See other bills
under the
same topic
        PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 772, 1509, 1553,         PRINTER'S NO. 1583



No. 1 Session of 2007

           EICHELBERGER, MARCH 29, 2007


                                     AN ACT

     1  Providing for access to public information, for a designated
     2     open-records officer in each Commonwealth agency, local
     3     agency, judicial agency and legislative agency, for
     4     procedure, for appeal of agency determination, for judicial
     5     review and for an Open Records Clearinghouse; imposing
     6     penalties; providing for reporting by State-related
     7     institutions; requiring the posting of certain State contract
     8     information on the Internet; and making related repeals.

     9                         TABLE OF CONTENTS
    10  Chapter 1.  Preliminary Provisions
    11  Section 101.  Short title.
    12  Section 102.  Definitions.
    13  Chapter 3.  Requirements and Prohibitions
    14  Section 301.  Commonwealth agencies.
    15  Section 302.  Local agencies.
    16  Section 303.  Legislative agencies.
    17  Section 304.  Judicial agencies.
    18  Section 305.  Presumption.

     1  Section 306.  Nature of document.
     2  Chapter 5.  Access
     3  Section 501.  Scope of chapter.
     4  Section 502.  Open-records officer.
     5  Section 503.  Appeals officer.
     6  Section 504.  Regulations and policies.
     7  Section 505.  Uniform form.
     8  Section 506.  Requests.
     9  Section 507.  Retention of records.
    10  Chapter 7.  Procedure
    11  Section 701.  Access to public records.
    12  Section 702.  Requests.
    13  Section 703.  Written requests.
    14  Section 704.  Electronic access.
    15  Section 705.  Creation of record.
    16  Section 706.  Redaction.
    17  Section 707.  Production of certain records.
    18  Section 708.  Exceptions for public records.
    19  Chapter 9.  Agency Response
    20  Section 901.  General rule.
    21  Section 902.  Extension of time.
    22  Section 903.  Denial.
    23  Section 904.  Certified copies.
    24  Chapter 11.  Appeal of Agency Determination
    25  Section 1101.  Filing of appeal.
    26  Section 1102.  Appeals officers.
    27  Chapter 13.  Judicial Review
    28  Section 1301.  Commonwealth agencies, legislative agencies and
    29                 judicial agencies.
    30  Section 1302.  Local agencies.
    20070S0001B1583                  - 2 -     

     1  Section 1303.  Notice and records.
     2  Section 1304.  Court costs and attorney fees.
     3  Section 1305.  Penalties.
     4  Section 1306.  Immunity.
     5  Section 1307.  Fee limitations.
     6  Section 1308.  Prohibition.
     7  Section 1309.  Practice and procedure.
     8  Section 1310.  Clearinghouse.
     9  Chapter 15.  State-Related Institutions
    10  Section 1501.  Definition.
    11  Section 1502.  Reporting.
    12  Section 1503.  Contents of report.
    13  Section 1504.  Copies and posting.
    14  Chapter 17.  State Contract Information
    15  Section 1701.  Submission and retention of contracts.
    16  Section 1702.  Public availability of contracts.
    17  Chapter 31.  Miscellaneous Provisions
    18  Section 3101.  Applicability.
    19  Section 3102.  Repeals.
    20  Section 3103.  Effective date.
    21     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    22  hereby enacts as follows:
    23                             CHAPTER 1
    24                       PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
    25  Section 101.  Short title.
    26     This act shall be known and may be cited as the Right-to-Know
    27  Law.
    28  Section 102.  Definitions.
    29     The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
    30  have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
    20070S0001B1583                  - 3 -     

     1  context clearly indicates otherwise:
     2     "Administrative proceeding."  A proceeding by an agency the
     3  outcome of which is required to be based on a record or
     4  documentation prescribed by law or in which a statute or
     5  regulation is particularized in application to individuals. The
     6  term includes an appeal.
     7     "Agency."  A Commonwealth agency, a local agency, a judicial
     8  agency or a legislative agency.
     9     "Aggregated data."  A tabulation of data which relate to
    10  broad classes, groups or categories so that it is not possible
    11  to distinguish the properties of individuals within those
    12  classes, groups or categories.
    13     "Appeals officer."  As follows:
    14         (1)  For a Commonwealth agency or a local agency, the
    15     appeals officer designated under section 503(a).
    16         (2)  For a judicial agency, the individual designated
    17     under section 503(b).
    18         (3)  For a legislative agency, the individual designated
    19     under section 503(c).
    20     "Clearinghouse."  The Open Records Clearinghouse established
    21  pursuant to the provisions of section 1310.
    22     "Commonwealth agency."  Any of the following:
    23         (1)  Any office, department, authority, board, multistate
    24     agency or commission of the executive branch; an independent
    25     agency; and a State-affiliated entity. The term includes:
    26             (i)  The Governor's Office.
    27             (ii)  The Office of Attorney General, the Department
    28         of the Auditor General and the Treasury Department.
    29             (iii)  A statutorily established organization AN       <--
    20070S0001B1583                  - 4 -     

     2         performs or is intended to perform an essential
     3         governmental function.
     4         (2)  The term does not include a judicial or legislative
     5     agency.
     6     "Confidential proprietary information."  Commercial or
     7  financial information received by an agency:
     8         (1)  which is privileged or confidential; and
     9         (2)  the disclosure of which would cause substantial harm
    10     to the competitive position of the person that submitted the
    11     information.
    12     "Financial record."  Includes:
    13         (1)  Any account, voucher or contract dealing with:
    14             (i)  the receipt or disbursement of funds by an
    15         agency; or
    16             (ii)  an agency's acquisition, use or disposal of
    17         services, supplies, materials, equipment or property.
    18         (2)  The salary or other payments or expenses paid to an
    19     officer or employee of an agency, including the name and
    20     title of the officer or employee.
    21         (3)  Results of a financial audit.
    22     "Homeland security."  Governmental actions designed to
    23  prevent, detect, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism,
    24  major disasters and other emergencies, whether natural or
    25  manmade. The term includes activities relating to the following:
    26         (1)  emergency preparedness and response, including
    27     preparedness and response activities by volunteer medical,
    28     police, emergency management, hazardous materials and fire
    29     personnel;
    30         (2)  intelligence activities;
    20070S0001B1583                  - 5 -     

     1         (3)  critical infrastructure protection;
     2         (4)  border security;
     3         (5)  ground, aviation and maritime transportation
     4     security;
     5         (6)  biodefense;
     6         (7)  detection of nuclear and radiological materials; and
     7         (8)  research on next-generation securities technologies.
     8     "Independent agency."  Any board, commission or other agency
     9  or officer of the Commonwealth, that is not subject to the
    10  policy supervision and control of the Governor. The term does
    11  not include a legislative or judicial agency.
    12     "Judicial agency."  A court of the Commonwealth or any other
    13  entity or office of the unified judicial system.
    14     "Legislative agency."  Any of the following:
    15         (1)  The Senate.
    16         (2)  The House of Representatives.
    17         (3)  The Capitol Preservation Committee.
    18         (4)  The Center for Rural Pennsylvania.
    19         (5)  The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution
    20     Control and Conservation Committee.
    21         (6)  The Joint State Government Commission.
    22         (7)  The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee.
    23         (8)  The Legislative Data Processing Committee.
    24         (9)  The Independent Regulatory Review Commission.
    25         (10)  The Legislative Reference Bureau.
    26         (11)  The Local Government Commission.
    27         (12)  The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.
    29     "Legislative record."  Includes the following information
    30  relating to a legislative agency or standing committee:
    20070S0001B1583                  - 6 -     

