State open records office rules for release of Pittsburgh Amazon bid

State open records office rules for release of Pittsburgh Amazon bid

City, Allegheny county "believe it to be in the best interests of Pittsburgh to file a legal appeal" of ruling

On the heels of being named a finalist, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records ruled that both Pittsburgh and Allegheny County must release their Amazon proposals to the public.

The ruling came after local television reporter Paul Van Osdol, who works for Pittsburgh ABC affiliate WTAE, filed right-to-know requests with both the city and county for the contents of their proposals to attract the multi-billion dollar online retail chain’s second headquarters.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Rotunda Ramblings - Episode 19

Rotunda Ramblings - Episode 19

This week's podcast features an interview with Erik Arneson, director of the Office of Open Records.

We talk about trends in open record laws, things the office has been up to, and the office's new website!

You can listen to the episode HERE.

Friday, July 22, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: Features

Supreme Court: Governor overstepped authority in removing Arneson from open records post

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Gov. Tom Wolf overstepped his authority in removing Erik Arneson from his appointed post of Executive Director of the Office of Open Records.

In so holding, the court said it is writing not only to endorse the Commonwealth Court opinion keeping Arneson at his post, but also to amplify the holding in terms of the independence of the Office of Open Records.

“It is undisputed that the OOR, with its Executive Director at the helm, is a unique administrative agency tasked with applying the standards established in the RTKL and making decisions about whether government agencies and officials, including the executive branch and the office of the Governor, have acted timely, carried their burden of establishing why a record is not subject to public access, as well as myriad other issues,” the opinion by Justice Max Baer stated.  

“We view the Commonwealth Court’s analysis in this case to rest on the OOR’s status as a unique, independent agency charged with the delicate task of applying the RTKL, and the need to insulate the OOR and its Executive Director from the potential for coercive influence from a Governor to accomplish the purpose of the RTKL."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Right to Know Law update bill clears Senate

Right to Know Law update bill clears Senate

The Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 411, legislation introduced by Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) that would make substantial updates to Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law.

Sen. Pileggi was the prime sponsor of the current Right to Know Law’s implementing legislation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Did porngate email spotlight lead to new open records requirement?

Beginning last summer as an outgrowth of the Moulton investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case and continuing this fall with the controversy surrounding Attorney General Kathleen Kane, the once-deleted and later discovered pornographic and lewd emails sent between state employees and officials has put a new spotlight on how emails are stored in agency servers.

The Commonwealth Court in an unreported opinion Wednesday at least hinted that the spotlight caused by the controversial emails and ensuing fallout led to their conclusion that an agency must search its servers to determine whether potentially deleted emails exist before denying a Right to Know request on the basis of the emails not existing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views