How does the Process Work?
- A Citizen determines who the Open Records Officer for the specific agency is and if the Agency has a right-to-know request form.
- After determining what information they wish to request, the Citizen files it (by Fax, Email, In person or U.S. Mail) with the Agency in question.
- The day after the request is received during regular business hours begins the 5 day response time for the agency.
Example: You file a request on Tuesday at 4:00PM with Upper Darby Township. The "5 Day Response Time" begins on Wednesday (not on Tuesday).
- The Agency has five business days to respond in writing as whether to:
- If the Agency does not respond to the request within the 5 days, the request is deemed "denied*".
- The Agency may charge appropriate fees if the citizen requests copies of the records. In the case of Upper Darby Township, the fee is $0.25 per page of a regular copy.
- Should the total charge of the copies for the request be expected to exceed $100.00, the agency is allow to request this be prepaid
* Record Denial
If the Agency denies the request, the denial will be issued in writing and will include the description of the record request, the specific reasoning for the denial, contact information of the open records officer of the agency, date of the response as well as the procedure for an appeal.
** 30-day Extension
Reasoning for a 30-day Extension may include (but is not limited to): Record Redaction, Off-site Record Storage, Legal Review, Refusal of Fee Payment, Scope of Request precludes a response within the required time period
- Make sure that information you're requesting isn't already available on the Township Website. While the Township will still fulfill your RTK request, if the information is already freely available on this website, it can save your time, the Townships time and taxpayer money.
- Be specific and concise when request records: "Identify as specifically as you can the records you want, so that an Agency can quickly locate them and determine whether they are public record."
- Determine whether the information is exempt from the RTK Law.
- Decide whether you truly need physical copies of the documents or wish to save yourself the expense by Inspecting the Records.
- Confirm that you have filled out the request form properly. It's always a good idea to double check the information.
Section 708. Exceptions for public records.
(b) Exceptions. — Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d), the following are exempt from access by a requester under this act:
- (1) A record the disclosure of which:
- would result in the loss of Federal or State funds by an agency or the Commonwealth; or
- would be reasonably likely to result in a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm to or the personal security of an individual.
- (2) A record maintained by an agency in connection with the military, homeland security, national defense, law enforcement or other public safety activity that if disclosed would be reasonably likely to jeopardize or threaten public safety or preparedness or public protection activity or a record that is designated classified by an appropriate Federal or State military authority.
- (3) A record, the disclosure of which creates a reasonable likelihood of endangering the safety or the physical security of a building, public utility, resource, infrastructure, facility or information storage system, which may include:
- documents or data relating to computer hardware, source files, software and system networks that could jeopardize computer security by exposing a vulnerability in preventing, protecting against, mitigating or responding to a terrorist act;
- lists of infrastructure, resources and significant special events, including those defined by the Federal Government in the National Infrastructure Protections, which are deemed critical due to their nature and which result from risk analysis; threat assessments; consequences assessments; antiterrorism protective measures and plans; counterterrorism measures and plans; and security and response needs assessments; and
- building plans or infrastructure records that expose or create vulnerability through disclosure of the location, configuration or security of critical systems, including public utility systems, structural elements, technology, communication, electrical, fire suppression, ventilation, water, wastewater, sewage and gas systems.
- (4) A record regarding computer hardware, software and networks, including administrative or technical records, which, if disclosed, would be reasonably likely to jeopardize computer security.
- (5) A record of an individual's medical, psychiatric or psychological history or disability status, including an evaluation, consultation, prescription, diagnosis or treatment; results of tests, including drug tests; enrollment in a health care program or program designed for participation by persons with disabilities, including vocation rehabilitation, workers' compensation and unemployment compensation; or related information that would disclose individually identifiable health information.
- The following personal identification information:
- A record containing all or part of a person's Social Security number; driver's license number; personal financial information; home, cellular or personal telephone numbers; personal e- mail addresses; employee number or other confidential personal identification number.
- A spouse's name; marital status, beneficiary or dependent information.