     1         (1)  A financial record.
     2         (2)  A bill or resolution that has been introduced and
     3     amendments offered thereto in committee or in legislative
     4     session, including resolutions to adopt or amend the rules of
     5     a chamber.
     6         (3)  Fiscal notes.
     7         (4)  A cosponsorship memorandum.
     8         (5)  The journal of a chamber.
     9         (6)  The minutes of, RECORD OF ATTENDANCE OF MEMBERS AT    <--
    10     AND ALL RECORDED VOTES TAKEN IN a public committee meeting.
    11         (7)  The transcript of a public hearing when available.
    12         (8)  The record of attendance of members at a committee    <--
    13     meeting.
    14         (8)  EXECUTIVE NOMINATION CALENDARS.                       <--
    15         (9)  The rules of a chamber.
    16         (10)  A record of all recorded votes taken in a committee  <--
    17     meeting or legislative session.
    18         (11)  Any administrative staff manuals or written
    19     policies.
    20         (12)  An audit prepared pursuant to the act of June 30,
    21     1970 (P.L.442, No.151) entitled, "An act implementing the
    22     provisions of Article VIII, section 10 of the Constitution of
    23     Pennsylvania, by designating the Commonwealth officers who
    24     shall be charged with the function of auditing the financial
    25     transactions after the occurrence thereof of the Legislative
    26     and Judicial branches of the government of the Commonwealth,
    27     establishing a Legislative Audit Advisory Commission, and
    28     imposing certain powers and duties on such commission."
    29         (13)  Final or annual reports required by law to be
    30     submitted to the General Assembly.
    20070S0001B1583                  - 7 -     

     1         (14)  Legislative Budget and Finance Committee reports.
     2         (15)  Marked DAILY LEGISLATIVE SESSION CALENDARS AND       <--
     3     MARKED calendars.
     8     "Local agency." Any of the following:
     9         (1)  Any political subdivision, intermediate unit,
    10     charter school or public trade or vocational school.
    11         (2)  Any local, intergovernmental, regional or municipal
    12     agency, authority, council, board, commission or similar
    13     governmental entity.
    14     "Personal financial information."  An individual's personal
    15  credit, charge or debit card information; bank account
    16  information; bank, credit or financial statements; account or
    17  PIN numbers and other information relating to an individual's
    18  personal finances.
    19     "Privilege."  The attorney-work product doctrine, the
    20  attorney-client privilege, the doctor-patient privilege or other
    21  privilege recognized by a court interpreting the laws of this
    22  Commonwealth.
    23     "Public record."  A record of a Commonwealth or local agency
    24  that:
    25         (1)  is not exempt under section 708;
    26         (2)  is not exempt from being disclosed under any other
    27     Federal or State law or regulation or judicial order or
    28     decree; or
    29         (3)  is not protected by a privilege.
    30     "Record."  Information, regardless of physical form or
    20070S0001B1583                  - 8 -     

     1  characteristics, that documents a transaction or activity of an
     2  agency and that is created, received or retained pursuant to law
     3  or in connection with a transaction, business or activity of the
     4  agency. The term includes a document, paper, letter, map, book,
     5  tape, photograph, film or sound recording, information stored or
     6  maintained electronically and a data-processed or image-
     7  processed document. The term includes a financial record, a
     8  legislative record and a public record.
     9     "Requester."  A person that is a resident of the United
    10  States and requests a record pursuant to this act. The term
    11  includes a political subdivision.
    12     "Response."  Access to a record or an agency's written notice
    13  granting, denying or partially granting and partially denying
    14  access to a record.
    15     "Social services."  Cash assistance and other welfare
    16  benefits, medical, mental and other health care services, drug
    17  and alcohol treatment, adoption services, vocational and
    18  occupational training, education services, counseling services,
    19  workers' compensation services and unemployment compensation
    20  services, foster care services and services for victims of
    21  crimes.
    22     "State-affiliated entity."  A Commonwealth authority or
    23  Commonwealth entity. The term includes the Pennsylvania Higher
    24  Education Assistance Agency, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance
    25  Agency, the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement Board, the State
    26  System of Higher Education, a community college, the
    27  Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Pennsylvania Public
    28  Utility Commission, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment
    29  Authority, the State Public School Building Authority, the
    30  Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and the
    20070S0001B1583                  - 9 -     

     1  Pennsylvania Educational Facilities Authority. The term does not
     2  include a State-related institution.
     3     "Terrorist act."  A violent or life-threatening act that
     4  violates the criminal laws of the United States or any state and
     5  appears to be intended to:
     6         (1)  intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
     7         (2)  influence the policy of a government; or
     8         (3)  affect the conduct of a government by mass
     9     destruction, assassination or kidnapping.
    10     "Trade secret."  Information, including a formula, drawing,
    11  pattern, compilation, including a customer list, program,
    12  device, method, technique or process that:
    13         (1)  derives independent economic value, actual or
    14     potential, from not being generally known to and not being
    15     readily ascertainable by proper means by other persons who
    16     can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
    17         (2)  is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under
    18     the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
    19  The term includes data processing software obtained by an agency
    20  under a licensing agreement prohibiting disclosure.
    21                             CHAPTER 3
    22                   REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITIONS
    23  Section 301.  Commonwealth agencies.
    24     (a)  Requirement.--A Commonwealth agency shall provide public
    25  records in accordance with this act.
    26     (b)  Prohibition.--A Commonwealth agency may not deny a
    27  requester access to a public record due to the intended use of
    28  the public record by the requester.
    29  Section 302.  Local agencies.
    30     (a)  Requirement.--A local agency shall provide public
    20070S0001B1583                 - 10 -     

     1  records in accordance with this act.
     2     (b)  Prohibition.--A local agency may not deny a requester
     3  access to a public record due to the intended use of the public
     4  record by the requester.
     5  Section 303.  Legislative agencies.
     6     (a)  Requirement.--A legislative agency shall provide
     7  legislative records in accordance with this act.
     8     (b)  Prohibition.--A legislative agency may not deny a
     9  requester access to a legislative record due to the intended use
    10  of the legislative record by the requester.
    11  Section 304.  Judicial agencies.
    12     (a)  Requirement.--A judicial agency shall provide financial
    13  records in accordance with this act OR ANY RULE OR ORDER OF       <--
    15     (b)  Prohibition.--A judicial agency may not deny a requester
    16  access to a financial record due to the intended use of the
    17  financial record by the requester.
    18  Section 305.  Presumption.
    19     A record in the possession of a Commonwealth agency or local
    20  agency shall be presumed to be a public record unless:
    21         (1)  the record is exempt under section 708;
    22         (2)  the record is protected by a privilege; or
    23         (3)  the record is exempt from disclosure under any other
    24     Federal or State law or regulation or judicial order or
    25     decree.
    26  Section 306.  Nature of document.
    27     Nothing in this act shall supersede or modify the public or
    28  confidential nature of a record or document established in
    29  Federal or State statute or law, regulation or judicial order or  <--
    30  decree.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 11 -     

     1                             CHAPTER 5
     2                               ACCESS
     3  Section 501.  Scope of chapter.
     4     This chapter applies to all agencies.
     5  Section 502.  Open-records officer.
     6     (a)  Establishment.--
     7         (1)  An agency shall designate an official or employee to
     8     act as the open-records officer.
     9         (2)  For a legislative agency other than the Senate or
    10     the House of Representatives, the open-records officer
    11     designated by the Legislative Reference Bureau shall serve as
    12     the open-records officer.
    13     (b)  Functions.--
    14         (1)  The open-records officer shall receive requests
    15     submitted to the agency under this act, direct requests to
    16     other appropriate persons within the agency or to appropriate
    17     persons in another agency, track the agency's progress in
    18     responding to requests and issue interim and final responses
    19     under this act.
    20         (2)  Upon receiving a request for a public record,
    21     legislative record or financial record, the open-records
    22     officer shall do all of the following:
    23             (i)  Note the date of receipt on the written request.
    24             (ii)  Compute the day on which the five-day period
    25         under section 901 will expire and make a notation of that
    26         date on the written request.
    27             (iii)  Maintain an electronic or paper copy of a
    28         written request, including all documents submitted with
    29         the request until the request has been fulfilled. If the
    30         request is denied, the written request shall be
    20070S0001B1583                 - 12 -     

