Your Right To Know
|Jeffrey L. Butler
Open Records Officer
East Donegal Township
190 Rock point Road
Marietta PA 17547
|Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120
TOWNSHIP OF EAST DONEGAL
LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
RESOLUTION NO. 2009–3
A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE TOWNSHIP OF EAST DONEGAL, LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, ADOPTING A POLICY FOR INSPECTION AND DUPLICATION OF PUBLIC RECORDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA RIGHT TO KNOW LAW, AS AMENDED BY ACT 3 OF 2008.
WHEREAS, the Township is an Agency as that term is defined in the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law, Act 3 of February 14, 2008; and
WHEREAS, Section 8 of the Right to Know Law mandates that the Township adopt a policy to implement the Right to Know Law and to establish procedures for
inspection and duplication of public records; and
WHEREAS, the Right to Know Law authorizes the Township to impose reasonable fees based on prevailing fees for comparable duplication services provided by
local business entities; and
WHEREAS, the Township has obtained information concerning duplication fees charged by business entities serving the area; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors desires to adopt a written policy for processing of requests for inspection and duplication of public records under the
Right to Know Law and to establish fees.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE AND IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Donegal, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, as follows:
SECTION I: The Open Records Policy of the Township of East Donegal, Lancaster County, PA, is hereby amended to state in entirety as follows:
The purpose of this policy is to assure compliance with Act 3 of 2008, The Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, as amended; to provide access to public records
of East Donegal Township; to preserve the integrity of East Donegal Township’s records; and to minimize the financial impact to the residents of the
Township regarding the resources utilized in the receipt and processing of public record requests and the retrieval and copying of public records.
B. DESIGNATED OPEN RECORDS OFFICER
It is the policy of the Township to require the presence of a designated employee when public records are examined and inspected and to charge reasonable
fees for duplication of public records of the Township. East Donegal Township designates the Township Manager as the Open Records Officer, responsible for
assuring compliance with the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know law, in accordance with the following guidelines:
- The Open Records Officer may be reached at the East Donegal Township Office, 190 Rock Point Road, Marietta, PA, 17547. Telephone: (717) 426-3167 Fax
The Open Records Officer may designate certain employee(s) to process public records requests.
The Township Manager is responsible for minimizing, where possible, the financial impact to the Township regarding the resources utilized in the receipt
and processing of public record requests and the retrieval and copying of public records.
All requests for public records of the Township under this policy shall be specific in identifying and describing each public record requested. In no
case shall the Township be required to create a public record which does not exist or compile, maintain, format or organize a public record. All requests
for public records shall be on the form attached hereto entitled “Public Record Review/Duplication Request” or on the form specified by the Pennsylvania
Office of Open Records. All requests for public records shall be submitted in writing and include the date of the request, requester’s name, address, and
telephone number, certification of United State’s residency, signature of requester, and if duplication is requested, appropriate payment.
The Open Records Officer, or designated employee, shall make a good faith effort to determine, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law,
whether the record requested is a public record.
All documents deemed public records shall be available for inspection, retrieval, and duplication at the East Donegal Township Office during established
business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to noon Friday). The Open Records Officer, or designated employee, shall
cooperate fully with the requester, while also taking reasonable measures to protect Township public records from the possibility of theft and/or
modification. The presence of the Open Records Officer or designated employee is required when public records are examined and inspected.
The Township shall facilitate a reasonable response to a request for East Donegal Township public records. In no case is the Township expected to
provide extraordinary staff to respond to the request, but will respond in a manner consistent with the Township’s administrative responsibilities and
consistent with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law.
The Open Records Officer, or designated employee, shall note on the written request, the date of receipt of it and the date five (5) business days
thereafter and shall respond to the requester within that period. If the Township does not respond within five (5) business days of the receipt thereof,
the request is deemed denied.
The Township shall notify a third party of a request for a record if the third party provided the record and included a written statement signed by a
representative of the third party that the record contains a trade secret or confidential proprietary information. Notification to the third party shall be
provided within five (5) business days from the receipt of the request. The third party shall have five (5) business days from the receipt of notice from
the Township to provide input on the release of the record. The Township shall deny the request for the record or release the record within ten (10)
business days of the date of notice to the third party and shall notify the third party of the decision.