- The home address of a law enforcement officer or judge.
- Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the release of the name, position, salary, actual compensation or other payments or expenses, employment contract, employment-related contract or agreement and length of service of a public official or an agency employee.
- An agency may redact the name or other identifying information relating to an individual performing an undercover or covert law enforcement activity from a record.
- (7) The following records relating to an agency employee:
- A letter of reference or recommendation pertaining to the character or qualifications of an identifiable individual, unless it was prepared in relation to the appointment of an individual to fill a vacancy in an elected office or an appointed office requiring Senate confirmation.
- A performance rating or review.
- The result of a civil service or similar test administered by a Commonwealth agency, legislative agency or judicial agency. The result of a civil service or similar test administered by a local agency shall not be disclosed if restricted by a collective bargaining agreement. Only test scores of individuals who obtained a passing score on a test administered by a local agency may be disclosed.
- The employment application of an individual who is not hired by the agency.
- Workplace support services program information.
- Written criticisms of an employee.
- Grievance material, including documents related to discrimination or sexual harassment.
- Information regarding discipline, demotion or discharge contained in a personnel file. This subparagraph shall not apply to the final action of an agency that results in demotion or discharge.
- An academic transcript.
- A record pertaining to strategy or negotiations relating to labor relations or collective bargaining and related arbitration proceedings. This subparagraph shall not apply to a final or executed contract or agreement between the parties in a collective bargaining procedure.
- In the case of the arbitration of a dispute or grievance under a collective bargaining agreement, an exhibit entered into evidence at an arbitration proceeding, a transcript of the arbitration or the opinion. This subparagraph shall not apply to the final award or order of the arbitrator in a dispute or grievance procedure.
- (9) The draft of a bill, resolution, regulation, statement of policy, management directive, ordinance or amendment thereto prepared by or for an agency.
- A record that reflects:
- The internal, predecisional deliberations of an agency, its members, employees or officials or predecisional deliberations between agency members, employees or officials and members, employees or officials of another agency, including predecisional deliberations relating to a budget recommendation, legislative proposal, legislative amendment, contemplated or proposed policy or course of action or any research, memos or other documents used in the predecisional deliberations.
- The strategy to be used to develop or achieve the successful adoption of a budget, legislative proposal or regulation.
- Subparagraph (i)(A) shall apply to agencies subject to 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings) in a manner consistent with 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7. A record which is not otherwise exempt from access under this act and which is presented to a quorum for deliberation in accordance with 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 shall be a public record.
- This paragraph shall not apply to a written or Internet application or other document that has been submitted to request Commonwealth funds.
- This paragraph shall not apply to the results of public opinion surveys, polls, focus groups, marketing research or similar effort designed to measure public opinion.
- (11) A record that constitutes or reveals a trade secret or confidential proprietary information.
- (12) Notes and working papers prepared by or for a public official or agency employee used solely for that official's or employee's own personal use, including telephone message slips, routing slips and other materials that do not have an official purpose.
- (13) Records that would disclose the identity of an individual who lawfully makes a donation to an agency unless the donation is intended for or restricted to providing remuneration or personal tangible benefit to a named public official or employee of the agency, including lists of potential donors compiled by an agency to pursue donations, donor profile information or personal identifying information relating to a donor.
- (14) Unpublished lecture notes, unpublished manuscripts, unpublished articles, creative works in progress, research- related material and scholarly correspondence of a community college or an institution of the State System of Higher Education or a faculty member, staff employee, guest speaker or student thereof.
- Academic transcripts
- Examinations, examination questions, scoring keys or answers to examinations. This subparagraph shall include licensing and other examinations relating to the qualifications of an individual and to examinations given in primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.
- (16) A record of an agency relating to or resulting in a criminal investigation, including:
- Complaints of potential criminal conduct other than a private criminal complaint.
- Investigative materials, notes, correspondence, videos and reports.
- A record that includes the identity of a confidential source or the identity of a suspect who has not been charged with an offense to whom confidentiality has been promised.
