Requesting Upper Saucon Township Records
SECTION 1: PURPOSE
The purpose of the Upper Saucon Township Right to Know Law Policy (the “Policy”) is to assure compliance with Act 3 of 2008, the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law, as amended; to provide access to public records of Upper Saucon Township (the “Township”), to preserve the integrity of the Township’s records, and to minimize the financial impact to the Township regarding the resources utilized in the receipt and processing of public record requests and the retrieval and copying of public records.
SECTION 2: PUBLIC RECORDS
A “Public Record” is defined as any record, including financial records, of a Commonwealth or local agency that is not exempt under Section 708 of Act 3 of 2008, is not exempt from being disclosed under any other Federal or State law or regulation or judicial order or decree, or is not protected by a privilege or exemption.
Records are also information, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that document a transaction or activity of an agency and that is created, received, or retained pursuant to law or in connection with a transaction, business or activity of the Township. The term includes a document, paper, letter, map, book, tape, photograph, e-mail, text message, film or sound recording, information stored or maintained electronically and a data-processed or image-processed document.
A “Police Record” is defined as any record – either criminal or non-criminal – in the care of the Township’s Police Department that is created or maintained by the Township’s Police Department that is not exempt under Section 708 of Act 3 of 2008, is not exempt from being disclosed under any other Federal or State law or regulation or judicial order or decree or is not protected by a privilege or exemption.
SECTION 3: INSPECTION
As soon as practical, all documents deemed public records shall be available for inspection. Certain public records may take time to gather, review, log, redact (if necessary), and duplicate. These records will typically be provided within five business days of the request unless there is a need for an extra thirty calendar day extension.
SECTION 4: DESIGNATED OPEN RECORDS OFFICER
The Township designates the Assistant Township Manager as the Agency Open Records Officer (the “AORO”) responsible for handling all open records requests, except those relating to Police Records. To address the unique nature of Police Records, the Township’s Chief of Police will serve as the Agency Police Records Officer (the “Police Records AORO”). No other Township officials, employees, or contractors shall be designated as AOROs or hold similar titles. The AORO and Police Records AORO have the authority to designate other employees or third parties to help process requests for accessing public records. Any requests submitted to the AORO that are clearly Police Records or intended for the Police Records AORO shall be forwarded to the Police AORO and any response shall be issued by the Police Records AORO.
The AORO may be reached at:
Upper Saucon Township
Attn: Assistant Township Manager
5500 Camp Meeting Road
Center Valley, PA 18034
Telephone: 610-282-1171 ext. 1222
The Police Records AORO may be reached at:
Upper Saucon Township Police Department
Attn: Chief of Police
5500 Camp Meeting Road
Center Valley, PA 18034
Upon receipt of an open records request, the AORO or Police Records AORO shall:
1. Note the date of receipt on the written request.
2. Compute the day on which the five business day period will expire and make a notation of that date on the written request.
3. Maintain an electronic or paper copy of a written request, including all documents submitted with the request, until the request has been fulfilled. If the request is denied, the written request shall be maintained for thirty days or, if an appeal is filed, until a final determination is issued or the appeal is deemed denied.
SECTION 5: OPEN RECORDS REQUEST
Requests for access to records shall be made in writing, email, in person, or facsimile by a legal resident of the United States and to the Township’s AORO or the Police Records AORO on the Commonwealth’s Right-To-Know request form. A copy of the Commonwealth’s Right-To-Know request form is attached hereto, made a part hereof and identified as Exhibit “A”. The Township will only accept written requests submitted in person, by mail, by e-mail, or by facsimile. Requests submitted by any other means will not be accepted. All written requests must identify or describe the records sought with sufficient specificity to enable the Township to ascertain which records are being requested and shall include the name, mailing address and contact information to which the Township should address its response; a request lacking any of these items shall be denied in full. A request need not include any explanation of the requester’s reason for requesting or intended use of the records.
SECTION 6: REDACTION
While the Township will disclose public records subject to access, the Township is not required to synthesize, compile, maintain, format, create, or organize records in response to a request. When a public record exists, the Township will separate and exclude any records which are not public records, or which are otherwise excluded, privileged, or exempted from the definition of public records. If information which is not subject to access is an integral part of a public record and cannot be separated, the Township shall redact from the public record the information which is not subject to access, and the response shall grant access only to the information which is subject to access.
SECTION 7: RESPONSE
The Township shall make a good faith effort to provide the requested public record(s) as promptly as possible. The AORO or Police Records AORO shall cooperate with those requesting to review and/or duplicate original Township documents while taking reasonable measures to protect Township documents from the possibility of theft, damage, and/or modification. Items protected by copyright or deemed intellectual property may be withheld from duplication and may be subject to in-person review only by the requester.
