PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 983
PRINTER'S NO. 2168
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY PILEGGI, SMUCKER, RAFFERTY, WAUGH, FONTANA, FOLMER, TEPLITZ, GREENLEAF, WARD, ALLOWAY, YAW, YUDICHAK, BAKER, FERLO, MENSCH, ERICKSON, VANCE, VULAKOVICH, FARNESE, BROWNE, CORMAN, BLAKE AND BREWSTER, APRIL 26, 2013
SENATOR SMUCKER, STATE GOVERNMENT, AS AMENDED, JUNE 18, 2014
1Amending the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), entitled
2"An act providing for access to public information, for a
3designated open-records officer in each Commonwealth agency,
4local agency, judicial agency and legislative agency, for
5procedure, for appeal of agency determination, for judicial
6review and for the Office of Open Records; imposing
7penalties; providing for reporting by State-related
8institutions; requiring the posting of certain State contract
9information on the Internet; and making related repeals,"
10further providing for definitions; providing for Pennsylvania
11Interscholastic Athletic Association; further providing for
12requests; providing for inmate access; <-and further providing
13for access, for requests, for written requests, for
14production of certain records, for exceptions for public
15records, for agency response in general, for filing of
16appeal, for appeals officers, for specified agencies, for fee
17limitations and, for Office of Open Records<-, for reporting,
18for contents of report and for copies and posting; and
19providing for contracts.
22Section 1. The definitions of "confidential proprietary
23information," "independent agency," "local agency," "personal
24financial information" and "State-affiliated entity" in section
25102 of the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the
3Section 102. Definitions.
7* * *
8"Commercial purpose." The use of a record:
15The term does not include the use of a public record by an
16educational or noncommercial scientific institution for
17scholarly or scientific research or the use of a public record
18by the news media for <-news gathering or dissemination in a
19newspaper, periodical<-, digital publication or radio or
20television news broadcast.
21* * *
24(1) which is privileged or confidential; and
28* * *
1statute or <-by executive authorization.
2* * *
3"Independent agency." Any board, commission, authority or
4other agency or officer of the Commonwealth, that is not subject
5to the policy supervision and control of the Governor. The term
6does not include a legislative or judicial agency.
7* * *
8"Local agency." Any of the following:
12(2) Any local, intergovernmental, regional or municipal
13agency, authority, council, board, commission or similar
14governmental entity. This paragraph includes an economic
15development authority and an industrial development
19* * *
20"Personal financial information." An individual's personal
21credit, charge or debit card information; bank account <-or other
22financial institution account information; bank, credit or
23financial statements; account or PIN numbers; forms required to
24be filed by a taxpayer with a Federal or Commonwealth taxing
25authority; and other information relating to an individual's
27* * *
1the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the Pennsylvania Game
2Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the
3Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Pennsylvania Municipal
4Retirement Board, the State System of Higher Education, a
5community college, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the
6Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Pennsylvania
7Infrastructure Investment Authority, the State Public School
8Building Authority[, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic
9Association] and the Pennsylvania Higher Educational Facilities
10Authority. The term does not include a State-related
12* * *
13"Time response log." A log created, received, maintained or
14retained by a public-safety answering point (PSAP), as defined
15in 35 Pa.C.S. § 5302 (relating to definitions), containing the
17(1) The time the call was received by the PSAP.
20(3) The time the appropriate agency responded.
23(5) The time the appropriate agency became available.
26* * *
27Section 2. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
28Section 307. Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.
4Section 3. Section 506 of the act is amended to read:
5Section 506. Requests.
6(a) Disruptive requests.--
<-13(3) If a request or a related group of requests would be
14unduly burdensome, the agency may petition a court of
15competent jurisdiction for a protective order. The court may
16issue a protective order upon a showing of good cause,
20(ii) That only certain records be released.
24(b) Disaster or potential damage.--
25(1) An agency may deny a requester access:
12(i) Federal or State law or regulation.
