Sunshine Week 2019 – OOR Webinars

As part of Sunshine Week 2019, the Office of Open Records is hosting a series of webinars. Some will be of more interest to agencies, some of more interest to requesters, and some will be of interest to both groups.

(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. Everyone who signs up will receive directions on how to access the webinar a couple days in advance.)

Here’s the schedule of webinars:

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.

In addition to the webinars, we’re also hosting one in-person training session for requesters at our office in Harrisburg:

In-Person RTKL Training for Requesters
Monday, March 11, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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

Presentation at Sunshine Week CLE

Open records_logo stackedEarlier today, I was part of a panel discussion at a CLE hosted by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association at Widener Law Commonwealth in Harrisburg.

It was an excellent event (even if last week’s snow did push it into the week after Sunshine Week!), and I appreciate the invitation to participate.

Here’s the presentation I used:

PNA Sunshine Week CLE at Widener – March 21, 2017 – PDF
PNA Sunshine Week CLE at Widener – March 21, 2017 – PPTX

Highlights from the OOR’s 2015 Annual Report

Today is the first day of Sunshine Week, and the Office of Open Records has traditionally released its Annual Report during Sunshine Week.

The OOR’s Annual Report for 2015 is available here. (Previous reports can be downloaded here.)

Some highlights from 2015 include:

  • 2,926 appeals filed last year, a record total.
  • 1,794 appeals involving local agencies vs. 1,132 involving state agencies.
  • For the first time, the Annual Report provides a county-by-county looks at local agency appeals.
  • 5 of the top appellate court decisions involving the RTKL.
  • 10 examples of records accessed via the RTKL.
  • 54 training sessions conducted across the state for about 1,500 people.
  • A look at what the OOR might face in the future.

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. As part of Sunshine Week, I’ll be analyzing some of the data in the OOR Annual Report, along with some data that didn’t make the final report — and more — right here on our blog and also on our Twitter feeds:

Sunshine Week Panel – March 15 in Harrisburg

On Tuesday, March 15, I’m taking part in a Sunshine Week panel organized by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association to discuss “the state of open government in Pennsylvania.”

The event starts at 11:30 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. at the Widener University Commonwealth Law School, 3800 Vartan Way, Harrisburg, PA.

The panel also features Scott Coburn, General Counsel for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel for PNA, and Terry Mutchler, an attorney with Pepper Hamilton and the former Executive Director of the Office of Open Records. Our moderator will be Teri Henning, President of PNA.

One CLE credit is available for attorneys.

More information is available at PNA’s website. Please join us if you can!