     1         maintained for 30 days or, if an appeal is filed, until a
     2         final determination is issued under section 1101(b) or
     3         the appeal is deemed denied.
     4             (iv)  Create a file for the retention of the original
     5         request, a copy of the response, a record of written
     6         communications with the requester and a copy of other
     7         communications. This subparagraph shall only apply to
     8         Commonwealth agencies.
     9  Section 503.  Appeals officer.
    10     (a)  Commonwealth agencies and local agencies.--Except as
    11  provided in subsection (d), the clearinghouse established under
    12  section 1310 shall designate an appeals officer under section
    13  1101(a)(2) for all:
    14         (1)  Commonwealth agencies; and
    15         (2)  local agencies.
    16     (b)  Judicial agencies.--A judicial agency shall designate an
    17  appeals officer to hear appeals under Chapter 11.
    18     (c)  Legislative agencies.--
    19         (1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2), the
    20     Legislative Reference Bureau shall designate an appeals
    21     officer to hear appeals under Chapter 11 for all legislative
    22     agencies.
    23         (2)  Each of the following shall designate an appeals
    24     officer to hear appeals under Chapter 11:
    25             (i)  The Senate.
    26             (ii)  The House of Representatives.
    27     (d)  Law enforcement records and Statewide officials.--
    28         (1)  The Attorney General, State Treasurer and Auditor
    29     General shall each designate an appeals officer to hear
    30     appeals under Chapter 11.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 13 -     

     1         (2)  The district attorney of a county shall designate an  <--
     2     ONE OR MORE appeals officer OFFICERS to hear appeals under     <--
     3     Chapter 11 relating to access to criminal investigative
     4     records in possession of a local LAW ENFORCEMENT agency of     <--
     5     that county. The appeals officer designated by the district
     6     attorney shall determine if the record requested is a
     7     criminal investigative record.
     8  Section 504.  Regulations and policies.
     9     (a)  Authority.--An agency may promulgate regulations, rules
    10  or policies necessary for the agency to implement this act. The
    11  clearinghouse may promulgate regulations relating to appeals
    12  involving a Commonwealth agency or local agency.
    13     (b)  Posting.--The following information shall be posted at
    14  each agency and, if the agency maintains an Internet website, on
    15  the agency's Internet website:
    16         (1)  Contact information for the open-records officer.
    17         (2)  Contact information for the clearinghouse or other
    18     applicable appeals officer.
    19         (3)  A form which may be used to file a request.
    20         (4)  Rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the
    21     agency relating to this act.
    22  Section 505.  Uniform form.
    23     (a)  Commonwealth agencies.--The clearinghouse shall develop
    24  a uniform form which shall be accepted by all Commonwealth and
    25  local agencies in addition to any form used by the agency to
    26  file a request under this act. The uniform form shall be
    27  published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and on the
    28  clearinghouse's Internet website.
    29     (b)  Judicial agencies.--A judicial agency may develop a form
    30  to request financial records or may use a form developed by the
    20070S0001B1583                 - 14 -     

     1  Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts or the
     2  clearinghouse.
     3     (c)  Legislative agencies.--A legislative agency may develop
     4  a form to request legislative records or may use the form
     5  developed by the clearinghouse.
     6  Section 506.  Requests.
     7     (a)  Disruptive requests.--
     8         (1)  An agency may deny a requester access to a record if
     9     the requester has made repeated requests for that same record
    10     which requests have placed an unreasonable burden on the
    11     agency.
    12         (2)  A denial under this subsection shall not restrict
    13     the ability to request a different record.
    14     (b)  Disaster or potential damage.--
    15         (1)  An agency may deny a requester access:
    16             (i)  when timely access is not possible due to fire,
    17         flood or other disaster; or
    18             (ii)  to historical, ancient or rare documents,
    19         records, archives and manuscripts when access may, in the
    20         professional judgment of the curator or custodian of
    21         records, cause physical damage or irreparable harm to the
    22         record.
    23         (2)  To the extent possible, the contents of a record
    24     under this subsection shall be made accessible to a requester
    25     even when the record is physically unavailable.
    26     (c)  Agency discretion.--An agency may exercise its
    27  discretion to make any otherwise exempt record accessible for
    28  inspection and copying under this chapter, if all of the
    29  following apply:
    30         (1)  Disclosure of the record is not prohibited under any
    20070S0001B1583                 - 15 -     

     1     of the following:
     2             (i)  Federal or State law or regulation.
     3             (ii)  Judicial order or decree.
     4         (2)  The record is not protected by a privilege.
     5         (3)  The agency head determines that the public interest
     6     favoring access outweighs any individual, agency or public
     7     interest that may favor restriction of access.
     8     (d)  Agency possession.--
     9         (1)  A public record that is not in the possession of an
    10     agency but is in the possession of a party with whom the
    11     agency has contracted to perform a governmental function for
    12     the agency, and which directly relates to the governmental
    13     function and is not exempt under section 305, shall be
    14     considered a public record of the agency for purposes of this
    15     act.
    16         (2)  Nothing in this act shall be construed to require
    17     access to any other public record of the party in possession
    18     of the record.
    19         (3)  A request for a public record in possession of a
    20     party other than the agency shall be submitted to the open
    21     records officer of the agency. The open records officer shall
    22     assess the duplication fee established under section 1307(b)
    23     and remit the fee to the party in possession of the record if
    24     the party duplicated the record.
    25  Section 507.  Retention of records.
    26     Nothing in this act shall be construed to modify, rescind or
    27  supersede any record retention disposition schedule of an agency
    28  established pursuant to law, regulation, policy or other
    29  directive.
    30                             CHAPTER 7
    20070S0001B1583                 - 16 -     

     1                             PROCEDURE
     2  Section 701.  Access to public records.                           <--
     3     (a)  General rule.--Unless otherwise provided by law, a
     4  public record, legislative record or financial record shall be
     5  accessible for inspection and duplication in accordance with
     6  this act. A record shall be provided to a requester in the
     7  medium requested if the public record exists in that medium;      <--
     8  otherwise, it shall be provided in the medium in which it
     9  exists. Public records, legislative records or financial records
    10  shall be available for access during the regular business hours
    11  of an agency.
    12     (b)  Construction.--Nothing in this act shall be construed to
    13  require access to the computer of an agency or individual
    14  employee of an agency.
    15  Section 702.  Requests.
    16     Agencies may fulfill informal verbal, written or anonymous
    17  verbal or written requests for access to records under this act.
    18  In the event that the requester wishes to pursue the relief and
    19  remedies provided for in this act, the requester must initiate
    20  such relief with a written request.
    21  Section 703.  Written requests.
    22     A written request for access to records may be submitted in
    23  person, by mail, by e-mail, by facsimile or, to the extent
    24  provided by agency rules, any other electronic means. A written
    25  request shall be addressed to the agency head or open-records
    26  officer designated in section 502. A written request should
    27  identify or describe the records sought with sufficient
    28  specificity to enable the agency to ascertain which records are
    29  being requested and shall include the name and address to which
    30  the agency should address its response. A written request need
    20070S0001B1583                 - 17 -     

     1  not include any explanation of the requester's reason for
     2  requesting or intended use of the records.
     3  Section 704.  Electronic access.
     4     (a)  General rule.--In addition to the requirements of
     5  section 701, an agency may make its records available through
     6  any publicly accessible electronic means.
     7     (b)  Response.--
     8         (1)  In addition to the requirements of section 701, an
     9     agency may respond to a request by notifying the requester
    10     that the record is available through publicly accessible
    11     electronic means or that the agency will provide access to
    12     inspect the record electronically.
    13         (2)  If the requester is unwilling or unable to use the
    14     electronic access, the requester may submit a written request
    15     to the agency, within 30 days following receipt of the agency
    16     notification, to have the record converted to paper. The
    17     agency shall provide the record in printed form within five
    18     days of the receipt of the written request for conversion to
    19     paper.
    20  Section 705.  Creation of record.
    21     When responding to a request for access, an agency shall not
    22  be required to create a record which does not currently exist or
    23  to compile, maintain, format or organize a record in a manner in
    24  which the agency does not currently compile, maintain, format or
    25  organize the record.
    26  Section 706.  Redaction.
    27     If an agency determines that a public record, legislative
    28  record or financial record contains information which is subject
    29  to access as well as information which is not subject to access
    30  under section 305 or 708, the agency's response shall grant
    20070S0001B1583                 - 18 -     