13(ii) Judicial order or decree.
14(2) The record is not protected by a privilege.
18(d) Agency possession.--
19(1) [A public record that is not in the possession of an
20agency but is in the possession of a party with whom the
21agency has contracted to perform a governmental function on
22behalf of the agency, and which directly relates to the
23governmental function and is not exempt under this act, shall
24be considered a public record of the agency for purposes of
25this act.] An agency which is a party to a contract shall
26provide a copy of the contract and any public records of the
27agency relating to the contract.
1(3) A request for a public record in possession of a
2party other than the agency shall be submitted to the open
3records officer of the agency. Upon a determination that the
4record is subject to access under this act, the open records
5officer shall assess the duplication fee established under
6section 1307(b) and upon collection shall remit the fee to
7the party in possession of the record if the party duplicated
9Section 4. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
10Section 508. Inmate access.
13(b) Records.--An agency shall provide an inmate with copies
14of the following records as they pertain <-directly to the inmate
15if the disclosure of the record will not diminish the safety or
16security of any person or correctional facility:
19(2) Institutional housing information.
20(3) The inmate's financial records.
21(4) The inmate's work records.
22(5) The inmate's educational records.
23(6) The inmate's disciplinary records.
28(9) The inmate's tax records.
29(10) The inmate's voting records.
30(11) Records relating to any license issued to the
1inmate by a Commonwealth or local agency.
2(c) Applicability.--Nothing under this section shall
3prohibit <-a correctional institution an agency from voluntarily
4permitting an inmate to have access to records not listed under
5subsection (b) or prevent <-a correctional institution an agency
6from complying with a lawful subpoena or court order.
9Section 701. Access.
10(a) General rule.--Unless otherwise provided by law, a
11public record, legislative record or financial record shall be
12accessible for inspection and duplication in accordance with
13this act. A record being provided to a requester shall be
14provided in the medium, computer file format or other format
15requested if it exists in that medium, computer file format or
16other format; otherwise, it shall be provided in the medium in
17which it exists. Public records, legislative records or
18financial records shall be available for access during the
19regular business hours of an agency.
23Section 702. Requests.
24Agencies may fulfill verbal[, written or anonymous verbal] or
25written requests for access to records under this act. If the
26requester wishes to pursue the relief and remedies provided for
27in this act, the request for access to records must be a written
29Section 703. Written requests.
30A written request for access to records may be submitted in
1person, by mail, by e-mail, by facsimile or, to the extent
2provided by agency rules, by any other electronic means. A
3written request must be addressed to the open-records officer
4designated pursuant to section 502 or to the administrative
5office of the agency. [Employees of an] The administrative
6office of the agency shall [be directed to] promptly forward
7requests for records to the agency's open-records officer. A
8written request should identify or describe the records sought
9with sufficient specificity to enable the agency to ascertain
10which records are being requested and shall include the name and
11address to which the agency should address its response. [A]
12Except as required under section 707(d), a written request need
13not include any explanation of the requester's reason for
14requesting or intended use of the records unless otherwise
15required by law. A written request must include the name and
16address of the requester and the name of the agency to which the
17request is addressed.
18Section 707. Production of certain records.
19(a) General rule.--If, in response to a request, an agency
20produces a record that is not a public record, legislative
21record or financial record, the agency shall notify any third
22party that provided the record to the agency, the person that is
23the subject of the record and the requester.
24(b) Requests for trade secrets.--An agency shall notify a
25third party of a request for a record if the third party
26provided the record and included a written statement signed by a
27representative of the third party that the record contains a
28trade secret or confidential proprietary information.
29Notification shall be provided within five business days of
30receipt of the request for the record. The third party shall
1have five business days from receipt of notification from the
2agency to provide input on the release of the record. The agency
3shall deny the request for the record or release the record
4within ten business days of the provision of notice to the third
5party and shall notify the third party of the decision.
