|Submitted||Oct. 13, 2018|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act, I hereby request the following records:
- Any current or ongoing PADOC contract with GTL Friends
- Any current or ongoing contract with Smart Communications
For reference, the above-mentioned companies provide tablets and digitized mail services, respectively.
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.
Dear Ms. Ciaramella,
This response acknowledges receipt by the Department of Corrections of your written request for records under the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law (RTKL). Your request was received by this office on October 15, 2018.
To the extent that your requests for "Any current or ongoing PA DOC contract with GTL Friends" and "Any current or ongoing contract with Smart Communications" are for the attached contracts with Global Tel Link and Smart Communications, your request is granted. These contracts are attached to this email at no charge. Please be aware that these granted contracts have been redacted to protect nonpublic and sensitive data. Insofar as redaction constitutes a denial to records, the basis for the denials and instructions for filing exceptions are outlined below in accordance with the law. Confidential information has been redacted from these records for the following reasons:
* The requested records fall within the personal security exemption of the RTKL. 65 P.S. § 67.708(b)(1)(ii). That section exempts from access any record the disclosure of which would be reasonably likely to result in a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm to or the personal security of an individual. Id. See also Bargeron v. Department of Labor and Industry, 720 A.2d 500 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998); Weaver v. Department of Corrections, 702 A.2d 370 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1997).
* The requested records fall within an exemption of the RTKL. Specifically, the RTKL excludes records maintained by an agency in connection with law enforcement or other public safety activity that, if disclosed, would be reasonably likely to jeopardize or threaten public safety or preparedness or a public protection activity. 65 P.S. § 67.708(b)(2). The requested records are records maintained by the Department in connection with its official law enforcement function of supervising the incarceration of inmates. The disclosure of the requested records would threaten public safety and the Department's public protection activities in maintaining safe and secure correctional institutions by allowing inmates or others to access information that can be used to undermine the Department's security procedures. Therefore, disclosure of these types of records is excluded under the RTKL. Weaver v. Department of Corrections, 702 A.2d 370 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1997).
* The requested records fall within the criminal investigation exemption of the RTKL. Specifically, the RTKL exempts from disclosure records of an agency relating to or resulting in a criminal investigation, including, but not limited to: complaints of potential criminal conduct other than a private criminal complaint; investigative materials, notes, correspondence, videos and reports; records that include the identity of a confidential source or the identity of a suspect who has not been charged with an offense to whom confidentiality has been promised; records that includes information made confidential by law or court order; victim information, including any information that would jeopardize the safety of the victim; and records that, if disclosed, would reveal the institution, progress or result of a criminal investigation, except the filing of criminal charges, deprive a person of the right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, impair the ability to locate a defendant or codefendant, hinder an agency's ability to secure an arrest, prosecution or conviction or endanger the life or physical safety of an individual. 65 P.S. § 67.708(b)(16). Your request implicates such information and access is denied.
* The requested records fall within the noncriminal investigation exemption of the RTKL. Specifically, the RTKL exempts from disclosure records of an agency relating to a noncriminal investigation, including, but not limited to: complaints submitted to an agency; investigative materials, notes, correspondence and reports; records that include the identity of a confidential source, including individuals subject to the act of December 12, 1986 (P.L. 1559, No. 169), known as the Whistleblower Law; records that include information made confidential by law; work papers underlying an audit; and records that, if disclosed, would reveal the institution, progress or result of an agency investigation, deprive a person of the right to an impartial adjudication; constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy, hinder an agency's ability to secure an administrative or civil sanction, or endanger the life or physical safety of an individual. 65 P.S. § 67.708(b)(17). See Amro v Office of AG, 783 A.2d 897, (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001); Senk v. Commonwealth, 521 A.2d 532 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987). Your request implicates such information and access is denied.
· The RTKL exempts personal identification information from disclosure. 65 P.S. § 67.708(b)(6). Personal identification information includes, but is not limited to a person's Social Security number, driver's license number, personal financial information, home, cellular or personal telephone numbers, personal e-mail addresses, employee number or other confidential personal identification number, a spouse's name, marital status, beneficiary or dependent information or the home address of a law enforcement officer or judge. Id. Your request implicates such personal identification information and access is denied.
· The RTKL exempts from disclosure records that constitute or reveal trade secrets or confidential proprietary information. 65 P.S. § 67.708(b)(11). Your request implicates such information and access is denied.
· The RTKL exempts from disclosure: proposals pertaining to agency procurement or disposal of supplies, services or construction prior to the award of the contract or prior to the opening and rejection of all bids; financial information of a bidder or offeror requested in an invitation for bid or request for proposals to demonstrate the bidder's or offeror's economic capability; or the identity of members, notes and other records of agency proposal evaluation committees established under 62 Pa.C.S. § 513 (relating to competitive sealed proposals). 65 P.S. § 67.708(b)(26); Procurement Handbook, Part I, Chapter 50. Your request implicates such information and access is denied.
To the extent that your requests for "Any current or ongoing PA DOC contract with GTL Friends" and "Any current or ongoing contract with Smart Communications" are for contracts other than the attached contracts with Global Tel Link and Smart Communications, your request is denied for the following reason:
* The record(s) that you requested do not currently exist. When responding to a request for access, an agency is not required to create a record which does not currently exist or to compile, format or organize a public record in a manner in which it does not currently compile, format or organize the public record. 65 P.S. § 67.705; See Moore v. Office of Open Records, 992 A.2d 907, 909 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010)("The Department cannot grant access to a record that does not exist. Because under the current RTKL the Department cannot be made to create a record which does not exist, the OOR properly denied [the] ... appeal."); See also Bargeron v. Department of Labor and Industry, 720 A.2d 500 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1998). See also McGowan v. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 103 A.3d 374, 382-83 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014) ("In the absence of any competent evidence that the agency acted in bad faith or that the agency records exist, "the averments in the [d]epartment's affidavits should be accepted as true.").
You have a right to appeal this denial of information in writing to the Executive Director, Office of Open Records (OOR), 333 Market Street, 16th Floor, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101. If you choose to file an appeal you must do so within 15 business days of the mailing date of this response and send to the OOR:
1) this response; 2) your request; and 3) the reason why you think the agency is wrong in its reasons for saying that the record is not public (a statement that addresses any ground stated by the agency for the denial). If the agency gave several reasons why the record is not public, state which ones you think were wrong.
Also, the OOR has an appeal form available on the OOR website at:
Andrew Filkosky | Agency Open Records Officer
Department of Corrections | Office of Chief Counsel
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Phone: 717.728.7770 | Fax: 717.728.0312
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