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The original item was published from March 24, 2020 1:25 PM to March 24, 2020 1:31 PM
Did you know that you had a right to know?
The Right-To-Know law was signed in 2008 and took effect January 1, 2009. Westmoreland County has many ways in which citizens can access their right to know. Right-To-Know information can be found on our county website, including an online request form. You can fill out and save the form to your computer and then email it directly to the Open Records Officer, Lucy Yakulis.
Open Records Request
Submit a Form
An Online Request Form has been provided and may be submitted by any of the following methods:
Note: Before submitting the above Records Request Form, please note that the law allows citizens open access to records about the operations and running of the County; court records are not included (Clerk of Courts, Register of Wills, Prothonotary, etc.) You should also check to see if the information you seek is available through the county's existing Public Record Searches. .
The State of PA’s open records website provides the detailed information regarding the law. An excerpt of that information is below:
WHAT IS COVERED BY THE LAW: Records, not Questions
Make sure when you file a RTK request, you are seeking records and not just asking questions. The law governs release of records, not answering questions.
A record is defined as “any information regardless of its physical form or character that documents a transaction or activity of an agency AND is created, received, or retained pursuant to law OR in connection with a transaction, business or activity of an agency.” AND is created, received, or retained pursuant to law OR in connection with a transaction, business or activity of an agency.”
Records can take many forms, including papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, film or sound recordings, information stored or maintained electronically and a data-processed or image-processed documents. Note that e-mails can also be a form of public records, subject to any exceptions.
EXCEPTIONS: Protects Certain Information From Disclosure
All agency records are subject to the Right-to-Know Law, however not all records are public records. The law contains 30 exceptions, cited in Section 708, that permit an Agency to withhold records. An Agency may deny release of a record if it falls within one of the 30 exceptions designed to protect information that is confidential or may jeopardize safety or investigations. Types of records that can be withheld include records related to personal or public security, DNA/RNA records, autopsy records, social security numbers, personal financial information, personal email addresses, marital status, identity of a covert law enforcement officer, home address of judges or law enforcement, confidential source records, victim information.
Find more detailed information regarding the open records law from the state of Pennsylvania.