7(1) Prior to an adjudication becoming final, binding and
8nonappealable, a transcript of an administrative proceeding
9shall be provided to a requester by the agency stenographer
10or a court reporter, in accordance with agency procedure or
11an applicable contract.
12(2) Following an adjudication becoming final, binding
13and nonappealable, a transcript of an administrative
14proceeding shall be provided to a requester in accordance
15with the duplication rates established in section 1307(b).
19(d) Commercial requests.--An agency may require a requester
20to certify in writing whether the request is for a commercial
21purpose. Certification shall be submitted on a form developed by
22the Office of Open Records that shall provide a checkoff for the
23requester to use to indicate whether the request is for a
24commercial purpose. A requester that submits a false written
25statement shall be subject to 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to
26unsworn falsification to authorities).
30Section 708. Exceptions for public records.
1* * *
5* * *
6(5.1) The payment records of a person receiving services
7from a public water or sewer authority or other municipal
8authority, municipality or cooperative that provides
9electricity, water, sewer, storm water, natural gas or
10similar service. The authority, municipality or cooperative
11shall establish a process to provide a clearance certificate
12to a person to certify that all fees and charges owed have
13been paid. A reasonable fee for a clearance certificate may
14be charged. This paragraph shall not apply to reports of
15aggregate payments made by a municipality, authority or
16cooperative to assist low-income consumers or other consumers
17in obtaining services. If funds are owed, the amount of the
18delinquency shall appear on the clearance certificate.
19* * *
20(6.1) Tax payment records in the possession of a tax
21collector <-or municipality responsible for the collection of
22taxes. A tax collector <-or municipality shall establish a
23process to provide a clearance certificate to a person
24certifying that all local taxes owed have been paid. If funds
25are owed, the amount of the delinquency shall appear on the
26clearance certificate. A reasonable fee for a clearance
27certificate may be charged. As used in this paragraph, the
28term "tax collector" means an elected tax collector or an
29employee or contractor of an agency that collects local taxes
30pursuant to law.
1* * *
2(10) As follows:
3(i) A record that reflects, contains or includes:
4(A) The internal, predecisional deliberations of
5an agency, its members, employees or officials or
6predecisional deliberations between agency members,
7employees or officials and members, employees or
8officials of another agency, including predecisional
9deliberations relating to a budget recommendation,
10legislative proposal, legislative amendment,
11contemplated or proposed policy or course of action
12or any research, memos or other documents used in the
17(ii) Subparagraph (i)(A) shall apply to agencies
18subject to 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings)
19in a manner consistent with 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7. A record
20which is not otherwise exempt from access under this act
21and which is presented to a quorum for deliberation in
22accordance with 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 shall be a public record
23regardless of whether a vote occurs at the meeting.
24* * *
25(13) Records that would disclose the identity of, or
<-26personal financial information relating to, an individual who
27lawfully makes a donation to an agency unless the donation is
28intended for or restricted to providing remuneration or
29personal tangible benefit to a named public official or
30employee of the agency, including lists of potential donors
4* * *
8(i) Complaints submitted to an agency.
17(v) Work papers underlying an audit.
20(A) Reveal the institution, progress or result
21of an agency investigation, except the imposition of
22a fine or civil penalty, the suspension, modification
23or revocation of a license, permit, registration,
24certification or similar authorization issued by an
25agency or an executed settlement agreement unless the
26agreement is determined to be confidential by a
30(C) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of
6(18) Emergency dispatches as follows:
11(ii) This paragraph shall not apply to a 911
12recording, or a transcript of a 911 recording, if the
13agency or a court determines that the public interest in
14disclosure outweighs the interest in nondisclosure.
18* * *
21(32) A record of any of the following:
22(i) A volunteer ambulance service.
23(ii) A volunteer fire company.
24(iii) A volunteer rescue company.
25(iv) A volunteer water rescue company.
