A. Authorization



I. Appellate records



5. Waiting for a response.

The appeals officer is required to make a “final determination” that must be mailed to the requester and agency “within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.” Section 1101(b)(1). If the appeals officer fails to do so, “the appeal is deemed denied.” Section 1101(b)(2).         The appeals officer is required to do the following:

1.        Set a schedule for the requester and open records officer to submit documents in support of their positions;

2.        Review all information filed relating to the request;

3.        Consult with agency counsel as appropriate;

a. Necessity

Neither the Pennsylvania Shield Law nor the First Amendment privilege direct, require or suggest that the court conduct an in camera review of materials. The Third Circuit, however, has affirmed a district court's order compelling in camera review of a reporter's notes in a criminal trial when the defendant's subpoena complied with the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the information was not available from another source. See United States v. Cuthbertson, 630 F.2d 139, 148 (3d Cir. 1980) (Cuthbertson I).

F. Contracts, proposals and bids.

The Act specifically states that “contracts” are public records unless subject to an exemption. Sections 301-303 (requiring access to public records); 102 (definition of “public record” and “financial record”). This requirement is virtually identical to the old act. See, e.g., Dep’t of Conservation and Nat. Res. v. Office of Open Records, 1 A.3d 929, 940-41 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010) (approvingly citing interpretations of the “contracts” language in the old Act); Envirotest Partners v. Commonwealth Dep’t of Transp., 664 A.2d 208, 212 (Pa. Commw. Ct.


(This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)

(2). To whom notice is given. M1E3B2

The reason for holding an executive session must be announced at the open meeting occurring “immediately prior or subsequent to the executive session.” 65 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 708(b). If the session is not announced for a specific future time, the Act requires that agency members receive 24 hours notice of the time, date and place of the meeting and the purpose of the executive session. Id.

H. Post-trial records



a. Attorney fees.

(This section is blank. See the point above.)