Report finds most agencies field few open records requests

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A new report on the costs of Pennsylvania’s primary law governing public access to records and information says most agencies receive few if any requests and only a fraction of them are appealed.

The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee report issued Tuesday says more than half of the agencies surveyed spent less than $500 annually dealing with open records requests.

The committee says some governmental bodies have lawyers review every request they field, adding costs.

Auditors say about 40 percent of the anonymous requests they made for agency budgets were ignored or turned down, even though it’s indisputably a public record.

The report recommends amending state law to mandate better training and improved compliance with requirements that government agencies post information about making requests on websites.

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