30Section 506(d)(1) shall apply to a volunteer organization
3(c) Financial records.--The exceptions set forth in
4subsection (b) shall not apply to financial records, except that
5an agency may redact that portion of a financial record
6protected under subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6),
7(11), (13), (16) or (17). An agency shall not disclose the
8identity of an individual performing an undercover or covert law
10* * *
13Section 901. General rule.
14(a) Determination.---Upon receipt of a written request for
15access to a record, an agency shall make a good faith effort to
16determine if the record requested is a public record,
17legislative record or financial record and whether the agency
18has possession, custody or control of the identified record, and
19to respond as promptly as possible under the circumstances
20existing at the time of the request. All applicable fees shall
21be paid in order to receive access to the record requested.
24(1) In the case of a request made in person or submitted
25by regular mail, e-mail, web form, facsimile or similar
26means, five business days from the date the written request
27is received by the open-records officer for an agency. If the
28agency fails to send the response within five business days
29of receipt of the written request for access, the written
30request for access shall be deemed denied.
2Section 1101. Filing of appeal.
4(1) If a written request for access to a record is]
5(a) Authorization.--The following shall apply:
6(1) (i) If a written request for access to a record is
7denied or deemed denied, the requester may file an appeal
8with the Office of Open Records or judicial, legislative
9or other appeals officer designated under section 503(d)
10within  20 business days of the [mailing] postmark
11date of the agency's response or within  20 business
12days of a deemed denial, whichever comes first.
13(ii) The appeal shall [state the grounds upon which
14the requester asserts that the record is a public record,
15legislative record or financial record and shall address
16any grounds stated by the agency for delaying or denying
17the request.] include the following:
18(A) A copy of the original request.
19(B) The agency denial.
20(C) A list of the records that were denied.
24(2) Except as provided in section 503(d), in the case of
25an appeal of a decision by a Commonwealth agency or local
26agency, the Office of Open Records shall assign an appeals
27officer to review the denial.
1mailed to the requester and the agency within 30 days of
2receipt of the appeal filed under subsection (a). The appeals
3officer may extend this deadline by up to 15 days by
4providing notice to both parties. If a hearing or in-camera
5review is held under section 1102(a)(2), the appeals officer
6may extend the deadline up to 90 additional days.
7(1.1) If the issue before the office is substantially
8the same as an issue currently on appeal to Commonwealth
9Court, the appeals officer may stay the appeal until
10Commonwealth Court issues a decision on the matter.
14(3) Prior to issuing a final determination, a hearing
15may be conducted. The determination by the appeals officer
16shall be a final order. The appeals officer shall provide a
17written explanation of the reason for the decision to the
18requester and the agency.
19(c) Direct interest.--
20(1) A person other than the agency or requester with a
21direct interest in the record subject to an appeal under this
22section may, within 15 days following receipt of actual
23knowledge of the appeal but no later than the date the
24appeals officer issues an order, file a written request to
25provide information or to appear before the appeals officer
26or to file information in support of the requester's or
30(i) no hearing has been held;
9Section 1102. Appeals officers.
15(2) Review all information filed relating to the
16request. The appeals officer may hold a hearing or conduct an
17in-camera review under subsection (c), in which case the
18appeals officer may extend the deadline in section 1101(b)(1)
19by up to 90 days. A decision to hold or not to hold a hearing
20is not appealable. The appeals officer may admit into
21evidence testimony, evidence and documents that the appeals
22officer believes to be reasonably probative and relevant to
23an issue in dispute. The appeals officer may limit the nature
24and extent of evidence found to be cumulative.
25(3) Consult with agency counsel as appropriate.
28* * *
1camera review to determine if the record is a public record.
7(a) General rule.--Within 30 days of the mailing date of the
8final determination of the appeals officer relating to a
9decision of a Commonwealth agency, a legislative agency [or], a
10judicial agency or the Office of Open Records issued under
11section 1101(b) or the date a request for access is deemed
12denied, a requester or the agency may file a petition for review
13or other document as might be required by rule of court with the
14Commonwealth Court. The court shall notify the Commonwealth
15agency, legislative agency, judicial agency or Office of Open
16Records of the appeal. The decision of the court shall contain
17findings of fact and conclusions of law based upon the evidence
18as a whole. The decision shall clearly and concisely explain the
19rationale for the decision.
