RIGHT TO KNOW POLICY
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RIGHT-TO-KNOW REQUEST FORM
Effective: January 1, 2009
Purpose and Effective Date
On June 29, 2002, Act 100 of 2002
passed into law amending the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law (65 P.S.
66.1 et seq). The Act governs the rights of the public to inspect
and obtain copies of Public records. The effective date of the Act
is December 21, 2002.
101 Open Records Officer
The County Administrator is
designated as the Open Records Officer for all public records
request. Written requests received by other offices in County
government shall be forwarded to the County Administrator upon
102 Public Records
Unless otherwise provided for by
law, a public record, legislative record or financial record shall
be accessible for inspection and duplication in accordance with the
Public records are open to
inspection and for duplication during normal office hours, 8:00 a.m.
to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for holidays, subject to
the regulations set forth herein.
A public record must be provided to
a Requester in the medium requested, if it exists in that medium.
Otherwise, it will be provided in the medium in which it exists.
The County will provide copies of identifiable and existing public
records but is not required to synthesize, compile, maintain,
format, convert, or organize records in response to a request.
Further, the County shall not be required to organize a record in a
manner which is not currently compiled, maintained or formatted.
Nevertheless, the County may choose to do so for an appropriate
105 Request for Public Records
An individual may verbally request
Public records from the office or department which has custody of
those records. If the Requester seeks to pursue the rights, relief,
or remedies under the Right-To-Know-Law the request for records
must be in writing and shall:
Be addressed to the County’s
Open Records Officer.
Provide the name and residence
of the person requesting the records.
Provide a mailing address to
which a written reply and/or the requested information can be
Provide a phone number where
the requester can be contacted.
Identify or describe the
specific records being sought. The request must be sufficiently
specific to enable the County to ascertain which records are
being requested, and include the date of the information
requested as well as type of information, and the County office
or department which has custody of the record.
Agree to reimburse the cost of
reproducing the records requested, and if the cost of
reproducing the records exceeds $100, include a deposit equal to
the lesser of $100 or 25% of the estimated cost of reproducing
the records. The balance shall be due and payable at the time
the records are delivered.
The County will grant access to
public records according to statutory requirements and this Policy.
The County will separate and exclude any records which are not
public records or which are otherwise excluded or exempted from the
definition of public records. If information which Is not subject
to access is an integral part of a public record and cannot be
separated, the County shall redact from the public record the
information which is not subject to access and the response shall
grant access only to the information which is subject to access.
107 The County’s Response and Time for Response
Once a written request for public
records has been received by the designated contact person for the
office with custody of the records, if the records have not already
been provided pursuant to a verbal request, the office with custody
of the records shall respond to the request within five (5) business
days in one of the following manners:
The requested records will be
provided or the requester will be notified that the request will
be fulfilled upon the payment of a fee; or
The request will be denied. If
a request is denied in whole or in part, the denial will contain
a description of the records requested, the reasons for the
denial, including citation of supporting legal authority, the
name, title, business address, business telephone number, and
signature of the person on whose authority the denial is issued,
a date of the response, and the procedure to appeal the denial
of access under the Right-To-Know Law; or
If the County determines that:
-The requested records require redaction (blacking out of sections
of the records that are not public).
-The requested records require
retrieval from remote location.
-The requested records require
-The Requester has not compiled
with the Right-To-Know Law or County’s Policy.
-A timely response cannot be made
due to staffing limitations.
the County will send written
notice that the request is being reviewed, the reason for the
review, and a reasonable date by which a response is expected to be
If the Requester refuses to pay
the applicable fees set forth by this Policy, then the Requester
will be informed in writing that the request is denied for that
reason, which will include a description of the record
requested, the name, title, telephone number, and signature of
the denying public official or employee, date of the response,
and appeal procedure.
If the County’s response is a
denial of access, a written response shall be issued which will
include a description of the record requested, the specific reasons
for the denial with a citation of the supporting legal authority,
the name, title, telephone number, and signature of the denying
public official or employee, date of the response, and appeal
Exceptions for public records
requests are identified in Section 708 of the Act.
If the County shall deny a written
request for access, the denial shall be issued in writing and shall
A description of the record
The specific reasons for the
denial, including a citation of supporting legal authority.
The typed or printed name,
title, business address, business telephone number and signature
of the open-records on whose authority the denial is issued.
Date of the response.
The procedure to appeal the
denial of access under the Act.
A request for copies of public
records or information produced therefrom must be accompanied by
payment of fees to cover the direct cost of duplication as set forth
Fees for the actual cost of
Customary fees per page charged
by the office or department with custody of the records for
duplication by photocopying or printing or other means of
Customary fees for official
certification if requested by the requester.
Fees to cover other types of
reproduction costs, including conversion, electronic access,
Allowable additional actual
costs incurred by the County which are necessary for complying
with the request.
A copy of the fee schedule is
available in the office of the County Administrator and may be found
on the County’s Web site.
fee schedule is as follows:
$.25 per page
Certification of a Record
$1.00 per record
(not per page)
Actual Cost or
per page, whichever is less.
111 Electronic Access
The County may make enhanced
electronic assess available on a yearly subscription basis to
selected Lawrence County records via the Internet on a flat rate,
subscription fee for a period of time, a per transaction fee, a fee
based on cumulative time on the system, or any other reasonable
method or combination thereof.
LAWRENCE COUNTY RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW
The Right-To-Know Law imposes a
strict timetable on the County for responses to Right-To-Know Law
requests. The following is a general outline of the timetable.
1. Receipt of written request.
2. County must respond within five
(5) business days.
require a letter within five (5) business days from the County,
however, the letter will advise the requester that an exception
applies which will authorize the County an additional thirty (30)
generally can be classified as:
Public Records which
require retrieval, redaction or legal review; or
The County has
determined that the requester has not complied with the County’s
policy, refuses to pay the applicable fees or the County ha staffing
limits which prevent compliance.
4. In all cases, failure by the
County to respond within five (5) business days is deemed a denial.
5. Written response of denial
requires the following:
A. Description of the record
B. Specific reasons request
Who authorized the
Date of the response
Procedure for appeal
6. Appeal. Any appeal from a
County action shall be made to the Commonwealth’s Office of Open
Records Appeal Officer.
7. Final Determination. The
County shall make a final determination within thirty (30) days of
the mailing date of the appeal in the nature of exceptions.
Any request for information or
assistance should be directed to the County Solicitor’s office to be
contacted at 724-656-2150.