|July 8, 2021
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act, I hereby request the following records:
Any record evidencing the hiring or payment to any vendor or individual entity for purposes of compiling and/or processing data for the redistricting process
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Pennsylvania Right to Know Act request, copied below, and originally submitted on July 8, 2021. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
Good morning Mr. Drechsler,
What is the time frame of the records you are requesting?
Keisha C. Wright
Legislative Projects Coordinator
PA House of Representatives
521 Main Capitol Building
August 16, 2021
Dear Mr. Drechsler,
Thank you for writing to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives with your request for information pursuant to the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law (65 P.S. §§67.101 et seq.). On August 9, 2021, I received a Right-to-Know Law request from you for the following information: "Any record evidencing the hiring or payment to any vendor or individual entity for purposes of compiling and/or processing data for the redistricting process." This correspondence serves to inform you that your request is hereby answered as follows.
Your request is hereby denied. According section 703 of the Right-to-Know Law, requests for information should "identify or describe the records sought with sufficient specificity to enable the agency to ascertain which records are being requested." With regard to specificity, Pennsylvania courts have consistently upheld the position that research-based, discovery-type requests for records under the Right-to-Know Law are not specific enough. In Askew v. Office of the Governor (65 A.3d 989 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2013)), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that in order to meet requisite levels of specificity, Right-to-Know Law requests must include a reasonable timeframe for the records requested.
In an effort to clarify the timeframe from which you desired the requested records, House Right-to-Know Law Assistant Keisha Wright reached out to you via telephone on August 9, 2021, and via email on August 11, 2021. As of the date of this correspondence, you have not responded to either of these attempts to contact you for clarification. Accordingly, your request as instituted is insufficiently specific under the Right-to-Know Law, and a denial of access is appropriate.
If you choose to file an appeal to this denial, you must do so in writing to Mr. Anthony C. Aliano, Right-to-Know Appeals Officer, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 400 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120. Pursuant to section 1101, an appeal must be filed within 15 business days of the mailing date of this response.
Please note that you are welcome to resubmit this request with the addition of a reasonable timeframe for the requested records to our office at any time. This correspondence serves to close your request with our office as permitted by law.
Brooke I. Wheeler
Chief Clerk/Open Records Officer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives