Bills to expand open records, transparency at state-related universities in works

Bills to expand open records, transparency at state-related universities in works

Try to obtain information on salaries of administrators at the University of Pittsburgh, or conflicts of interest of Temple University trustees, and a curious Pennsylvanian will hit dead ends.

But a co-sponsor memo from three western Pennsylvania House Republicans would try and push forward with oft talked about but still unachieved transparency reforms that would open up such information on Pennsylvania’s state-related university system to the public.

Thursday, March 22, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Pittsburgh to defend Amazon bid privacy in court

Pittsburgh to defend Amazon bid privacy in court

In a press release, the city, Allegheny county, and the Allegheny Conference jointly announced that they filed a court appeal to the state Office of Open Records’ order that their bid become public. 

“The proposal submitted by PGHQ2 was a collective effort by multiple local stakeholders, including the county and city,” the release said. “In addition to the legal arguments, releasing the proposal would put our region at a competitive disadvantage.” 

Friday, February 23, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: Pittsburgh
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