     1  access to the information which is subject to access and deny
     2  access to the information which is not subject to access. If the
     3  information which is not subject to access is an integral part
     4  of the public record, legislative record or financial record and
     5  cannot be separated, the agency shall redact from the record the
     6  information which is not subject to access, and the response
     7  shall grant access to the information which is subject to
     8  access. The agency may not deny access to the record if the
     9  information which is not subject to access is able to be
    10  redacted. Information which an agency redacts in accordance with
    11  this subsection shall be deemed a denial under Chapter 9.
    12  Section 707.  Production of certain records.
    13     (a)  General rule.--If, in response to a request, an agency
    14  produces a record that is not a public record, legislative
    15  record or financial record, the agency shall notify any third
    16  party that provided the record to the agency, the person that is
    17  the subject of the record and the requester.
    18     (b)  Requests for trade secrets.--An agency shall notify a
    19  third party of a request for a record if the third party
    20  provided the record and included a written statement signed by a
    21  representative of the third party that the record contains a
    22  trade secret or confidential proprietary information.
    23  Notification shall be provided within five business days of
    24  receipt of the request for the record. The third party shall
    25  have five business days from receipt of notification from the
    26  agency to provide input on the release of the record. The agency
    27  shall deny the request for the record or release the record
    28  within ten business days of the provision of notice to the third
    29  party and shall notify the third party of the decision.
    30     (c)  Transcripts.--
    20070S0001B1583                 - 19 -     

     1         (1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a transcript    <--
     2     of an administrative proceeding shall not become a public
     3     record until the final adjudication.
     4         (2)  Transcripts shall be provided to parties and their
     5     attorneys prior to final adjudication by the agency
     9     or a court reporter, in accordance with agency procedure or
    10     an applicable contract.
    15  Section 708.  Exceptions for public records.
    16     (a)  Burden of proof.--The burden of proving that a public
    17  record is exempt from public access shall be on the Commonwealth
    18  or local agency receiving a request by a preponderance of the
    19  evidence.
    20     (b)  Exceptions.--In the case of a public record, unless
    21  disclosure is otherwise required by law, the following are
    22  exempt from access by a requester under this act:
    23         (1)  A record the disclosure of which:
    24             (i)  would result in the loss of Federal or State
    25         funds by an agency or the Commonwealth; or
    26             (ii)  would be reasonably likely to result in a
    27         substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm to an
    28         individual.
    29         (2)  A record maintained by an agency in connection with
    30     the military, homeland security, national defense, law
    20070S0001B1583                 - 20 -     

     1     enforcement or other public safety activity that if disclosed
     2     would be reasonably likely to jeopardize or threaten public
     3     safety or preparedness or public protection activity or a
     4     record that is designated classified by an appropriate
     5     Federal or State military authority.
     6         (3)  A record, the disclosure of which creates a
     7     reasonable likelihood of endangering the life, safety or the
     8     physical security of a building, public utility, resource,
     9     infrastructure, facility or information storage system, which
    10     may include:
    11             (i)  documents or data relating to computer hardware,
    12         source files, software and system networks that could
    13         jeopardize computer security by exposing a vulnerability
    14         in preventing, protecting against, mitigating or
    15         responding to a terrorist act;
    16             (ii)  lists of infrastructure, resources and
    17         significant special events, including those defined by
    18         the Federal Government in the National Infrastructure
    19         Protections, which are deemed critical due to their
    20         nature and which result from risk analysis; threat
    21         assessments; consequences assessments; antiterrorism
    22         protective measures and plans; counterterrorism measures
    23         and plans; and security and response needs assessments;
    24         and
    25             (iii)  building plans or infrastructure records that
    26         expose or create vulnerability through disclosure of the
    27         location, configuration or security of critical systems,
    28         including public utility systems, structural elements,
    29         technology, communication, electrical, fire suppression,
    30         ventilation, water, wastewater, sewage and gas systems.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 21 -     

     1         (4)  A record regarding computer hardware, software and
     2     networks, including administrative or technical records,
     3     which, if disclosed, would be reasonably likely to jeopardize
     4     computer security.
     5         (5)  A record of an individual's medical, psychiatric or
     6     psychological history or disability status, including
     7     evaluation, consultation, a prescription, diagnosis or
     8     treatment; results of tests, including drug tests; enrollment
     9     in a health care program or program designed for
    10     participation by persons with disabilities, including
    11     vocation rehabilitation, workers' compensation and
    12     unemployment compensation; or related information that would
    13     disclose individually identifiable health information.
    14         (6)  (i)  The following personal identification
    15         information:
    16                 (A)  A record containing all or part of an
    17             individual's Social Security number; driver's license
    18             number; personal financial information of an
    19             individual; home, cellular or personal telephone
    20             number; personal e-mail address; employee number;
    21             other CONFIDENTIAL personal identification number.     <--
    22                 (B)  A spouse's name; marital status, beneficiary
    23             or dependent information.
    24             (ii)  Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the
    25         release of the name, position, salary, actual
    26         compensation or other payments or expenses, employment
    27         contract, EMPLOYMENT-RELATED CONTRACT or agreement and     <--
    28         length of service of a public official or an agency
    29         employee.
    30             (iii)  An agency may redact the name or other
    20070S0001B1583                 - 22 -     

     1         identifying information relating to an individual
     2         performing an undercover or covert law enforcement
     3         activity from a record.
     4         (7)  The following records relating to an agency
     5     employee:
     6             (i)  A letter of reference or recommendation
     7         pertaining to the character or qualifications of an
     8         identifiable individual, unless it was prepared in
     9         relation to the appointment of an individual to fill a
    10         vacancy in an elected office or an appointed office
    11         requiring Senate confirmation.
    12             (ii)  A performance rating or review.
    13             (iii)  The result of a civil service or similar test
    14         administered by a Commonwealth agency, legislative agency
    15         or judicial agency. The result of a civil service or
    16         similar test administered by a local agency shall not be
    17         disclosed if restricted by a collective bargaining
    18         agreement. Only test scores of individuals who obtained a
    19         passing score on a test administered by a local agency
    20         may be disclosed.
    21             (iv)  The employment application of an individual who
    22         is not hired by the agency.
    23             (v)  Workplace support services program information.
    24             (vi)  Written criticisms of an employee.
    25             (vii)  Grievance material, including documents
    26         related to discrimination or sexual harassment.
    27             (viii)  (A)  Information regarding discipline,
    28             demotion or discharge contained in a personnel file.
    29                 (B)  This subparagraph shall not apply to the
    30             final action of an agency that results in demotion or
    20070S0001B1583                 - 23 -     

     1             discharge.
     2         (8)  (i)  A record pertaining to strategy or negotiations
     3         relating to labor relations or collective bargaining or
     4         arbitration award.
     5             (ii)  This paragraph does not apply to any final or
     6         executed contract or agreement or arbitration award        <--
     7         between the parties OR TO ANY ARBITRATION AWARD.           <--
     8         (9)  The draft of a bill, resolution, regulation,
     9     statement of policy, management directive, ordinance or
    10     amendment thereto prepared by or for an agency.
    11         (10)  (i)  A record that reflects:
    12                 (A)  The internal, predecisional deliberations of
    13             an agency, its members, employees or officials or
    14             predecisional deliberations between agency members,
    15             employees or officials and members, employees or
    16             officials of another agency, including predecisional
    17             deliberations relating to a budget recommendation,
    18             legislative proposal, legislative amendment,
    19             contemplated or proposed policy or course of action
    20             or any research, memos or other documents used in the
    21             predecisional deliberations.
    22                 (B)  The strategy to be used to develop or
    23             achieve the successful adoption of a budget,
    24             legislative proposal or regulation.
    25             (ii)  This paragraph applies to:
    26                 (A)  The Governor's Office, the head of a
    27             Commonwealth agency and the staff of the Governor or
    28             agency.
    29                 (B)  The chief executive officer or governing
    30             body of a local agency, or a member or staff of the
    20070S0001B1583                 - 24 -     

