PRINTER'S NO. 458
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
465
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY BLAKE, VULAKOVICH, FONTANA, FOLMER, VOGEL,
STEFANO, KILLION, MENSCH AND COSTA, MARCH 1, 2017
REFERRED TO STATE GOVERNMENT, MARCH 1, 2017
AN ACT
Amending the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), entitled
"An act providing for access to public information, for a
designated open-records officer in each Commonwealth agency,
local agency, judicial agency and legislative agency, for
procedure, for appeal of agency determination, for judicial
review and for the Office of Open Records; imposing
penalties; providing for reporting by State-related
institutions; requiring the posting of certain State contract
information on the Internet; and making related repeals," in
preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions; in
requirements and prohibitions, providing for Pennsylvania
Interscholastic Athletic Association; in access, further
providing for open-records officer, for requests and for
retention of records and providing for inmate access; in
procedure, further providing for access, for requests, for
written requests, for production of certain records and for
exceptions for public records; in agency response, further
providing for general rule and for extension of time; in
appeal of agency determination, further providing for filing
of appeal and for appeals officers; in judicial review,
further providing for Commonwealth agencies, legislative
agencies and judicial agencies, for civil penalty, for fee
limitations and for Office of Open Records; and, in
miscellaneous provisions, further providing for relation to
other laws.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The definitions of "independent agency," "local
agency," "personal financial information" and "State-affiliated
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entity" in section 102 of the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6,
No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law, are amended and the
section is amended by adding definitions to read:
Section 102. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Commercial purpose." As follows:
(1) The use of a record:
(i) for the purpose of selling or reselling any
portion of the record;
(ii) to obtain names and addresses from the record
for the purpose of commercial solicitation; or
(iii) in a manner through which the requester can
reasonably expect to generate revenue .
(2) The term does not include the use of a public record
by an educational or noncommercial scientific institution for
scholarly or scientific research or the use of a public
record by the news media, a journalist or an author for news
gathering or dissemination in a newspaper, periodical, book,
digital publication or radio or television news broadcast.
* * *
"Dedicated emergency response organization." As defined in
35 Pa.C.S. § 7332 (relating to definitions).
* * *
"Independent agency." Any board, commission, authority or
other agency or officer of the Commonwealth, that is not subject
to the policy supervision and control of the Governor. The term
does not include a legislative or judicial agency.
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"Inmate." An individual currently incarcerated, after having
been sentenced by a court of competent jurisdiction, in a
Federal, State or county correctional facility or prison.
* * *
"Local agency." Any of the following:
(1) Any political subdivision, intermediate unit,
charter school, cyber charter school or public trade or
vocational school.
(2) Any local, intergovernmental, regional or municipal
agency, authority, council, board, commission or similar
governmental entity. This paragraph includes an economic
development authority and an industrial development
authority. This paragraph does not include an office of an
elected tax collector.
(3) Any campus police department of a State-owned or
State-related college or university.
* * *
"Personal financial information." An individual's personal
credit, charge or debit card information; bank account or other
financial institution account information; bank, credit or
financial statements; account or PIN numbers; forms required to
be filed by a taxpayer with a Federal or Commonwealth taxing
authority; employee benefit election information; individual
employee contributions to retirement plans and investment
options; individual employee contributions to health care
benefits and other benefits; individual employee contributions
to charitable organizations; and other information relating to
an individual's personal finances.
* * *
"State-affiliated entity." A Commonwealth authority or
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Commonwealth entity. The term includes the Pennsylvania Higher
Education Assistance Agency and any entity established thereby,
the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the Pennsylvania Game
Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Pennsylvania Municipal
Retirement Board, the State System of Higher Education, a
community college, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Pennsylvania
Infrastructure Investment Authority, the State Public School
Building Authority[, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic
Association] and the Pennsylvania Higher Educational Facilities
Authority. The term does not include a State-related
institution.
* * *
"Time response log." A log created, received, maintained or
retained by a public safety answering point (PSAP), as defined
in 35 Pa.C.S. § 5302 (relating to definitions), containing the
following information:
(1) The time the call was received by the PSAP.
(2) The time the PSAP contacted or dispatched the
dedicated emergency response organization for response.
(3) The time the dedicated emergency response
organization responded.
(4) The time the dedicated emergency response
organization arrived on the scene.
