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!

Presentation for In-Person Requester Training

This morning, 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 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 Training – March 11, 2019 – PDF
Requester Training – 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.

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!