     1             local agency prior to the presentation of the
     2             decision, policy, proposal or course of action to a
     3             quorum of the governing body.
     4             (iii)  This paragraph does not apply to a written
     5         application or other document used to request
     6         Commonwealth funds.
     7         (11)  A record that constitutes or reveals a trade secret
     8     or confidential proprietary information.
     9         (12)  Notes and working papers prepared by or for a
    10     public official or agency employee used solely for that
    11     official's or employee's own personal use, including
    12     telephone message slips, routing slips and other materials
    13     that do not have an official purpose.
    14         (13)  Records that would disclose the identity of an
    15     individual who lawfully makes a donation to an agency unless
    16     the donation is intended for or restricted to providing
    17     remuneration or personal tangible benefit to a named public
    18     official or employee of the agency, including lists of
    19     potential donors compiled by an agency to pursue donations,
    20     donor profile information or personal identifying information
    21     relating to a donor.
    22         (14)  Unpublished lecture notes, unpublished manuscripts,
    23     unpublished articles, creative works in progress, research-
    24     related material and scholarly correspondence of a community
    25     college or an institution of the State System of Higher
    26     Education or a faculty member, staff employee, guest speaker
    27     or student thereof.
    28         (15)  Examination questions, scoring keys or answers to
    29     an examination.
    30         (16)  A record of an agency relating to or resulting in a
    20070S0001B1583                 - 25 -     

     1     criminal investigation, including:
     2             (i)  Complaints of potential criminal conduct other
     3         than a private criminal complaint.
     4             (ii)  Investigative materials, notes, correspondence
     5         and reports.
     6             (iii)  A record that includes the identity of a
     7         confidential source or the identity of a suspect who has
     8         not been charged with an offense to whom confidentiality
     9         has been promised.
    10             (iv)  A record that includes information made
    11         confidential by law or court order.
    12             (v)  Victim information, including any information
    13         that would jeopardize the safety of the victim.
    14             (vi)  A record that, if disclosed, would do any of
    15         the following:
    16                 (A)  Reveal the institution, progress or result
    17             of a criminal investigation, except the filing of
    18             criminal charges.
    19                 (B)  Deprive a person of the right to a fair
    20             trial or an impartial adjudication.
    21                 (C)  Impair the ability to locate a defendant or
    22             codefendant.
    23                 (D)  Hinder an agency's ability to secure an
    24             arrest, prosecution or conviction.
    25                 (E)  Endanger the life or physical safety of an
    26             individual.
    30         (17)  A record of an agency relating to a noncriminal
    20070S0001B1583                 - 26 -     

     1     investigation, including:
     2             (i)  Complaints submitted to an agency.
     3             (ii)  Investigative materials, notes, correspondence
     4         and reports.
     5             (iii)  A record that includes the identity of a
     6         confidential source, including individuals subject to the
     7         act of December 12, 1986 (P.L.1559, No.169), known as the
     8         Whistleblower Law.
     9             (iv)  A record that includes information made
    10         confidential by law.
    11             (v)  Work papers underlying an audit.
    12             (vi)  A record that, if disclosed, would do any of
    13         the following:
    14                 (A)  Reveal the institution, progress or result
    15             of an agency investigation, except the imposition of
    16             a fine or civil penalty or the suspension,
    17             modification or revocation of a license, permit,
    18             registration, certification or similar authorization
    19             issued by an agency.
    20                 (B)  Deprive a person of the right to an
    21             impartial adjudication.
    22                 (C)  Constitute an unwarranted invasion of
    23             privacy.
    24                 (D)  Hinder an agency's ability to secure an
    25             administrative or civil sanction.
    26                 (E)  Endanger the life or physical safety of an
    27             individual.
    28         (18)  911 recordings.
    29         (19)  DNA records.
    30         (20)  An autopsy record of a coroner or medical examiner
    20070S0001B1583                 - 27 -     

     1     and any audiotape of a postmortem examination or autopsy, or
     2     a copy, reproduction or facsimile of a photograph, negative
     3     or print, including a photograph or videotape of the body or
     4     any portion of the body of a deceased person at the scene of
     5     death or in the course of a postmortem examination or autopsy
     6     taken or made by or caused to be taken or made by the coroner
     7     or medical examiner. This exception shall not limit the
     8     reporting of the name of the deceased individual, the cause
     9     of death and whether the death was caused by criminal
    10     activity or criminal negligence in accordance with section
    11     1251 of the act of August 9, 1955 (P.L.323, No.130), known as
    12     The County Code.
    13         (21)  Minutes of an executive session and any record of
    14     discussions held in executive session.
    15         (22)  (i)  The contents of real estate appraisals,
    16         engineering or feasibility estimates, environmental
    17         reviews, audits or evaluations made for or by an agency
    18         relative to the following:
    19                 (A)  The leasing, acquiring or disposing of real
    20             property.
    21                 (B)  The purchase of public supplies or equipment
    22             included in the real estate transaction.
    23                 (C)  Construction projects.
    24             (ii)  This paragraph does not apply once the decision
    25         is made to proceed with the lease, acquisition or
    26         disposal of real property or the purchase of public
    27         supply or construction project.
    28         (23)  Library and archive circulation and order records
    29     of an identifiable individual or groups of individuals.
    30         (24)  Library archived and museum materials, or valuable
    20070S0001B1583                 - 28 -     

     1     or rare book collections or documents contributed by gift,
     2     grant, bequest or devise, to the extent of any limitations
     3     imposed by the donor as a condition of the contribution.
     4         (25)  A record identifying the location of an
     5     archeological site or an endangered or threatened plant or
     6     animal species if not already known to the general public.
     7         (26)  A proposal pertaining to agency procurement or
     8     disposal of supplies, services or construction prior to the
     9     award of the contract or prior to the opening and rejection
    10     of all bids; financial information of a bidder or offeror
    11     requested in an invitation for bid or request for proposals
    12     to demonstrate the bidder's or offeror's economic capability;
    13     or the identity of members, notes and other records of agency
    14     proposal evaluation committees established under 62 Pa.C.S. §
    15     513 (relating to competitive sealed proposals).
    16         (27)  A record or information relating to a communication
    17     between an agency and its insurance carrier, administrative
    18     service organization or risk management office. This
    19     paragraph does not apply to a contract with an insurance
    20     carrier, administrative service organization or risk
    21     management office or to financial records relating to the
    22     provision of insurance.
    23         (28)  A record or information:
    24             (i)  identifying an individual who applies for or
    25         receives social services; or
    26             (ii)  relating to the following:
    27                 (A)  the type of social services received by an
    28             individual;
    29                 (B)  an individual's application to receive
    30             social services, including a record or information
    20070S0001B1583                 - 29 -     

     1             related to an agency decision to grant, deny, reduce
     2             or restrict benefits, including a quasi-judicial
     3             decision of the agency and the identity of a
     4             caregiver or others who provide services to the
     5             individual; or
     6                 (C)  eligibility to receive social benefits,
     7             including the individual's income, assets, physical
     8             or mental health, age, disability, family
     9             circumstances or record of abuse.
    10     (c)  Financial records.--The exceptions set forth in
    11  subsection (b) shall not apply to financial records, except for
    12  financial records protected under subsection (b)(1), (2), (3) or
    13  (4), personal financial information or individual medical
    14  information PROTECTED under subsection (b)(5). An agency may      <--
    15  redact that portion of a financial record which would disclose
    16  information protected by UNDER subsection (b)(6) or disclose the  <--
    17  identity of a crime victim, confidential source or an individual
    18  performing an undercover or covert law enforcement activity
    19  PROTECTED under subsection (b)(16) or (17).                       <--
    20     (d)  Aggregated data.--The exceptions set forth in subsection
    21  (b) shall not apply to aggregated data, maintained or received
    22  by an agency, except for data protected under subsection (b)(1),
    23  (2), (3) or (4).
    24                             CHAPTER 9
    25                          AGENCY RESPONSE
    26  Section 901.  General rule.
    27     Upon receipt of a written request for access to a record, an
    28  agency shall make a good faith effort to determine if the record
    29  requested is a public record, legislative record or financial
    30  record and whether the agency has possession, custody or control
    20070S0001B1583                 - 30 -     