(5) The time the dedicated emergency response
organization became available.
(6) The address of the incident or the street block
identifier, the cross street or the mile marker nearest the
scene of the incident.
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* * *
Section 2. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 307. Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.
For purposes of this act, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic
Athletic Association is considered to be a local agency and
shall provide public records in accordance with this act.
Section 3. Section 502 of the act is amended by adding a
subsection to read:
Section 502. Open-records officer.
* * *
(c) Agency registration.--An agency shall register its open-
records officer with the Office of Open Records in a manner
prescribed by the Office of Open Records.
Section 4. Sections 506(a) and 507 of the act are amended to
read:
Section 506. Requests.
(a) Disruptive requests.--
(1) An agency may deny a requester access to a record if
the requester has made repeated requests for that same record
and the repeated requests have placed an unreasonable burden
on the agency.
(1.1) An agency may deny a request to a party to
litigation when the request:
(i) is material to a pending civil action or
proceeding to which the agency is a party and the
Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure or the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure apply; or
(ii) was previously made in litigation discovery.
(2) A denial under this subsection shall not restrict
the ability to request a different record.
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* * *
Section 507. Retention of records.
(a) Agency schedules.--Nothing in this act shall be
construed to modify, rescind or supersede any record retention
policy or disposition schedule of an agency established pursuant
to law, regulation, policy or other directive.
(b) Prohibition.--
(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a), once a request for
records has been submitted under Chapter 7, an agency may not
knowingly dispose of any potentially responsive record until
the request has been responded to and any related appeals
have been exhausted.
(2) A court may impose a civil penalty of not more than
$10,000 if an agency or public official, in violation of
paragraph (1), disposes of any potentially responsive record
in bad faith.
Section 5. The act is amended by a adding a section to read:
Section 508. Inmate access.
(a) Status.--Except as provided in subsection (b), an inmate
may not be a requester for purposes of this act.
(b) Records.--An agency shall provide an inmate with copies
of the following records as they pertain directly to the inmate
if the disclosure of the record will not diminish the safety or
security of any person or correctional facility and if there are
no other policies or procedures in place for the inmate to
obtain the requested information:
(1) Criminal records relating to the criminal commitment
of the inmate.
(2) Institutional housing information.
(3) The inmate's financial records.
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(4) The inmate's work records.
(5) The inmate's educational records.
(6) The inmate's disciplinary records.
(7) Disciplinary, housing and other policies adopted by
the correctional institution or the Department of
Corrections.
(8) A record relating to any Federal or State benefit
received by the inmate or for which the inmate is eligible.
(9) The inmate's tax records.
(10) The inmate's voting records.
(11) Records relating to any license issued to the
inmate by a Commonwealth or local agency.
(c) Applicability.--This section shall not prohibit an
agency from voluntarily permitting an inmate to have access to
records not listed under subsection (b) or prevent an agency
from complying with a lawful subpoena or court order.
Section 6. Sections 701, 702, 703 and 707 of the act are
amended to read:
Section 701. Access.
(a) General rule.--Unless otherwise provided by law, a
public record, legislative record or financial record shall be
accessible for inspection and duplication in accordance with
this act. A record being provided to a requester shall be
provided in the medium, computer file format or other format
requested if it exists in that medium, computer file format or
other format; otherwise, it shall be provided in the medium in
which it exists. Public records, legislative records or
financial records shall be available for access during the
regular business hours of an agency.
(b) Construction.--Nothing in this act shall be construed to
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require access to any computer either of an agency or individual
employee of an agency.
Section 702. Requests.
Agencies may fulfill verbal[, written or anonymous verbal] or
written requests for access to records under this act. If the
requester wishes to pursue the relief and remedies provided for
in this act, the request for access to records must be a written
request.
Section 703. Written requests.
A written request for access to records may be submitted in
person, by mail, by e-mail, by facsimile or, to the extent
provided by agency rules, by any other electronic means. A
written request must be addressed to the open-records officer
designated pursuant to section 502 or to the administrative
office of the agency. [Employees of an] The administrative
office of the agency shall [be directed to] promptly forward
requests for records to the open-records officer of the agency
that received the request. A written request should identify or
describe the records sought with sufficient specificity to
enable the agency to ascertain which records are being requested
and shall include the name and address to which the agency
should address its response. [A] Except as required under
section 707(d), a written request need not include any
explanation of the requester's reason for requesting or intended
use of the records unless otherwise required by law.