20* * *
23Section 1307. Fee limitations.
24* * *
25(g.1) Additional fees.--
26(1) Notwithstanding subsection (e), each agency may
27assess fees for responding to commercial requests under this
28act. In addition to fees under subsections (a) and (b),
29reasonable standard charges may be charged for document
30search, review and redaction for documents for commercial
2(2) Fees under paragraph (1) must be calculated at no
3more than the hourly wage of the lowest-paid public employee
4of the agency who is capable of searching, retrieving,
5reviewing and providing for redaction of the information
6necessary to comply with the request.
7(h) Prepayment.--Prior to granting a request for access in
8accordance with this act, an agency may require a requester to
9prepay an estimate of the fees authorized under this section if
10the fees required to fulfill the request are expected to exceed
14Section 1310. Office of Open Records.
15(a) Establishment.--There is established [in the Department
16of Community and Economic Development an] the Office of Open
17Records, as an independent agency. The office shall do all of
21(2) Issue advisory opinions to agencies and requesters.
27(5) Assign appeals officers to review appeals of
28decisions by Commonwealth agencies or local agencies, except
29as provided in section 503(d), filed under section 1101 and
30issue orders and opinions. The office shall employ or
1contract with attorneys to serve as appeals officers to
2review appeals and, if necessary, to hold hearings on a
3regional basis under this act. Each appeals officer must
4comply with all of the following:
15(7) Establish an Internet website with information
16relating to this act, including information on fees, advisory
17opinions and decisions and the name and address of all open
18records officers in this Commonwealth.
25(b) Executive director.--Within 90 days of the effective
26date of this section, the Governor shall appoint an executive
27director of the office who shall serve for a term of six years.
28Compensation shall be set by the Executive Board established
29under section 204 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175),
30known as The Administrative Code of 1929. The executive director
1may serve no more than two terms.
5(d) Staffing.--The executive director shall appoint
6attorneys to act as appeals officers and additional clerical,
7technical and professional staff as may be appropriate and may
8contract for additional services as necessary for the
9performance of the executive director's duties. The compensation
10of attorneys and other staff shall be set by the Executive
11Board. The appointment of attorneys shall not be subject to the
12act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the
13Commonwealth Attorneys Act.
<-14(e) Duties.--The executive director shall ensure that the
22(e.1) Public comment.--The office shall abstain from public
23comment about a pending proceeding before the office. This
24subsection shall not prohibit <-the executive director employees
25of the office from making public statements in the course of
26official duties, from issuing written advisory opinions, from
27making general comments on this act that are not related to a
<-28specific pending case or from explaining the procedures of the
30(f) Appropriation.--The appropriation for the office shall
<-6Section 1502. Reporting.
7No later than May 30 of each year, unless otherwise provided
8under this chapter, a State-related institution shall file [with
9the Governor's Office, the General Assembly, the Auditor General
10and the State Library] the information set forth in section 1503
11under the requirements of section 1504.
12Section 1503. Contents of report.
15(1) Except as provided in paragraph (4), all information
16required by Form 990 or an equivalent form of the United
17States Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service,
18entitled the Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,
19regardless of whether the State-related institution is
20required to file the form by the Federal Government.
23(3) [The] For a State-related institution with fewer
24than 2,500 employees, the highest 25 salaries paid to
25employees of the institution that are not included under
26paragraph (2). For a State-related institution with 2,500
27employees or more, the highest 200 salaries paid to employees
28of the institution that are not included under paragraph (2).
22(i) The number of employees by academic rank.
25(iii) Median and mean salary by academic rank.
1(A) Medical benefits.
2(B) Life insurance benefits.