     1  of the identified record, and to respond as promptly as possible
     2  under the circumstances existing at the time of the request. The
     3  time for response shall not exceed five business days from the
     4  date the written request is received by the agency head or open-
     5  records officer for an agency. If the agency fails to send the
     6  response within five business days of receipt of the written
     7  request for access, the written request for access shall be
     8  deemed denied.
     9  Section 902.  Extension of time.
    10     (a)  Determination.--Upon receipt of a written request for
    11  access, the open-records officer for an agency shall determine
    12  if one of the following applies:
    13         (1)  the request for access requires redaction of a
    14     record in accordance with section 706;
    15         (2)  the request for access requires the retrieval of a
    16     record stored in a remote location;
    17         (3)  a timely response to the request for access cannot
    18     be accomplished due to bona fide and specified staffing
    19     limitations;
    20         (4)  a legal review is necessary to determine whether the
    21     record is a record subject to access under this act;
    22         (5)  the requester has not complied with the Commonwealth
    23     agency's policies regarding access to records;
    24         (6)  the requester refuses to pay applicable fees
    25     authorized by this act; or
    26         (7)  the extent or nature of the request precludes a
    27     response within the required time period.
    28     (b)  Notice.--
    29         (1)  Upon a determination that one of the factors listed
    30     in subsection (a) applies, the open-records officer shall
    20070S0001B1583                 - 31 -     

     1     send written notice to the requester within five business
     2     days of receipt of the request for access under subsection
     3     (a).
     4         (2)  The notice shall include a statement notifying the
     5     requester that the request for access is being reviewed, the
     6     reason for the review and a reasonable date that a response
     7     is expected to be provided. If the date that a response is
     8     expected to be provided is in excess of 30 days, following
     9     the five business days allowed for in section 901, the
    10     request for access shall be deemed denied unless the
    11     requester has agreed in writing for an extension to the date
    12     specified in the notice.
    13         (3)  If the requester agrees to the extension, the
    14     request shall be deemed denied on the day following the date
    15     specified in the notice if the agency has not provided a
    16     response by that date.
    17  Section 903.  Denial.
    18     If an agency's response is a denial of a written request for
    19  access, whether in whole or in part, a written response shall be
    20  issued and include:
    21         (1)  A description of the record requested.
    22         (2)  The specific reasons for the denial, including a
    23     citation of supporting legal authority.
    24         (3)  The typed or printed name, title, business address,
    25     business telephone number and signature of the agency head or
    26     open-records officer on whose authority the denial is issued.
    27         (4)  Date of the response.
    28         (5)  The procedure to appeal the denial of access under
    29     this act.
    30  Section 904.  Certified copies.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 32 -     

     1     If an agency's response grants a request for access, the
     2  agency shall, upon request, provide the requester with a
     3  certified copy of the record if the requester pays the
     4  applicable fees pursuant to section 1307.
     5                             CHAPTER 11
     6                   APPEAL OF AGENCY DETERMINATION
     7  Section 1101.  Filing of appeal.
     8     (a)  Authorization.--
     9         (1)  If a written request for access is denied or deemed
    10     denied, the requester may file an appeal with the
    11     clearinghouse or other appropriate appeals officer within 15
    12     business days of the mailing date of the agency's response or
    13     within 15 business days of a deemed denial. The appeal shall
    14     state the grounds upon which the requester asserts that the
    15     record is a public record, legislative record or financial
    16     record and shall address any grounds stated by the agency for
    17     delaying or denying the request.
    18         (2)  In the case of an appeal of a decision by a
    19     Commonwealth agency or local agency, the clearinghouse shall
    20     assign an appeals officer to review the denial.
    21     (b)  Determination.--
    22         (1)  Unless the requester agrees otherwise, the appeals
    23     officer shall make a final determination which shall be
    24     mailed to the requester and the agency within 30 days of
    25     receipt of the appeal filed under subsection (a).
    26         (2)  If the appeals officer fails to issue a final
    27     determination within 30 days, the appeal is deemed denied.
    28         (3)  Prior to issuing a final determination, a hearing
    29     may be conducted. The determination by the appeals officer
    30     shall be a final order. The appeals officer shall provide a
    20070S0001B1583                 - 33 -     

     1     written explanation of the reason for the decision to the
     2     requester and the agency.
     3     (c)  Direct interest.--
     4         (1)  A person other than the agency or requester with a
     5     direct interest in the record subject to an appeal under this
     6     section may, within 15 calendar days following receipt of
     7     actual knowledge of the appeal but no later than the date the
     8     appeals officer issues an order, file a written request to
     9     provide information or appear before the appeals officer or
    10     to file information in support of the requester's or agency's
    11     position.
    12         (2)  The appeals officer may grant the request if:
    13             (i)  no hearing has been held;
    14             (ii)  the office has not yet issued its order; and
    15             (iii)  the appeals officer believes the information
    16         will be probative.
    17         (3)  Copies of the written request shall be sent to the
    18     agency and the requester.
    19  Section 1102.  Appeals officers.
    20     (a)  Scope.--This section applies to all agencies.
    21     (b)  Duties.--The appeals officer shall do all of the
    22  following:
    23         (1)  Set a schedule for the requester and the open-
    24     records officer to submit documents in support of their
    25     positions.
    26         (2)  Review all information filed relating to the
    27     request. The appeals officer may hold a hearing. A decision
    28     to hold or not to hold a hearing is not appealable. The
    29     appeals officer may admit into evidence testimony, evidence
    30     and documents that the appeals officer believes to be
    20070S0001B1583                 - 34 -     

     1     reasonably probative and relevant to an issue in dispute. The
     2     appeals officer may limit the nature and extent of evidence
     3     found to be cumulative.
     4         (3)  Consult with agency counsel as appropriate.
     5         (4)  Issue a final determination on behalf of the agency.
     6     (c)  Procedures.--The clearinghouse, a judicial agency or a
     7  legislative agency may adopt procedures relating to appeals
     8  under this chapter.
     9         (1)  If an appeal is resolved without a hearing, 1 Pa.
    10     Code Pt. II (relating to general rules of administrative
    11     practice and procedure) does not apply except to the extent
    12     that the clearinghouse, legislative agency or judicial agency
    13     has adopted these chapters in its regulations or rules.
    14         (2)  If a hearing is held, 1 Pa. Code Pt. II shall apply
    15     unless the clearinghouse, the judicial agency or the
    16     legislative agency has adopted regulations or rules to the
    17     contrary.
    18         (3)  In the absence of a regulation or rule governing
    19     appeals under this chapter, the appeals officer shall rule on
    20     procedural matters on the basis of justice, fairness and the
    21     expeditious resolution of the dispute.
    22                             CHAPTER 13
    23                          JUDICIAL REVIEW
    24  Section 1301.  Commonwealth agencies, legislative agencies and
    25                 judicial agencies.
    26     (a)  General rule.--Within 30 days of the mailing date of the
    27  final determination of the appeals officer relating to a
    28  decision of a Commonwealth agency, a legislative agency or a
    29  judicial agency issued under section 1103 1101(B) or the date a   <--
    30  request for access is deemed denied, a requester or the agency
    20070S0001B1583                 - 35 -     