Section 707. Production of certain records.
(a) General rule.--If, in response to a request, an agency
produces a record that is not a public record, legislative
record or financial record, the agency shall notify any third
party that provided the record to the agency, the person that is
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the subject of the record and the requester.
(b) Requests for trade secrets.--An agency 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 shall be provided within five business days of
receipt of the request for the record. The third party shall
have five business days from receipt of notification from the
agency to provide input on the release of the record. The agency
shall deny the request for the record or release the record
within ten business days of the provision of notice to the third
party and shall notify the third party of the decision.
(c) Transcripts.--
(1) Prior to an adjudication becoming final, binding and
nonappealable, a transcript of an administrative proceeding
shall be provided to a requester by the agency stenographer
or a court reporter, in accordance with agency procedure or
an applicable contract.
(2) Following an adjudication becoming final, binding
and nonappealable, a transcript of an administrative
proceeding shall be provided to a requester in accordance
with the duplication rates established in section 1307(b).
(3) This subsection shall not be construed to require an
agency to transcribe a proceeding solely for purposes of
responding to a request under this act.
(d) Commercial requests.--An agency may require a requester
to certify in writing whether the request is for a commercial
purpose. Certification shall be submitted on a form developed by
the Office of Open Records. A requester that submits a false
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written statement shall be subject to 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904
(relating to unsworn falsification to authorities).
Section 7. Section 708(b)(6), (10)(i) and (ii), (13), (17)
and (18) and (c) of the act are amended and subsection (b) is
amended by adding paragraphs to read:
Section 708. Exceptions for public records.
* * *
(b) Exceptions.--Except as provided in subsections (c) and
(d), the following are exempt from access by a requester under
this act:
* * *
(6) (i) The following personal identification
information:
(A) A record containing all or part of a
person's Social Security number, driver's license
number, personal financial information, home,
cellular or personal telephone numbers, personal e-
mail addresses, employee number or other confidential
personal identification number.
(B) A spouse's name, marital status or
beneficiary or dependent information, including the
number, names and ages of an employee's dependents.
(C) The home address of a law enforcement
officer or judge.
(ii) Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the
release of the name, position, salary, actual
compensation or other payments or expenses, employment
contract, employment-related contract or agreement and
length of service of a public official or an agency
employee.
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(iii) An agency may redact the name or other
identifying information relating to an individual
performing an undercover or covert law enforcement
activity from a record.
(iv) Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the
disclosure of aggregated data of employer or employee
costs related to retirement benefits, health care
benefits or other benefits or the disclosure of options
made available to employees regarding retirement, health
care or other benefits plans.
* * *
(10) As follows:
(i) A record that reflects:
(A) The internal, predecisional deliberations of
an agency, its members, employees or officials or
predecisional deliberations between agency members,
employees or officials and members, employees or
officials of another agency, including predecisional
deliberations relating to a budget recommendation,
legislative proposal, legislative amendment,
contemplated or proposed policy or course of action
or any research, memos or other documents used in the
predecisional deliberations.
(B) The strategy to be used to develop or
achieve the successful adoption of a budget,
legislative proposal or regulation.
(ii) Subparagraph (i)(A) shall apply to agencies
subject to 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings)
in a manner consistent with 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7. A record
which is not otherwise exempt from access under this act
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and which is presented to a quorum for deliberation in
accordance with 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 shall be a public record
regardless of whether a vote occurs at the meeting.
* * *
(13) Records that would disclose the identity of, or
personal financial information relating to, an individual who
lawfully makes a donation to or for the benefit of an agency
unless the donation is intended for or restricted to
providing remuneration or personal tangible benefit to a
named public official or employee of the agency, including
lists of potential donors compiled by an agency to pursue
donations, donor profile information or personal identifying
information relating to a donor.
* * *
(17) [A] Except for a final safety inspection report
made pursuant to law or regulation or a final agency decision
in the noncriminal investigation, a record of an agency
relating to a noncriminal investigation, including:
(i) Complaints submitted to an agency.
(ii) Investigative materials, notes, correspondence
and reports.
(iii) A record that includes the identity of a
confidential source, including individuals subject to the
act of December 12, 1986 (P.L.1559, No.169), known as the
Whistleblower Law.
