Right to Know
On January 1, 2009 Pennsylvania's Right to Know Law took effect. The law concerns public access to records at public institutions and government agencies. Learn about the Right to Know Law.
What does the Right to Know Law do?
The law dictates that the burden of proof is on the institution or agency. The institution or agency must 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). It does not overrule the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that limits access to certain records.
Are there exemptions?
There are 31 categories of records that are exempt under the law.
To view these categories, download the PA Right to Know Sheet (pdf). See Chapter 7, Procedure, Section 708, Exceptions for public records.
Does the Right to Know Law cover transcripts?
The Right to Know Law does not cover transcripts, including GED transcripts. Learn how to request a transcript.
How can I make a request under the Right to Know Law?
To make a request under the Right to Know Law, you must:
- Fill out the Request Form (pdf).
- Mail or email your completed request form to the Opens Record Officer:
Linnie S. Carter, Ph.D., APR
Vice President of College Advancement, HACC
Executive Director, HACC Foundation
One HACC Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110
(717) 231-7670 (fax)
- Specifically list the desired record(s). The Right to Know Law does not require a reason for the request.
- Pay any duplication and postage fees. You will need to prepay if you expect fees to exceed $100.
The Open Records Officer will respond to your request within five business days of receipt.
How can I get more information?