Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law
Effective Date: 6/1/11
Issued by: William L. Harvey, Chief of Police
Accreditation Standard 4.11.1
January 1, 2009 Act 3 of 2008, the Right to Know Law, became effective. This Act provided for access to public information, for a designated opens-record officer for each local agency, for procedure, and appeal of agency determination, for judicial review and for the Office of Open Records.
The policy of the Ephrata Police Department is to comply with the procedures set forth in the Open Records Law.
A. Providing public records.
1. The department will provide public records in accordance with the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law.
a. Definition of Public Records:
1) A record, including a financial record, of a local agency that:
a) Is not exempt under section 708 of the Right to Know Law.
b) Is not exempt from being disclosed under any other Federal or State law or regulation or judicial order or decree.
c) A record that is not protected by a privilege.
B. Designation of an open records officer.
1. The Chief of Police shall be designated the open records officer of the department.
a. If an open records officer has been designated by the municipality, the Chief of Police shall work in conjunction with that position for Criminal History Records Information Act requests or other requests where the information requested would not be lawfully accessible by a civilian open records officer.
2. The Chief of Police may delegate the responsibilities of that position within the department, as he so deems necessary.
a. The open records officer shall receive requests submitted to the agency under the Right to Know Law, direct requests to other appropriate persons within the agency or to appropriate persons in another agency.
b. The open records officer will track the department’s progress in responding to requests and issue interim and final responses under this act.
c. Upon receiving a request for a public record(s), the open records officer will do the following:
1) Note the date of receipt on the written request.
2) Compute the day on which the five-day period under section 901 of the Right to Know Law will expire and make a notation of that date on the written request.
3) Maintain an electronic or paper copy of a written request, including all documents submitted with the request until the request has been fulfilled.
a) If the request is denied, the written request shall be maintained for 30 days or, if an appeal is filed, until final determination is issued under section 1101(b) or the appeal is deemed denied.
C. Posting requirements.
1. The following information will be posted at the department and, if operational, an Internet Website for the department:
a. Contact information for the open-records officer.
b. Contact information for the Office of Open Records or other applicable appeals officer.
c. The Open Records Request form.
d. Regulations, policies and procedures of the department relating to the Right to Know law.
1. No policy or regulation of the department shall include any of the following:
a. A limitation on the number of records which may be requested or made available for inspection or duplication.
b. A requirement to disclose the purpose or motive in requesting access to records.