- A record that includes information made confidential by law or court order.
- Victim information, including any information that would jeopardize the safety of the victim.
- A record that, if disclosed, would do any of the following:
- Reveal the institution, progress or result of a criminal investigation, except the filing of criminal charges.
- Deprive a person of the right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication.
- Impair the ability to locate a defendant or codefendant.
- Hinder an agency's ability to secure an arrest, prosecution or conviction.
- Endanger the life or physical safety of an individual.
- This paragraph shall not apply to information contained in a police blotter as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 9102 (relating to definitions) and utilized or maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police, local, campus, transit or port authority police department or other law enforcement agency or in a traffic report except as provided under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3754(b) (relating to accident prevention investigations).
- (17) A record of an agency relating to a noncriminal investigation, including:
- Complaints submitted to an agency.
- Investigative materials, notes, correspondence and reports.
- A record that includes the identity of a confidential source, including individuals subject to the act of December 12, 1986 (P.L.1559, No.169), known as the Whistleblower Law.
- A record that includes information made confidential by law.
- Work papers underlying an audit.
- A record that, if disclosed, would do any of the following:
- Reveal the institution, progress or result of an agency investigation, except the imposition of a fine or civil penalty, the suspension, modification or revocation of a license, permit, registration, certification or similar authorization issued by an agency or an executed settlement agreement unless the agreement is determined to be confidential by a court.
- Deprive a person of the right to an impartial adjudication.
- Constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
- Hinder an agency's ability to secure an administrative or civil sanction.
- Endanger the life or physical safety of an individual.
- Records or parts of records, except time response logs, pertaining to audio recordings, telephone or radio transmissions received by emergency dispatch personnel, including 911 recordings.
- This paragraph shall not apply to a 911 recording, or a transcript of a 911 recording, if the agency or a court determines that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the interest in nondisclosure.
- (19) DNA and RNA records.
- (20) An autopsy record of a coroner or medical examiner and any audiotape of a postmortem examination or autopsy, or a copy, reproduction or facsimile of an autopsy report, a photograph, negative or print, including a photograph or videotape of the body or any portion of the body of a deceased person at the scene of death or in the course of a postmortem examination or autopsy taken or made by or caused to be taken or made by the coroner or medical examiner. This exception shall not limit the reporting of the name of the deceased individual and the cause and manner of death.
- Draft minutes of any meeting of an agency until the next regularly scheduled meeting of the agency.
- Minutes of an executive session and any record of discussions held in executive session.
- The contents of real estate appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates, environmental reviews, audits or evaluations made for or by an agency relative to the following:
- The leasing, acquiring or disposing of real property or an interest in real property.
- The purchase of public supplies or equipment included in the real estate transaction.
- Construction projects.
- This paragraph shall not apply once the decision is made to proceed with the lease, acquisition or disposal of real property or an interest in real property or the purchase of public supply or construction project.
- (23) Library and archive circulation and order records of an identifiable individual or groups of individuals.
- (24) Library archived and museum materials, or valuable or rare book collections or documents contributed by gift, grant, bequest or devise, to the extent of any limitations imposed by the donor as a condition of the contribution.
- (25) A record identifying the location of an archeological site or an endangered or threatened plant or animal species if not already known to the general public.
- (26) A proposal pertaining to agency procurement or disposal of supplies, services or construction prior to the award of the contract or prior to the opening and rejection of all bids; financial information of a bidder or offeror requested in an invitation for bid or request for proposals to demonstrate the bidder's or offeror's economic capability; or the identity of members, notes and other records of agency proposal evaluation committees established under 62 Pa.C.S. § 513 (relating to competitive sealed proposals).
- (27) A record or information relating to a communication between an agency and its insurance carrier, administrative service organization or risk management office. This paragraph shall not apply to a contract with an insurance carrier, administrative service organization or risk management office or to financial records relating to the provision of insurance.
