261, not 264. Three appeals filed in August has mistakenly been attributed to July.

Record-Breaking Month in June

The Office of Open Records received more appeals in June 2015 than in any previous month — and it wasn’t even close.

We received 313 appeals last month, eclipsing the previous record of 244 in September 2013.

Because I’m a bit of a stats geek, here’s a look at the top 10 busiest months in the history of the OOR (note that two of the top three are from this year):

  1. June 2015 — 313 appeals received
  2. Sept. 2013 — 244
  3. April 2015 — 241
  4. Oct. 2013 — 240
  5. Aug. 2013 — 235
  6. Aug. 2012 — 231
  7. April 2013 — 222
  8. Dec. 2013 — 221
  9. July 2013 — 220
  10. March 2012 — 217

In the first half of 2015, the OOR received a total of 1,181 appeals (an average of 197 per month). If that pace continues, 2015 will be the second-busiest year to date in terms of appeals received.

One strong trend that’s not changing is that the complexity of appeals is increasing. As both requesters and agencies become more knowledgeable about the Right-to-Know Law, the issues that arrive at the OOR on appeal tend to be more intricate and require a greater time commitment for deeper levels of legal research and analysis by our attorneys.