The AORO or Police Records AORO shall review all properly submitted requests for access to public records. Within five business days from the date the request is received, the AORO or Police Records AORO will 1) provide the records requested; 2) deny the request by notifying the requester in writing; or 3) send a written notice that the records cannot be provided within the five business days. If it is found that the request cannot be fulfilled within 5 business days, a notice will be given with a specific date indicating when the records will be available. However, this extended timeframe will not exceed thirty calendar days unless agreed to by both the Township and the requester. If the due date falls on a weekend or a Township recognized holiday, the response will be due on the next business day. If no response is made within five business days of receipt of written request, the request shall be deemed denied.
SECTION 8: FEES
Fees for duplication of public records shall be as follows:
a. Photocopying Per Page
i. Black and White Copies (first 1,000) $0.25
ii. Black and White Copies (beyond 1,000) $0.20
iii. Color Copies $0.50
b. Formatted Computer Disk $1.00
c. Certification of any document $5.00 per record
d. Postage or express mail charges to respond to Actual cost
request for public record by forwarding records incurred by
to requester Township
e. Flash Drive Actual cost incurred by Township
Fees must be paid by cash, certified check or money order. Certified checks and money orders must be made payable to: “Upper Saucon Township.” The Township shall require pre-payment if the total fees are estimated to exceed $100.00. The Township reserves the right to waive fees that it deems are de minimis.
SECTION 9: DENIALS
If The Township denies a written request for information, whether in full or in part, a written response will be sent by the AORO or Police Records AORO to the requester with 1) a description of the record requested; 2) the specific reasons for denial, including a citation of supporting authority; 3) contact information for the appropriate Open Records Officer; 4) date of response; and 5) procedure to appeal the denial.
The Township shall have the right to deny a requester access to a record if any of the following situations apply:
a. The requester fails to fully comply with the regulations and procedures set forth in this Policy.
b. The requester’s refusal to pay applicable fees authorized by the Right-To-Know Law. The Township will not process new requests for access until the requester has paid all applicable fees relating to previous requests.
c. The requested record/document is protected by privilege.
d. The requested record/document is exempt from disclosure under any federal or state law, regulation or judicial order or decree.
e. The requested record/document is a disruptive request which places an unreasonable burden on the Township. Repeated requests for the same document will be deemed disruptive.
f. When timely access is not possible due to fire, flood or other disaster.
g. The record is exempt from access by a requester under the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law (Act 3 of 2008).
h. Denial of the request for access is authorized by state or federal statute or case law.
SECTION 10: CONTACT INFORMATION FOR APPEALS
If a written request is denied or deemed denied, the requester may file an appeal in writing. Information on filing an appeal shall be listed in the correspondence from the Township.
Appeals of denials related to requests for records other than criminal records must be directed to the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records:
Office of Open Records
333 Market Street, 16th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101-2234
Appeals can also be filed online at the Office of Open Records website, https://www.openrecords.pa.gov.
Appeals of denials related to requests for criminal records must be directed to the District Attorney of Lehigh County:
District Attorney of Lehigh County
455 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101.
SECTION 11: APPEALS PROCESS
The appeal shall be filed within fifteen business days of the date of the Township’s response or within fifteen business days of a deemed denial. If a requester specifically asks for printed records to be sent by mail, they must wait for a period of three mailing days from the date they should receive the Township’s response before filing an appeal. Failing to observe this waiting period will lead to the Office of Open Records rejecting the appeal on the grounds of being untimely. The appeal shall state the grounds upon which the requester asserts the record is a public record, a copy of the original request, and shall address any grounds stated by the Township for denying the request.
SECTION 12: POSTING OF OPEN RECORDS REGULATIONS
The following information shall be posted at the Township’s building of operations and on the Township’s website: 1) contact information for both the AORO and Police Records AORO,
2) the form to be used to file a request; and 3) the regulations contained in this Policy for processing requests to examine and/or copy public records maintained by the Township.
SECTION 13: REPEALER
All Resolutions or parts of Resolutions in conflict with the provisions of this Resolution are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.
SECTION 14: EFFECTIVE DATE
This Resolution shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until modified or rescinded by the Upper Saucon Township Board of Supervisors.
NOTE: You may download a copy of this document here: Resolution 2023-17
You may download a pdf version of the OOR’s Standard RTK Request Form here: RTKLpdf
You may download a Microsoft Word version of the OOR’s Standard RTK Request Form here: RTKLdoc
Transparency in Coverage Rule
This link leads to the machine readable files that are made available in response to the federal Transparency in Coverage Rule and includes negotiated service rates and out-of-network allowed amounts between health plans and healthcare providers. The machine-readable files are formatted to allow researchers, regulators, and application developers to more easily access and analyze data.
Note: This link is provided by Capital Blue Cross and is their legal responsibility to manage and maintain the machine readable files.