[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Muhlenberg as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Public Access
[Adopted 12-18-2006 by Res. No. 2006-62; amended in its entirety 12-15-2008 by Ord. No. 463]
All requests for access to public records of the Township of Muhlenberg shall, be made in writing, verbally (in person or telephonically), by email, or by facsimile.
All requests for access to public records of the Township of Muhlenberg shall be directed to the Township Open Records Officer, appointed by the Board of Commissioners, at Township of Muhlenberg, 5410 Leesport Avenue, Temple, Pennsylvania 19560; telephone (610) 929-4727: facsimile (610) 921-3764.
When a request is received for access to public records, the Township shall make a determination within five business days of receipt of the request to grant or deny the request. The person or entity requesting the information shall be promptly notified of the Township's decision.
If after receiving a request for access to public records the Township determines any of the following circumstances exist, the person or entity requesting access to the records shall be issued a notice that the request is being reviewed:
The request for access requires redaction of a public record;
The request for access requires retrieval of a record stored in a remote location;
A timely response to the request for access cannot be accomplished due to the bona fide and specified staff limitations;
A legal review is necessary to determine whether the record is a record subject to access under the Right-To-Know Law;
The person or entity requesting access to the public record has not complied with the Township's policies regarding access to public records;
The person requesting access to the record refuses to pay applicable fees as authorized by the Right-To-Know Law and set forth in § 34-5; or
The extent or nature of the request precludes a response within the required time period.
The person or entity requesting access to the public record shall be informed in writing within five business days as to the reason that his/her/its request is being reviewed, a reasonable data that a response is expected to be provided and an estimate of applicable fees owed when the records becomes available. If the date that a response is expected to be provided is in excess of 30 days, following the five business days, the request for access shall be deemed denied unless the requester has agreed in writing to an extension to the date specified in the notice.
If a request for access to public records is denied, the person or entity requesting the records shall be informed of the reason that the request has been denied and shall be given the authority relied upon by the Township for denying access. The notice of denial shall contain a description of the record requested; the printed name, title, business address, and business telephone number of the person making the decision to deny access to the public record; the date of the denial; and shall include the signature of the person denying access, along with an explanation of the procedures for appealing the Township's denial of access to the records in question.
The Board of Commissioners may establish fees for postage, duplication by photocopying, printing from electronic media or microfilm, copying onto electronic media, transmission by facsimile or other electronic means and other means of duplication, certification, conversion to paper, and enhanced electronic access by resolution from time to time and in accordance with the Right-To-Know Law.
The Township, in its sole discretion, may waive the fees for duplication or public records if the Township determines that it is in the public interest to do so.
If the estimated costs of duplication of a public record are expected to exceed $100, the Township may require the person or entity requesting the record to prepay the estimated fees authorized by this policy prior to providing access to the public record. Access to the records requested shall be postponed until prepayment is received.
The Township shall utilize the uniform form provided by the Commonwealth Office of Open Records to process all requests for access to the Township's public records. When completed, a copy of the form shall be given to the person requesting the information and a copy shall be retained by the Township.