(iv) A record that includes information made
confidential by law.
(v) Work papers underlying an audit.
(vi) A record that, if disclosed, would do any of
the following:
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(A) Reveal the institution, progress or result
of an agency investigation, except the imposition of
a fine or civil penalty, the suspension, modification
or revocation of a license, permit, registration,
certification or similar authorization issued by an
agency or an executed settlement agreement unless the
agreement is determined to be confidential by a
court.
(B) Deprive a person of the right to an
impartial adjudication.
(C) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of
privacy.
(D) Hinder an agency's ability to secure an
administrative or civil sanction.
(E) Endanger the life or physical safety of an
individual.
(18) Emergency dispatches as follows:
(i) Records or parts of records, except time
response logs, pertaining to audio recordings, telephone
or radio transmissions received by emergency dispatch
personnel, including 911 recordings.
(ii) This paragraph shall not apply to a 911
recording, or a transcript of a 911 recording, if the
agency or a court determines that the public interest in
disclosure outweighs the interest in nondisclosure.
* * *
(31) An agency's financial institution account numbers,
routing numbers, credit card numbers and passwords.
(32) A record of any of the following:
(i) A volunteer ambulance service.
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(ii) A volunteer fire company.
(iii) A volunteer rescue company.
(iv) A volunteer water rescue company.
(v) A volunteer organization that provides hazardous
materials response services.
(vi) A volunteer organization that provides
emergency medical services.
Section 506(d)(1) shall apply to a volunteer organization
under this paragraph that contracts with a local agency to
provide services to the local agency.
(c) Financial records.--The exceptions set forth in
subsection (b) shall not apply to financial records, except that
an agency may redact that portion of a financial record
protected under subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6),
(11), (13), (16) [or], (17) or (30). An agency shall not
disclose the identity of an individual performing an undercover
or covert law enforcement activity.
* * *
Section 8. Sections 901, 902(b)(2) and 1101 of the act are
amended to read:
Section 901. General rule.
(a) Determination.--Upon receipt of a written request for
access to a record, an agency shall make a good faith effort to
determine if the record requested is a public record,
legislative record or financial record and whether the agency
has possession, custody or control of the identified record, and
to respond as promptly as possible under the circumstances
existing at the time of the request. All applicable fees shall
be paid in order to receive access to the record requested.
(b) Time for response.--The time for response shall not
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exceed, in the case of a request made in person or submitted by
regular mail, e-mail, web form, facsimile or similar means, five
business days from the date the written request is received by
the open-records officer for an agency. If the agency fails to
send the response within five business days of receipt of the
written request for access, the written request for access shall
be deemed denied.
Section 902. Extension of time.
* * *
(b) Notice.--
* * *
(2) The notice 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 applicable fees
owed when the record becomes available. [If the date that a
response is expected to be provided is in excess of 30 days,
following the five business days allowed for in section 901,
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.] The request for access shall be
deemed denied if the agency fails to send a response within
30 days following the five business days allowed for in
section 901, unless the requester has agreed in writing to an
additional extension beyond 30 days.
* * *
Section 1101. Filing of appeal.
[(a) Authorization.--
(1) If a written request for access to a record is]
(a) Authorization.--The following shall apply:
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(1) (i) If a written request for access to a record is
denied or deemed denied, the requester may file an appeal
with the Office of Open Records or judicial, legislative
or other appeals officer designated under section 503(d)
within [15] 20 business days of the [mailing] postmark or
e-mail date of the agency's response or within [15] 20
business days of a deemed denial, whichever comes first.
(ii) The appeal shall [state the grounds upon which
the requester asserts that the record is a public record,
legislative record or financial record and shall] address
any grounds stated by the agency for delaying or denying
the request[.] and shall include the following:
(A) The text of the original request.
(B) The text of the agency denial.
(C) Any other information the requester believes
to be relevant.
(iii) The office shall provide a form on its
publicly accessible Internet website, which may be used
by the requester to file the appeal.
(iv) The office may order a requester who fails to
include the information under subparagraph (ii) to
provide the required information.
(2) Except as provided in section 503(d), in the case of
an appeal of a decision by a Commonwealth agency or local
agency, the Office of Open Records shall assign an appeals
officer to review the denial.