     1  may file a petition for review or other document as might be
     2  required by rule of court with the Commonwealth Court. The
     3  decision of the court shall contain findings of fact and
     4  conclusions of law based upon the evidence as a whole. The
     5  decision shall clearly and concisely explain the rationale for
     6  the decision.
     7     (b)  Stay.--An appeal under this section shall stay the
     8  release of documents until a decision under subsection (a) is
     9  issued.
    10  Section 1302.  Local agencies.
    11     (a)  General rule.--Within 30 days of the mailing date of the
    12  final determination of the appeals officer relating to a
    13  decision of a local agency issued under section 1103 1101(B) or   <--
    14  of the date a request for access is deemed denied, a requester
    15  or local agency may file a petition for review or other document
    16  as required by rule of court with the court of common pleas for
    17  the county where the local agency is located. The decision of
    18  the court shall contain findings of fact and conclusions of law
    19  based upon the evidence as a whole. The decision shall clearly
    20  and concisely explain the rationale for the decision.
    21     (b)  Stay.--An appeal under this section shall stay the
    22  release of documents until a decision under subsection (a) is
    23  issued.
    24  Section 1303.  Notice and records.
    25     (a)  Notice.--An agency, the requester and the appeals
    26  officer shall be served notice of actions commenced in
    27  accordance with section 1301 or 1302 and shall have an
    28  opportunity to respond in accordance with applicable court
    29  rules.
    30     (b)  Record on appeal.--The record before a court shall
    20070S0001B1583                 - 36 -     

     1  consist of the request, the agency's response, the appeal filed
     2  under section 1101, the hearing transcript, if any, and the
     3  final written determination of the appeals officer.
     4  Section 1304.  Court costs and attorney fees.
     5     (a)  Reversal of agency determination.--If a court reverses
     6  the final determination of the appeals officer or grants access
     7  after a request for access was deemed denied, the court may
     8  award reasonable attorney fees and costs of litigation or an
     9  appropriate portion thereof to a requester if the court finds
    10  either of the following:
    11         (1)  the agency receiving the original request willfully
    12     or with wanton disregard deprived the requester of access to
    13     a public record subject to access or otherwise acted in bad
    14     faith under the provisions of this act; or
    15         (2)  the exemptions, exclusions or defenses asserted by
    16     the agency in its final determination were not based on a
    17     reasonable interpretation of law.
    18     (b)  Sanctions for frivolous requests or appeals.--The court
    19  may award reasonable attorney fees and costs of litigation or an
    20  appropriate portion thereof to an agency or the requester if the
    21  court finds that the legal challenge under this chapter was
    22  frivolous.
    23     (c)  Other sanctions.--Nothing in this act shall prohibit a
    24  court from imposing penalties and costs in accordance with
    25  applicable rules of court.
    26  Section 1305.  Civil penalty.
    27     (a)  Denial of access.--A court may impose a civil penalty of
    28  not more than $1,000 if an agency denied access to a public
    29  record in bad faith.
    30     (b)  Failure to comply with court order.--An agency or public
    20070S0001B1583                 - 37 -     

     1  official who does not promptly comply with a court order under
     2  this act is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500 per
     3  day until the public records are provided.
     4  Section 1306.  Immunity.
     5     (a)  General rule.--Except as provided in sections 1304 and
     6  1305 and other statutes governing the release of records, no
     7  agency, public official or public employee shall be liable for
     8  civil or criminal damages or penalties resulting from compliance  <--
     9  or failure to comply with this act.
    10     (b)  Schedules.--No agency, public official or public
    11  employee shall be liable for civil or criminal damages or
    12  penalties under this act for complying with any written public
    13  record retention and disposition schedule.
    14  Section 1307.  Fee limitations.
    15     (a)  Postage.--Fees for postage may not exceed the actual
    16  cost of mailing.
    17     (b)  Duplication.--
    18         (1)  Fees for duplication by photocopying, printing from
    19     electronic media or microfilm, copying onto electronic media,
    20     transmission by facsimile or other electronic means and other
    21     means of duplication shall be established:
    22             (i)  by the clearinghouse, for Commonwealth agencies
    23         and local agencies;
    24             (ii)  by each judicial agency; and
    25             (iii)  by each legislative agency.
    26         (2)  The fees must be reasonable and based on prevailing
    27     fees for comparable duplication services provided by local
    28     business entities.
    29         (3)  Fees for local agencies may reflect regional price
    30     differences.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 38 -     

     1         (4)  Fees for copying complex and extensive data sets,     <--
     2     including geographic information systems and OF GEOGRAPHIC     <--
     3     INFORMATION SYSTEMS OR integrated property assessment lists
     4     may be based on consideration of the reasonable market value
     5     of the same or closely related data sets.
     6     (c)  Certification.--An agency may impose reasonable fees for
     7  official certification of copies if the certification is at the
     8  behest of the requester and for the purpose of legally verifying
     9  the public record.
    10     (d)  Conversion to paper.--If a record is only maintained
    11  electronically or in other nonpaper media, duplication fees
    12  shall be limited to the lesser of the fee for duplication on
    13  paper or the fee for duplication in the original media as
    14  provided by subsection (b) unless the requester specifically
    15  requests for the record to be duplicated in the more expensive
    16  medium.
    17     (e)  Enhanced electronic access.--If an agency offers
    18  enhanced electronic access to records in addition to making the
    19  records accessible for inspection and duplication by a requester
    20  as required by this act, the agency may establish user fees
    21  specifically for the provision of the enhanced electronic
    22  access, but only to the extent that the enhanced electronic
    23  access is in addition to making the records accessible for
    24  inspection and duplication by a requester as required by this
    25  act. The user fees for enhanced electronic access may be a flat
    26  rate, a subscription fee for a period of time, a per-transaction
    27  fee, a fee based on the cumulative time of system access or any
    28  other reasonable method and any combination thereof. The user
    29  fees for enhanced electronic access must be reasonable, must be
    30  approved by the clearinghouse and may not be established with
    20070S0001B1583                 - 39 -     

     1  the intent or effect of excluding persons from access to records
     2  or duplicates thereof or of creating profit for the agency.
     3     (f)  Waiver of fees.--An agency may waive the fees for
     4  duplication of a record, including, but not limited to, when:
     5         (1)  the requester duplicates the record; or
     6         (2)  the agency deems it is in the public interest to do
     7     so.
     8     (g)  Limitations.--Except as otherwise provided by statute,
     9  no other fees may be imposed unless the agency necessarily
    10  incurs costs for complying with the request, and such fees must
    11  be reasonable. No fee may be imposed for an agency's review of a
    12  record to determine whether the record is a public record,
    13  legislative record or financial record subject to access in
    14  accordance with this act.
    15     (h)  Prepayment.--Prior to granting a request for access in
    16  accordance with this act, an agency may require a requester to
    17  prepay an estimate of the fees authorized under this section if
    18  the fees required to fulfill the request are expected to exceed
    19  $100.
    20  Section 1308.  Prohibition.
    21     A policy, rule or regulation adopted under this act may not
    22  include any of the following:
    23         (1)  A limitation on the number of records which may be
    24     requested or made available for inspection or duplication.
    25         (2)  A requirement to disclose the purpose or motive in
    26     requesting access to records.
    27  Section 1309.  Practice and procedure.
    28     The provisions of 2 Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law
    29  and procedure) shall not apply to this act unless specifically
    30  adopted by rule or regulation.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 40 -     

     1  Section 1310.  Clearinghouse.
     2     (a)  Establishment.--There is hereby established in the
     3  Department of Community and Economic Development an Open Records
     4  Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse shall do all of the following:
     5         (1)  Provide information relating to the implementation
     6     and enforcement of this act.
     7         (2)  Issue advisory opinions to agencies and requesters.
     8         (3)  Provide annual training courses to agencies on this
     9     act and 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings).
    10         (4)  Provide annual, regional training courses to local
    11     agencies.
    12         (5)  Review appeals of decisions by Commonwealth agencies
    13     or local agencies except as provided in section 503(d) filed
    14     under section 1101 and issue orders and opinions. The
    15     clearinghouse shall employ or contract with attorneys to
    16     serve as appeals officers to review appeals and, if
    17     necessary, to hold hearings on a regional basis under this
    18     act. Each appeals officer must comply with all of the
    19     following:
    20             (i)  Complete a training course provided by the
    21         clearinghouse prior to acting as an appeals officer.
    22             (ii)  If a hearing is necessary, hold hearings
    23         regionally as necessary to ensure access to the remedies
    24         provided by this act.
    25             (iii)  Comply with the procedures under section
    26         1102(b).
    27         (6)  Establish an informal mediation program to resolve
    28     disputes under this act.
    29         (7)  Establish an Internet website with information
    30     relating to this act, including advisory opinions and
    20070S0001B1583                 - 41 -     

