Right to Know (Open Records)
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|Open Records Officer||(215) 949-9000|
Open Records Policy
Falls Township adopts this policy pursuant to Section 504(a) of the Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. §§ 67.101-67.3104 (“RTKL”) as of January 1, 2009.
Requestors should submit in writing using Falls Township’s Right-to-Know form or the RTKL Uniform Request Form available on the Agency website and be addresses to the Open Records Officer by fax, electronic mail, regular mail or in person. If the requestor chooses not to fill out the Right to Know form, the request should clearly indicate that it is seeking records under the RTKL. The Falls Township Municipal building is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. When filling out the request, please be as specific and concise as possible. Make sure you are seeking records, not asking questions. The law governs the release of records, not answering questions. Not all records are public records. Please refer toSection 708 – Exceptions for Public Records.
The Township upon receipt of a request shall make a good faith effort to determine if the record requested is a public record and whether the Township has possession, custody or control of the identified record and to respond as promptly as possible under the circumstances existing at the time of the request. Please refer to Section 901 – General Rule.
The Township has five business days to respond to your request. The clock starts the day the request was received by the Open Records Officer. If received after regular business hours, the request shall be deemed received on the next business day. The Township will respond in writing to: 1) grant the request, 2) deny the request (citing the legal basis for denial/partial denial) or 3) invoke a 30-day extension for certain reasons. Please refer to Section 902 – Extension of Time. If the Township does not respond to your request in the allotted time, the request is deemed denied, and you have the right to file an appeal with the Office of Open Records.
Section 1307 of the Right-To-Know Law (RTKL) requires the Office of Open Records (OOR) to establish a fee structure for Commonwealth agencies and local agencies. The RTKL requires the OOR to review the fee structure biannually.
The OOR adopted this Official RTKL Fee Structure on Sept. 15, 2016. The fee schedule can be found at http://www.openrecords.pa.gov/Documents/RTKL/Official_RTKL_Fee_Structure.pdf
If the Township denies a record, or a portion of a record, the requestor can file an appeal with the Office of Open Records within 15 business days of the mailing date of the Township’s response. Appeals should be sent to the Office of Open Records, 333 Market Street, 16th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333. They may also be submitted via facsimile to 717-425-5343 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org as a Microsoft Word or PDF attachment.
All appeals must be in writing and state the following information: A copy of the RTK request, a copy of the Township’s response, state the grounds upon which the requestor asserts that the requested records is a public record and address any grounds stated by the Township.
Appeals: Office of Open Records
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
333 Market Street, 16th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333