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Right-To-Know Law

The Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law (RTKL) is designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (Department) supports a citizen's right to know how the Department conducts business on their behalf.  

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (Department), pursuant to the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law, 65 P.S.§§ 67.101 - 67.3104 (RTKL), sets forth this policy governing requests for copies of public records within its possession, custody, or control.

What constitutes a public record?

The definition of "public record" excludes records that are specifically exempt from disclosure under other state laws, such as section 306 of the Older Adults Protective Services Act, 35 P.S. §10225.306. This provision broadly prohibits the Department from disclosing older adult protective services records in its possession.

Submitting a Request

Open Records Officer

The Department has designated Kevin Atkinson as its Agency Open Records Officer ("AORO") to respond to RTKL requests.

In Person: Pennsylvania Department of Aging
555 Walnut Street, 
5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Fax: 717-783-6842
Phone: 717-783-1550

Form of the request

The RTKL requires a written request to be submitted to the AORO. See 65 P.S. § 67.703. Please use the Department's Right-To-Know Law Request Form.

To allow the Department to locate requested records and determine whether those records are public, requests should be specific and concise and clearly identify as precisely as possible the records sought. See 65 P.S. § 67.703. Requesters should retain a copy of the request for their file, as a copy of the request is necessary, should a requester appeal the Department's response.

Receipt of the request

The Department is deemed to have received the request on the next business day that the AORO receives the request. See 65 P.S. § 67.901. The Department defines its business day to exclude Saturdays and Sundays and any weekday on which the Department is closed for business, with its regular business hours being from 8:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Any request that the Department receives after the close of regular business hours shall be deemed to have been received on the next business day.

Agency Response

Time for response

The Department has 5 business days to respond to a request for records under the RTKL. If the Department does not respond within that time, the request is considered "deemed denied," and a requester's appeal rights commence. The Department is permitted to take an additional 30 calendar days to respond to any request for the reasons set forth in the RTKL, if it informs the requester in writing about the extension and the reason for it. See 65 P.S. § 67.902.

Final response

The Department shall make a final written response in which it may grant the request, partially deny it, or deny it in its entirety, or state the reason why the request cannot be fulfilled. If the Department fails to issue a response within the applicable response period, the request is deemed denied. See 65 P.S. § 67.901.

    • Granting access to records. The Department may grant a request for records by issuing a response: (1) sending copies of the records to the requester; or (2) by notifying the requester that the records are available on the Department's website or other publicly accessible electronic means. See 65 P.S. §§ 67.701(a), 704.
    • Denying or partially denying access to records. To the extent the Department denies a request for records, through redaction or otherwise, or cannot fulfill the request, the Department will respond in writing. The response will describe the requested records, inform the requester that the Department does not possess the responsive records or, if the records are exempt from public access, provide a citation to the relevant legal basis for withholding the requested records. The response will set forth the procedure to appeal the denial. See 65 P.S. § 67.903.


The Department will charge fees consistent with the RTKL Fee Structure.

Right-To-Know Law Appeals


To challenge the denial, partial denial, or deemed denial of a request for Department records, an appeal may be filed to the Office of Open Records ("OOR") using the OOR Appeal Form

or by contacting the OOR at the following address:

Office of Open Records
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
333 Market St., 16th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101-2234

or by emaling:

Requirements of an appeal

All appeals must be filed within 15 business days of the mailing date of the Department's response. All appeals must be in writing; must state the grounds upon which the requester asserts that the requested records are public records; must address any grounds stated by the Department for denying the request; and must include a copy of the request and the Department's response, if any. See 65 P.S. § 67.1101(a)(1).

Additional Information

For additional information on this law, the request process, and the appeal process, please visit the Office of Open Records.