- The AORO may respond by providing a requester with access to inspect a record electronically or as otherwise maintained by the OA, either:
- by providing access in the offices of the OA, if agreed to by the requester;
- by sending a copy to the requester; or
- by notifying the requester that the record is available through publicly accessible electronic means and if the requester writes to the OA within 30 days that the requester is unable or unwilling to access the information electronically, by then providing the records in paper format upon payment for the same. Each of these options is a "response" for purposes of the RTKL, as is the OA's written notice to the requester granting, denying or partially granting and partially denying access to a record. The OA may send written responses to requesters by United States mail, by hand (in person or by delivery service), by facsimile or, by email.
Unless a longer period of time is needed and communicated to the requester by an "interim response" (as discussed in paragraph 1 below), the RTKL requires that the OA respond to a RTKL request within five business days. For purposes of determining the end of the five business day period, the day that a RTKL request is received is not counted. The first day of the five business day period is the OA's next business day.
The OA must provide a final response to a RTKL request within 5 business days unless one or more specific conditions are satisfied and the AORO gives the requester written notice that additional time will be required. That notice is referred to as an "interim response."
may send an interim response if any of the following apply:
An interim response must:
- The RTKL request requires redaction of a public record;
- The RTKL request requires retrieval of a record from a remote location;
- A response within the five-business-day period cannot be accomplished due to bona fide staffing limitations, which limitations must be specified in the interim response;
- A legal review is necessary to determine whether the record requested is subject to access under the Act;
- The requester has not complied with OA’s policies regarding access to public records;
- The requester has not complied with a demand for prepayment of fees, which are required to fulfill the RTKL request and which are estimated to exceed $100; further, if prepayment of fees is required by the OA, the time period for response shall be tolled from the time the demand for payment is made until such time as payment is actually received; or
- The extent or nature of the request precludes a response within the required time period.
- be sent to the requester on or before the last day of the five business day period;
- state that the request is being reviewed and the reason for the review;
- sgive an estimate of applicable fees owed when the record becomes available; and
- state a reasonable date that a response is expected to be provided. This date must not be more than 30 calendar days from the end of the five business day period.
If the date of an expected response is in excess of 30 days following the five days allowed for in Section 901, the request will be deemed denied unless the requester has agreed in writing to the date specified in the notice.
will send an interim response when fees (whether actual fees or estimated fees) are owed with respect to the RTKL request
if these fees are known or estimated to be $100 or more. Once the payment or estimated payment is received, PDA will:
- make the final determination as to what records, if any, are public records under the RTKL;
- begin search and retrieval of those records;
- perform any required redaction; and
- advise the requester, within 30 days, as to the date by which any responsive public records will be produced.
Failure to make the estimated payment by the date required by PDA in an interim response will result in the request being deemed withdrawn.
There are four possible final responses:
- the request is granted;
- the request is denied; or
- the request is granted in part and denied in part.
The failure to make a timely response is deemed to be a denial.
There are three possible final responses. Either the request is: 1) granted; 2) denied; or 3) granted in part and denied in part. The failure to make a timely response is deemed to be a denial.
If a written request is denied in whole or in part, the OA will issue a final written response that will include an explanation of the procedure for the requester to appeal, if the requester chooses to do so. The written denial will also set forth the specific reasons for the denial, including a citation of supporting legal authority. If the denial is the result of a determination that the record requested is exempt from disclosure, the specific reasons for the OA's determination shall be included. Non-production of records due to the fact that a good faith search by the OA does not produce any responsive records is not a denial of access.
The OA will not deny access to a public record based upon the fact that portions of the record are not public records and, as a result, not subject to disclosure. The OA will redact the portions of a public record that are not public records and produce the portions that are public records.
The OA may provide a requester with access to inspect a record electronically or as otherwise maintained by the OA by:
- providing access in the offices of the OA, if agreed to by the requester; or
- sending a copy to the requester; or
- notifying the requester that the record is available through publicly accessible electronic means and, if the requester writes to the OA within 30 days that the requester is unable or unwilling to access the information electronically, by then providing the records in paper format, upon payment for the same.
The OA has the discretion to determine the building(s) and room(s) that will be used to provide a requester with access to the OA's public records. The selection of buildings and rooms for access to the OA's public records is a matter within the discretion of the AORO.
The OA will provide a public record to a requester in the medium requested if the record exists in that medium. Otherwise, the public record must be provided in the medium in which it exists. If a public record only exists in one medium, the OA is not required to convert that public record to another medium, except that if the public record is only available in an electronic form, the OA must print it out on paper if the requester so requests.
The OA is not required to create a public record that does not already exist, nor is it required to compile, maintain, format, or organize a public record in a manner in which the manner in which the OA does not currently do so.
Duplication of Public Records.
The OA may make its duplication equipment available to a requester but require that the requester operate the equipment; assign agency staff to make the duplications; or contract for duplication services and require the requester to pay the applicable rate.