The response provided by the Township shall consist of either (1) approval for access to the public record; (2) notice that the request is being
reviewed; (3) denial of access to the record requested.
Fees for paper copies shall be $0.25 per page per side. The certification of a record is $1.00 per record. Specialized documents including, but not
limited to blueprints, color copies, and non-standard sized documents shall be charges the actual cost of production. If mailing is requested, the cost of
postage will be charged. The Township may at its discretion waive fees.
In the event the estimated cost of fulfilling a request submitted under this policy is expected to exceed $100.00, the designated employee(s) shall
obtain the expected cost in advance of fulfilling the request to avoid unwarranted expense of Township resources.
If the request is being reviewed, the notice provided by the Township shall be in writing and shall include a statement notifying the requester that
the request for access is being reviewed, the reason for the review, a reasonable date that a response is expected to be provided and an estimate of the
applicable fees owed when the record becomes available. If the date that a response is expected to be provided is in excess of thirty (30) days, following
the five (5) business days allowed for, the request for access shall be deemed denied unless the requester has agreed in writing to an extension to the
date specified in the notice. If, the requester agrees to the extension, the request shall be deemed denied on the day following the date specified in the
notice if the Township has not provided a response by that date. Review of the request is limited to situations where:
a. The record requested contains information which is subject to access, as well as information which is not subject to access that must be redacted prior
to a grant of access. The redacted information is considered a denial as to that information;
b. The record requires retrieval from a remote location;
c. A timely response cannot be accomplished due to staffing limitations;
d. A legal review is necessary to determine whether the record is subject to access;
e. The requester has failed to comply with the Township’s policy and procedure requirements;
f. The requester refuses to pay the applicable fees; or
g. The extent or nature of the request precludes a response within the required time period.
- If access to the record requested is denied, the notice provided by the Township shall be in writing and shall contain all the information specified on
the form attached hereto entitled “Denial of Request to Public Record Review/Duplication Request”.
The designated employee shall maintain an electronic or paper copy of the written request, including all documents submitted with the request until the
request has been fulfilled. If the request is denied, the written request shall be maintained for thirty (30) days or, if an appeal is filed, until a final
determination is issued by the Office of Open Records or the appeal is deemed denied.
If the request is denied or deemed denied, the requester may file an appeal with the Commonwealth’s Office of Open Records within fifteen (15) business
days of the mailing date of the Township’s notice of denial, or fifteen (15) days of a deemed denial. The appeal shall state the grounds upon which the
requester asserts that the record is public record and shall address any grounds stated by the Township for delaying or denying the request.
With thirty (30) days of the mailing date of the final determination of the appeals officer, the requester or Township may file a petition for review
or other document as required by rule of court with the court of common pleas for Lancaster County. A petition for review under this section shall stay the
release of documents until a decision is issued.
The following information shall be posted at the Township Office, and, if the Township maintains an internet website, on the Township’s internet website:
- Contact information for the Township’s Open Records Officer.
Contact information for the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records.
A form which may be used to file a request with the Township.
A copy of this policy and all other written Township policies and procedures relating to the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law.
SECTION II. Repealer. That any Ordinance, or part of Ordinance, or Resolution, or part of Resolution, conflicting with this Resolution is hereby repealed
insofar as the same affects this Resolution.
SECTION III. Severability. If any sentence, clause, section, or part of this Resolution is for any reason found to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid,
such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections or parts of
this Resolution. It is hereby declared as the intent of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Donegal that this Resolution would have been
adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid sentence, clause, section or part thereof not been included herein.
SECTION V. Effective Date. This Resolution shall become effective on January 5, 2009.
SECTION VI. This Resolution shall apply to requests filed after December 31, 2008.
DULY ORDAINED AND RESOLVED this 5th day of January 2009 by the Supervisors of the Township of East Donegal, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in
lawful session duly assembled.