Following are guidelines are established by the South Western School District with regards to Act 3 of 2008, the new Right-To-Know law.

Appointment of a Right-To-Know Officer

The South Western School District shall appoint an open records officer to handle all compliance issues related to the Right-To-Know law. The Right-to-Know Officer (“RTK Officer”) shall:

  • Receive Right-To-Know requests submitted to the South Western School District.
  • Direct Right-To-Know requests to other appropriate persons within South Western School District or to appropriate persons in another agency.
  • Track the progress of the South Western School District in responding to requests in a timely manner.
  • Issue interim and final responses under this act.

Right-To-Know Requests

All Right-To-Know requests shall be submitted in writing to: Jeffrey A. Mummert, Right-To-Know Officer of the South Western School District, on the District’s Right-To-Know Written Request Form, or the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, Standard Right-To-Know Request Form (see link below).

Written requests may be:

  • E-mailed to righttoknow@southwesternsd.org, or
  • Faxed to (717) 521-2021, or
  • Sent by U.S. Mail to 225 Bowman Road, Hanover, PA 17331, or
  • Delivered in-person to 225 Bowman Road, Hanover, PA 17331.

If the requestor wishes to pursue the relief and remedies provided for in this act, the request for access must be in writing. The South Western School District will not accept verbal or written anonymous requests. A written request for information under the Right-To-Know Act does not need to include any explanation of the requestor’s reasons for requesting the information or the intended use of the information unless otherwise required by law.

Responses to Written Requests

The South Western School District will respond to all Right-To-Know requests, in writing, by issuing one of the following responses:

  • Granting the request;
  • Granting in Part/Denying in Part; or
  • Denying the request

The District may also issue a response that the record(s) requested cannot be produced within the five-day required period and exercise the ability to get a 30-day extension period to fulfill the request.

Fee Structure

Section 1307 of the Right-To-Know law requires the Office of Open Records to establish a fee structure for Commonwealth Agencies and Local Agencies. The law requires that the Office of Open Records review the fee structure biannually. Any updates to the fee structure based upon these reviews will be posted to their website. The South Western School District will review any changes in the fee structure promulgated by the Office of Open Records and incorporate the changes as necessary to remain in compliance.

Copies (a “photocopy” is either a single-sided copy or one side of a double-sided black-and-white copy of a standard 8.5” x 11” page)

$0.25 per page

Certification of a Record

$1 per record, not per page. Please note that Certification fees do not include notarization fees.

Specialized Documents (for example, but not limited to, blue prints, color copies, non-standard sized documents)

Actual Cost

Facsimile/Microfiche/Other Media

Actual Cost

Redaction Fee

No Redaction Fee May be Imposed

Conversion to Paper

If a record is only maintained electronically or in other non-paper media, duplication fees shall be limited to the lesser of the fee for duplication on paper or the fee for duplication in the original media unless the requester specifically requests for the record to be duplicated in the more expensive medium. (Sec. 1307(e)).

Postage Fees

Fees for Postage May Not Exceed the Actual Cost of Mailing

Inspection of Redacted Records: If a requestor wishes to inspect rather than receive a copy of a record and the record contains both public and non-public information, the South Western School District shall redact the non-public information. The South Western School District may not charge the requestor for the redaction. However, the South Western School District may charge for the copies it must make of the redacted material in order for the requestor to view the public record. The fee structure outlined above will apply. If, after inspecting the records, the requestor chooses to obtain the copies, no additional fee may be charged.

Fee Limitations: Except as otherwise provided by statute, the law states that no other fees may be imposed unless the South Western School District incurs costs for complying with the request, and such fees must be reasonable. No fee may be imposed for the South Western School District’s review of a record to determine whether the record is a public record, legislative record or financial record subject to access in accordance with this Act. No fee may be charged for searching for or retrieval of documents. The South Western School District may not charge staff time or salary for complying with a RTK request.

Prepayment: Prior to granting a request for access in accordance with this Act, the South Western School District may require the requestor to prepay an estimate of the fees authorized under this section if the fees required to fulfill the request are expected to exceed $100.

Note: Once the request is fulfilled and prepared for release, the South Western School District will follow the recommendation of the Office of Open Records to obtain the cost of the records prior to releasing   the records. This recommendation is designed to avoid situations in which the agency provides the records and the requestor fails to submit payment.

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