     1     decisions and the name and address of all open records
     2     officers in this Commonwealth.
     3         (8)  Conduct a biannual review of fees charged under this
     4     act.
     5         (9)  Annually report on its activities and findings to
     6     the Governor and the General Assembly. The report shall be
     7     posted and maintained on the Internet website established
     8     under paragraph (7).
     9     (b)  Executive director.--The Governor shall appoint an
    10  executive director of the clearinghouse who shall serve for a
    11  term of six years. Compensation shall be set by the Executive
    12  Board established under section 204 of the act of April 9, 1929
    13  (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929. The
    14  executive director may serve no more than two terms.
    15     (c)  Limitation.--The executive director shall not seek
    16  election nor accept appointment to any political office during
    17  his tenure as executive director and for one year thereafter.
    18     (d)  Staffing.--The executive director shall appoint
    19  attorneys to act as appeals officers and additional clerical,
    20  technical and professional staff as may be appropriate and may
    21  contract for additional services as necessary for the
    22  performance of the executive director's function. The
    23  compensation of attorneys and other staff shall be set by the
    24  Executive Board.
    25     (e)  Duties.--The executive director shall ensure that the
    26  duties of the clearinghouse are carried out and shall monitor
    27  cases appealed to the clearinghouse.
    28     (f)  Appropriation.--The appropriation for the clearinghouse
    29  shall be in a separate line item and shall be under the
    30  jurisdiction of the executive director.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 42 -     

     1                             CHAPTER 15
     2                     STATE-RELATED INSTITUTIONS
     3  Section 1501.  Definition.
     4     As used in this chapter, "State-related institution" means
     5  any of the following:
     6         (1)  Temple University.
     7         (2)  The University of Pittsburgh.
     8         (3)  The Pennsylvania State University.
     9         (4)  Lincoln University.
    10  Section 1502.  Reporting.
    11     No later than May 30 of each year, a State-related
    12  institution shall file with the Governor's Office, the General
    13  Assembly, the Auditor General and the State Library the
    14  information set forth in section 1503.
    15  Section 1503.  Contents of report.
    16     The report required under section 1502 shall include the
    17  following:
    18         (1)  Except as provided in paragraph (4), all information
    19     required by Form 990 or an equivalent form, of the United
    20     States Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service,
    21     entitled the Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,
    22     regardless of whether the State-related institution is
    23     required to file the form by the Federal Government.
    24         (2)  The salaries of all officers and directors of the
    25     State-related institution.
    26         (3)  The highest 25 salaries paid to employees of the
    27     institution that are not included under paragraph (2).
    28         (4)  The report shall not include information relating to
    29     individual donors.
    30  Section 1504.  Copies and posting.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 43 -     

     1     A State-related institution shall maintain, for at least
     2  seven years, a copy of the report in the institution's library
     3  and shall provide free access to the report on the institution's
     4  Internet website.
     5                             CHAPTER 17
     6                     STATE CONTRACT INFORMATION
     7  Section 1701.  Submission and retention of contracts.
     8     (a)  General rule.--Whenever any Commonwealth agency,
     9  legislative agency or judicial agency shall enter into any
    10  contract involving any property, real, personal or mixed of any
    11  kind or description or any contract for personal services where
    12  the consideration involved in the contract is $5,000 or more, a
    13  copy of the contract shall be furnished to the Treasury
    14  Department within ten days after the contract is executed on
    15  behalf of the Commonwealth agency, legislative agency or
    16  judicial agency or otherwise becomes an obligation of the
    17  Commonwealth agency, legislative agency or judicial agency. The
    18  provisions of this subsection shall not apply to contracts for
    19  services protected by a privilege. The following shall apply:
    20         (1)  Each Commonwealth agency, legislative agency and
    21     judicial agency shall submit contracts in a form and
    22     structure mutually agreed upon by the Commonwealth agency,
    23     legislative agency or judicial agency and the State
    24     Treasurer.
    25         (2)  The Treasury Department may require each
    26     Commonwealth agency, legislative agency or judicial agency to
    27     provide a summary with each contract, which shall include the
    28     following:
    29             (i)  Date of execution.
    30             (ii)  Amount of the contract.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 44 -     

     1             (iii)  Beginning date of the contract.
     2             (iv)  End date of the contract, if applicable.
     3             (v)  Name of the agency entering into the contract.
     4             (vi)  All parties to the contract.
     5             (vii)  Subject matter of the contract.
     6     Each agency shall create and maintain the data under this
     7     paragraph in an ASCII-delimited text format, spreadsheet
     8     format or other format provided by regulation.
     9     (b)  Retention.--Every contract filed pursuant to subsection
    10  (a) shall remain on file with the Treasury Department for a
    11  period of not less than four years after the end date of the
    12  contract.
    13     (c)  Accuracy.--Each Commonwealth agency, legislative agency
    14  and judicial agency is responsible for verifying the accuracy
    15  and completeness of the information that it submits to the State
    16  Treasurer.
    17  Section 1702.  Public availability of contracts.
    18     (a)  General rule.--The Treasury Department shall make each
    19  contract filed pursuant to section 1701 available for public
    20  inspection either by posting a copy of the contract on the
    21  Treasury Department's publicly accessible Internet website or by
    22  posting a contract summary on the department's publicly
    23  accessible Internet website.
    24     (b)  Posting.--The Treasury Department shall post the
    25  information received pursuant to this chapter in a way that
    26  allows the public to search contracts or contract summaries by
    27  the categories enumerated in section 1701(a)(2).
    28     (c)  Request to review or receive copy of contract.--The
    29  Treasury Department shall maintain a page on its publicly
    30  accessible Internet website with instructions on how to request
    20070S0001B1583                 - 45 -     

     1  to review a contract and how to request a copy of a contract.
     2  Requests to review or receive a copy of a contract shall be
     3  allowed by letter, facsimile or e-mail. Additionally, both
     4  requests shall be honored within five days of the submission of
     5  the request and in the case of a request for a copy of a
     6  contract it shall be provided to the individual at cost. The
     7  Treasury Department may offer to provide a copy of the requested
     8  contract electronically to the requester at no cost.
     9                             CHAPTER 31
    10                      MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
    11  Section 3101.  Applicability.
    12     This act applies as follows:
    13         (1)  This act shall apply to requests filed after the
    14     effective date of this section.
    15         (2)  Chapter 15 shall apply to fiscal years beginning
    16     after June 30, 2008.
    17         (3)  Chapter 17 shall apply to contracts entered into or
    18     renewed after the effective date of this section.
    19         (4)  Section 3102(1)(ii)(B) shall apply to bids submitted
    20     on or after the effective date of this section.
    21  Section 3102.  Repeals.
    22     Repeals are as follows:
    23         (1)  (i)  General Assembly declares that the repeals
    24         under subparagraph (ii) are necessary to effectuate this
    25         act.
    26             (ii)  The following acts and parts of acts are
    27         repealed:
    28                 (A)  The act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212),
    29             referred to as the Right-to-Know Law.
    30                 (B)  62 Pa.C.S. § 106.
    20070S0001B1583                 - 46 -     

     1         (2)  (i)  The General Assembly declares that the repeal
     2         under subparagraph (ii) is necessary to effectuate
     3         Chapter 17.
     4             (ii)  Section 1104 of the act of April 9, 1929
     5         (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of
     6         1929, is repealed.
     7  Section 3103.  Effective date.
     8     This act shall take effect in 180 days.

    C26L02VDL/20070S0001B1583       - 47 -