The Right to Know Law Pennsylvania
The Right-to-Know Law is intended to increase access to records by presuming all records held by an agency are public records. See Bowling v. Office of Open Records, 990 A.2d 813, 823 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010).
In Bowling, this Court stated:
The new Law is significantly different in that the prior version of the Law narrowly defined the term "public record." Under the current Law, however, any record, including financial records of a Commonwealth or local agency, is a public record to the extent the record: is not exempt from disclosure under the Law; is not exempt under Federal or State law, regulation, or judicial order or decree; or is not protected by privilege. Id.
Unlike the 1957 statute, the current version of the Right-to-Know Law makes the motive or reasonableness of a request for public records irrelevant. See, e.g., Section 302(b) of the Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. 67.302(b) (agency may not deny "access to a public record due to the intended use of the public record..").
Likewise, the so-called privacy exception that arose in the decisional law interpreting the 1957 enactment was based upon the "personal security exemption" in the statute. Pennsylvania State University v. State Employees' Retirement Board, 594 Pa. 244, 258, 935 A.2d 530, 538 (2007) ("While Appellants invite this Court to separate our right to privacy analysis from our personal security exception analysis, it is clear that no such division is warranted.").
To conclude that the privacy exception and its attendant balancing test have continued viability under the new Law is a proposition fraught with challenge, but we need not face that challenge because we conclude that we lack jurisdiction.