(b) Determination.--
(1) Unless the requester agrees otherwise, the appeals
officer shall make a final determination which shall be
mailed to the requester and the agency within 30 days of
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receipt of the appeal filed under subsection (a). The appeals
officer may extend this deadline by up to 15 days by
providing notice to both parties.
(1.1) If a hearing is ordered under section 1102(a)(2),
the appeals officer may extend the deadline up to 90
additional days.
(1.2) If an in-camera review is ordered under section
1102(a)(2), the appeals officer may extend the deadline:
(i) Up to 45 additional days, if the number of
records is ten or fewer.
(ii) Up to 90 additional days, if the number of
records is greater than ten or the records include audio
or video recordings.
(1.3) If the issue before the office is substantially
the same as an issue currently on appeal to a court of common
pleas, the Commonwealth Court or the Supreme Court, the
appeals officer may stay the office's opinion until the
appeal is decided.
(2) If the office or other appeals officer fails to
issue a final determination within 30 days or as otherwise
provided under paragraph (1), the appeal is deemed denied.
(3) Prior to issuing a final determination, a hearing
may be conducted. The determination by the appeals officer
shall be a final order. The appeals officer shall provide a
written explanation of the reason for the decision to the
requester and the agency.
(4) If an appeals officer designated under section 503
does not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal but another
appeals officer has jurisdiction, the appeals officer shall
transfer the appeal to the other appeals officer with
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jurisdiction over the matter.
(c) Direct interest.--
(1) A person other than the agency or requester with a
direct interest in the record subject to an appeal under this
section may, within 15 days following receipt of actual
knowledge of the appeal but no later than the date the
appeals officer issues an order, file a written request to
provide information or to appear before the appeals officer
or to file information in support of the requester's or
agency's position.
(2) The appeals officer may grant a request under
paragraph (1) if:
(i) no hearing has been held;
(ii) the appeals officer has not yet issued its
order; and
(iii) the appeals officer believes the information
will be probative.
(3) Copies of the written request shall be sent to the
agency and the requester.
Section 9. Section 1102(a) of the act is amended and the
section is amended by adding a subsection to read:
Section 1102. Appeals officers.
(a) Duties.--An appeals officer designated under section 503
shall do all of the following:
(1) Set a schedule for the requester and the open-
records officer to submit documents in support of their
positions.
(2) Review all information filed relating to the
request. The appeals officer may hold a hearing or conduct an
in-camera review. A decision to hold or not to hold a hearing
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is not appealable. A decision to conduct or not conduct an
in-camera review is not appealable. The appeals officer may
admit into evidence testimony, evidence and documents that
the appeals officer believes to be reasonably probative and
relevant to an issue in dispute. The appeals officer may
limit the nature and extent of evidence found to be
cumulative.
[(3) Consult with agency counsel as appropriate.]
(4) Issue a final determination on behalf of the Office
of Open Records or other agency.
* * *
(c) Review.--The Office of Open Records may require an
agency to submit a record and a privilege or exemption log for
the purpose of conducting an in-camera review to determine if
the record is a public record.
Section 10. Sections 1301 heading and (a) and 1305 of the
act are amended to read:
Section 1301. Commonwealth agencies, legislative agencies
[and], judicial agencies and the Office of Open
Records.
(a) General rule.--Within 30 days of the mailing date of the
final determination of the appeals officer relating to a
decision of a Commonwealth agency, a legislative agency [or], a
judicial agency or the Office of Open Records issued under
section 1101(b) or the date a request for access is deemed
denied, a requester or the agency may file a petition for review
or other document as might be required by rule of court with the
Commonwealth Court. The court shall notify the Commonwealth
agency, legislative agency, judicial agency or Office of Open
Records of the appeal. The decision of the court shall contain
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findings of fact and conclusions of law based upon the evidence
as a whole. The decision shall clearly and concisely explain the
rationale for the decision.
* * *
Section 1305. Civil penalty.
(a) Denial of access.--A court may impose a civil penalty of
not more than $1,500 if an agency [denied] denies access to a
public record in bad faith.
(b) Failure to comply with [court] order.--[An] A court may
impose a civil penalty of not more than $500 per day if an
agency or public official [who does not promptly] fails to
comply with [a court] an order under this act [is subject to a
civil penalty of not more than $500 per day until the public
records are provided].
