Township of Upper Gwynedd, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Upper Gwynedd Township 12-22-2008 by Res. No. 23-2008.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This resolution also superseded former Ch. 37, Records, Public Access to, adopted 12-16-2002 by Res. No. 14-2002.

§ 37-1 Purpose. [1]

The purpose of this policy is to assure compliance with the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law, 65 P.S. § 67.101 et seq., as amended, to provide access to public records of Upper Gwynedd Township, to preserve the integrity of Township records, and to minimize the financial impact to the residents of the Township regarding the resources utilized in the receipt and processing of public record requests and the retrieval and copying of public records.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 37-2 Policy.

It is the policy of the Township to require the presence of a designated employee when public records are examined and inspected and to charge reasonable fees for duplication of public records of the Township.

§ 37-3 Designation and responsibilities of Public Records Officer.

The Township hereby designates the Township Manager the Open Records Officer, who shall be responsible for assuring compliance with the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law, in accordance with the following guidelines:
A. 
The Township Manager may designate certain employee(s) to process public record requests in his stead.
B. 
The Township Manager is responsible for minimizing, where possible, 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.
C. 
All requests for public records of the Township under this policy shall be specific in identifying and describing each public record requested. In no case shall the Township be required to create a public record which does not exist or to compile, maintain, format or organize a public record in a manner in which the Township does not currently compile, maintain, format or organize the public record. All requests for public records shall be submitted in writing and on a form provided by the Township, as attached hereto, entitled "Request for Review and Duplication of Public Record."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said form is on file in the Township offices.
D. 
The Township Manager, or his designated employee, shall make a good faith effort to determine whether each record requested is a public record.
E. 
The Township shall facilitate a reasonable response to a request for Township public records. In no case is the Township expected to provide extraordinary staff to respond to the request, but it will respond in a manner consistent with Township administrative responsibilities and consistent with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law.
F. 
The designated employee shall respond to the requester within five business days from the date of receipt of the written request. If the Township does not respond within five business days of receipt thereof, the request is deemed denied.
G. 
The response provided by the Township shall consist of:
(1) 
Approval for access to the public record;
(2) 
Notice of review of the request by the designated employee; or
(3) 
Denial of access to the record requested.
H. 
If access to the public record requested is approved, the public record shall be available for access during the regular business hours of the Township. The designated employee shall cooperate fully with the requester, while also taking reasonable measures to protect Township public records from the possibility of theft and/or modification. The presence of a designated employee is required when public records are examined and inspected.
I. 
Fees.
(1) 
Fees for duplication of public records shall be as set forth in the Upper Gwynedd Township Fee Schedule.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
The Township may in its discretion waive fees.
J. 
In the event the estimated cost of fulfilling a request submitted under this policy is expected to exceed $100, the designated employee(s) shall obtain 50% of the expected cost in advance of fulfilling the request to avoid unwarranted expense to the Township.
K. 
If the request is being reviewed, the notice provided by the Township shall be in writing, as indicated on the form attached hereto, entitled "Notice of Review of Request to Review and/or Duplicate Public Record,"[3] and shall include the reason for the review and the expected response date, which shall be within 30 days of the notice of review. If the Township does not respond within 30 days thereof, the request is denied. Review of the request is limited to situations where:
(1) 
The record requested contains information which is subject to access as well as information which is not subject to access that must be redacted prior to a grant of access. The redacted information is considered a denial as to that information.
(2) 
The record requires retrieval from a remote location.
(3) 
A timely response cannot be accomplished due to staffing limitations.
(4) 
A legal review is necessary to determine whether the record requested is a public record.
(5) 
The requester has failed to comply with the Township's policy and procedure requirements.
(6) 
The requester refuses to pay the applicable fees.
[3]
Editor's Note: Said form is on file in the Township offices.
L. 
If access to the record requested is denied, the notice provided by the Township shall be in writing, as indicated on the form attached hereto, entitled "Denial of Request to Review and/or Duplicate Township Records."[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Said form is on file in the Township offices.
M. 
If the request is denied or deemed denied, the requester may file exceptions with the President of the Board of Commissioners within 15 business days of the mailing date of the Township's notice of denial or within 15 days of a deemed denial. The exceptions must:
(1) 
Indicate the date of the original request;
(2) 
Identify and describe the record(s) requested;
(3) 
State the grounds upon which the requester asserts the record(s) is a public record; and
(4) 
Address any grounds stated by the Township in its notice of denial.
N. 
The Board of Commissioners shall review the exceptions and may conduct a hearing to assist in making a final determination. A final determination will be made within 30 days of the mailing date of the exceptions, unless extended by the parties. If the denial is upheld, the decision shall contain a written explanation of the reason for denial and an explanation of the process for further appeal.
O. 
This policy shall be posted conspicuously at the Township offices located at 1 Parkside Place, North Wales, PA 19454.
P. 
This policy shall take effect on January 1, 2009.