Right to Know

Pennsylvania's Right to Know Law took effect January 1, 2009. The law concerns public access to records at public institutions and government agencies. The most significant change in the law is that the burden of proof is now on the institution or agency to show why a record should not be released.

The law does not overrule existing laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that limit access to certain records. In addition, 31 categories of records are exempt under the law. To find the exemptions, visit https://www.dced.state.pa.us/public/oor/pa_righttoknowlaw.pdf, go to Chapter 7. Procedure, Section 708. Exceptions for public records.

Before submitting a request, please note:

  • Requests must be in writing via either hard copy or email. Submit a request online via email.
  • Requests for information must be specific as to the record(s) desired. A reason for the request is not required.
  • Request must be submitted to the Right to Know Officer:
    • Lauren M. Farrell, Director/Human Resources & Assistant to the President
    • Mailing Address: 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697
    • Email: righttoknow@westmoreland.edu
    • Telephone: 724.925.4079
    • Fax: 724.925.3481
  • A response to the request will be issued within five (5) business days from the time it was received by the Open Records Officer.
  • The requester may be charged duplication and postage fees in keeping with the standards set by the Office of Open Records. Prepayment may be required if fees are expected to exceed $100.
  • For more information about the new Right to Know Law, visit https://openrecords.state.pa.us

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