- (28) A record or information:
- identifying an individual who applies for or receives social services; or
- relating to the following:
- the type of social services received by an individual;
- an individual's application to receive social services, including a record or information related to an agency decision to grant, deny, reduce or restrict benefits, including a quasi-judicial decision of the agency and the identity of a caregiver or others who provide services to the individual; or
- (C) eligibility to receive social services, including the individual's income, assets, physical or mental health, age, disability, family circumstances or record of abuse.
- (29) Correspondence between a person and a member of the General Assembly and records accompanying the correspondence which would identify a person that requests assistance or constituent services. This paragraph shall not apply to correspondence between a member of the General Assembly and a principal or lobbyist under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 13A (relating to lobbyist disclosure).
- (30) A record identifying the name, home address or date of birth of a child 17 years of age or younger.
(c) Financial records. — The exceptions set forth in subsection (b) shall not apply to financial records, except that an agency may redact that portion of a financial record protected under subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (16) or (17). An agency shall not disclose the identity of an individual performing an undercover or covert law enforcement activity.
(d) Aggregated data. — The exceptions set forth in subsection (b) shall not apply to aggregated data maintained or received by an agency, except for data protected under subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5).
(e) Construction. — In determining whether a record is exempt from access under this section, an agency shall consider and apply each exemption separately.
Open Standards Information
It should be noted that many of Upper Darby Townships documents are only kept in (Non-Electronic) Paper Formats and are unavailable except in that medium. If a requester wishes a document be provided that is kept in an electronic format and not exempt from the law, we will provide it in the PDF Format, since this is the only Internationally Agreed Upon Open Standard for these types of documents that Upper Darby Township currently uses.
Portable Document Format (PDF) was officially released as an open standard on July 1, 2008, and published by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO/IEC 32000-1:2008). You can learn more about the PDF Standard at the Adobe PDF Technology Center.
You can learn more about open standards at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Open Source Initiative
In the future, after careful research, analysis and review, Upper Darby Township hopes to implement many other Open Standards for document distribution, such as XML.
All dates used on the site conform to ISO 8601, which is an international standard covering the exchange of date and time-related data. All dates are in the format of YYYY-MM-DD.
The only information that is required is your first and last name (so we know who the information is for when you come to pick it up) your email address (so we may contact you), the request itself and how you'd like the information (inspect the records and/or get copies). The other information is requested, should we need to contact you in the event of an extension or if another issue may arise, but is not required information.
You can submit by:
- Mail to: Upper Darby Township, 100 Garrett Road – Room 206, Upper Darby, PA 19082-3135. Mailed requests must be enclosed in an envelope and labeled: Right to Know Request. Attention: Chief Administrative Officer.
- Fax to 610-734-7709, please label the cover letter: Right to Know Request. Attention: Chief Administrative Officer.
- Coming In Person directly to the CAO Office at 100 Garrett Road – Room 206.
Yes. You will be charged the fee of the actual postage.
Just as it says on the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records How to File an Appeal web page:
To file an appeal under the Right-to-Know law, a citizen must provide the following:
- A copy of the RTK request
- A copy of the Agency’s response (or a written statement that the request was deemed denied meaning the Agency didn’t respond at all).
- State the grounds they assert this is a public record
- Address any ground stated by the agency
You must provide this within 15 business days from the date that the Agency [Upper Darby Township] mailed to you a denial letter or the date that the request was “deemed denied.” When an agency does not respond to you in writing with five business days of your written RTK request that request is “deemed denied.” If an agency did not respond, please indicate this in writing.
You must provide the required information no later than the 15th business day or your appeal will be untimely under the law and therefore cannot be processed. If that time frame has expired, or will expire, before you provide to us the required information, you will have to file another RTK request with the Agency.
When we receive your completed file, we will assign a docket number, send you a an acknowledgment letter and assign an Appeals Officer to process your appeal.
Appeals should be sent to the Office of Open Records, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North St., 4th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225. They may also be submitted via facsimile to 717-425-5343 or via email.