Section 11. Section 1307 of the act is amended by adding
subsections to read:
Section 1307. Fee limitations.
* * *
(g.1) Additional fees.--
(1) Notwithstanding subsection (e), each agency may
assess fees for responding to commercial requests under this
act. In addition to fees under subsections (a) and (b),
reasonable standard charges may be charged for document
search, retrieval, review and redaction for documents for
commercial use.
(2) Fees under paragraph (1) must be calculated at no
more than the hourly wage of the lowest-paid public employee
of the agency who is capable of searching, retrieving,
reviewing and providing for redaction of the information
necessary to comply with the request.
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(3) A fee may not be charged under paragraph (2) for the
first hour of search and retrieval time for all commercial
requests from a single requester in a 90-day period.
* * *
(i) Appeal.--A fee charged under this act shall be
appealable to the Office of Open Records.
Section 12. Sections 1310 and 3101.1 of the act are amended
to read:
Section 1310. Office of Open Records.
(a) Establishment.--[There is established in the Department
of Community and Economic Development an] The Office of Open
Records is established as an independent agency. The office
shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide information relating to the implementation
and enforcement of this act.
(2) Issue advisory opinions to agencies and requesters.
(3) Provide annual training courses to agencies, public
officials and public employees on this act and 65 Pa.C.S. Ch.
7 (relating to open meetings).
(4) Provide annual, regional training courses to local
agencies, public officials and public employees.
(5) Assign appeals officers to review appeals of
decisions by Commonwealth agencies or local agencies, except
as provided in section 503(d), filed under section 1101 and
issue orders and opinions. The office shall employ or
contract with attorneys to serve as appeals officers to
review appeals and, if necessary, to hold hearings on a
regional basis under this act. Each appeals officer must
comply with all of the following:
(i) Complete a training course provided by the
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Office of Open Records prior to acting as an appeals
officer.
(ii) If a hearing is necessary, hold hearings
regionally as necessary to ensure access to the remedies
provided by this act.
(iii) Comply with the procedures under section
1102(b).
(6) Establish an informal mediation program to resolve
disputes under this act.
(7) Establish an Internet website with information
relating to this act, including information on fees, advisory
opinions and decisions and the name and address of all open
records officers in this Commonwealth.
(8) Conduct a biannual review of fees charged under this
act.
(9) Annually report on its activities and findings to
the Governor and the General Assembly. The report shall be
posted and maintained on the Internet website established
under paragraph (7).
(b) Executive director.--Within 90 days of the effective
date of this section, the Governor shall appoint an executive
director of the office who shall serve for a term of six years.
Compensation shall be set by the Executive Board established
under section 204 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175),
known as The Administrative Code of 1929. The executive director
may serve no more than two terms.
(c) Limitation.--The executive director shall not seek
election nor accept appointment to any political office during
his tenure as executive director and for one year thereafter.
(d) Staffing.--The executive director shall appoint
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attorneys to act as appeals officers and additional clerical,
technical and professional staff as may be appropriate and may
contract for additional services as necessary for the
performance of the executive director's duties. The compensation
of attorneys and other staff shall be set by the Executive
Board. The appointment of attorneys shall not be subject to the
act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the
Commonwealth Attorneys Act.
(e) Duties.--
(1) The executive director shall ensure that the duties
of the Office of Open Records are carried out and shall
monitor cases appealed to the Office of Open Records.
(2) The Department of Community and Economic Development
shall provide payroll, leave and benefits, budget,
information technology and administrative support to the
office.
(e.1) Public comment.--The office shall abstain from public
comment about a pending proceeding before the office. This
subsection shall not prohibit employees of the office from
making public statements in the course of official duties, from
issuing written advisory opinions, from making general comments
on this act that are not related to a specific pending
proceeding before the office or from explaining the procedures
of the office.
(f) Appropriation.--The appropriation for the office shall
be in a separate line item and shall be under the jurisdiction
of the executive director.
Section 3101.1. Relation to other laws.
(a) General rule.--If the provisions of this act regarding
access to records conflict with any other Federal or State law,
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the provisions of this act shall not apply.
(b) Records made public under other laws.-- If records are
expressly made public under any other Federal or State law, the
exceptions set forth in section 708(b) shall not apply.
Section 13. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017, or
immediately, whichever is later.
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