3(C) Pension benefits.
4(D) Leave benefits.
5(E) Employer Social Security payments.
6(F) Workers' compensation benefits.
14(b) Providing information.--Each State-related institution
15shall provide full, complete and accurate information as may be
16required by the Department of Education or the chairman or the
17minority chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate
18or the chairman or the minority chairman of the Appropriations
19Committee of the House of Representatives.
23(1) The generally accepted accounting principles as
24prescribed by the National Association of College and
25University Business Officers, the American Institute of
26Certified Public Accountants or by another recognized
6(d) Nonpreferred appropriations.--
7(1) In a year a State-related institution receives a
8nonpreferred appropriation, a report shall be submitted prior
9to September 1 and must cover the 12-month period beginning
10with the summer term of the preceding year. The report shall
14(A) The definition and number of:
15(I) Faculty members employed full time.
16(II) Faculty members employed part time.
25(B) The total number of:
1professional and doctoral.
2(C) The number of different courses scheduled by
3level of instruction and the number of sections of
4individual instruction scheduled by level of
5instruction, each further subdivided by two-digit
6Classification of Instructional Program (CIP)
7categories of instructional programs of higher
8education as defined by the National Center for
9Education Statistics, United States Department of
19(II) Associate professor.
20(III) Assistant professor.
23(VI) Research associate.
24(VII) Librarian and academic administrator.
7(II) The sum of credits assigned to
8undergraduate classroom courses and the sum of
9credits assigned to graduate classroom courses
10taught divided into lower division, upper
11division, master's, first professional and
12doctoral course levels.
13(III) The sum of credits assigned to
14undergraduate individual instruction courses and
15the sum of credits assigned to graduate
16individual instruction courses taught divided
17into lower division, upper division, master's,
18first professional and doctoral course levels.
19(IV) The sum of undergraduate classroom
20student credit hours and the sum of graduate
21classroom student credit hours generated, divided
22into lower division, upper division, masters,
23first professional and doctoral course levels.
24(V) The sum of undergraduate individual
25instruction student credit hours and the sum of
26graduate individual instruction student credit
27hours generated, divided into lower division,
28upper division, master's, first professional and
29doctoral course levels.
30(VI) The total salary paid for instructional
5(iii) For each term of the period covered for each
6faculty member employed full time identified by two-digit
7CIP program category and title, the report shall contain
8an analysis of the average hours per week spent:
13(B) In research.
14(C) In public service.
23(e) Minutes.--Each State-related institution shall make a
24copy of the minutes of each public meeting of the institution's
25board of trustees available for public inspection in the
26institution's library in print format and online at the
27institution's publicly accessible Internet website. The minutes
28shall be maintained in print and online for no fewer than 20
30(f) Data systems report.--Each State-related university
1shall make a copy of the institution's integrated postsecondary
2education data systems report available for public inspection in
3the institution's library in print format and online at the
4institution's publicly accessible Internet website.
7[A State-related institution shall maintain, for at least
8seven years, a copy of the report in the institution's library
9and shall provide free access to the report on the institution's
10Internet website.] A State-related institution shall make the
11information required by section 1502 accessible to the public in
12accordance with the following:
13(1) The information shall be posted online at the
14institution's publicly accessible Internet website in a
15searchable, sortable and downloadable database format that is
16freely accessible by the public. To the extent possible, a
17State-related institution shall post the information online
18in a similar manner in order to facilitate easy public
19review. The information of prior years shall be maintained
20for no fewer than ten years.
29Section 12. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
30Section 1505. Contracts.
1(a) Posting online.--Whenever a State-related institution
2shall enter into any contract involving any property, real,
3personal or mixed of any kind or description or a contract for
4personal services where the consideration involved in the
5contract is $5,000 or more, the State-related institution and
6the Treasury Department shall comply with the requirements of
16(6) Public Relations.
18Section <-12 13. This act shall take effect in 90 days.