Office of Open Records: Report on Right-to-Know Law information on agency websites

An analysis of the Right-to-Know Law request information provided on local and state government websites across Pennsylvania

Source: Office of Open Records (OOR)

The OOR reviewed a sample of 135 state and local agencies’ websites to release its first Agency Website Review.   In summary, while 91 percent of agencies post something about the RTKL on their websites, the compliance for the four specific mandated pieces of information are not as universal:

  • 96 percent provide contact information for the agency open records officer;
  • 62 percent provide contact information for the Office of Open Records or other applicable appeals officer;
  • 81 percent provide a request form; and
  • 59 percent provide regulations, policies, and procedures of the agency relating to the RTKL.

(An agency is not required to have regulations, policies, and procedures relating to the RTKL, but must provide them if they do exist.)

Just 50 percent of agencies provide the first three items. 

Beyond providing the statutorily required information, additional recommendations and best practices include:

  • Ensuring the information is simple to locate;
  • Providing electronic and printable request forms;
  • Including links to frequently requested items; and
  • Linking to a municipality’s RTKL information if a police department utilizes the municipality’s open records officer.

You can read the full report here.