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Keystone viewpoint: Open records law working as intended

| Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, 7:24 p.m.

There was some official hand-wringing when state lawmakers in 2008 passed legislation to update Pennsylvania's open-records law. Some state government officials feared the new law would be burdensome, time-consuming and expensive.

A new survey by the state Office of Open Records indicates that those fears have proved to be largely unfounded over the past 10 years. The office reached out to state and local officials charged with fielding Right-to-Know Law requests. Almost 1,300 from Pennsylvania's 5,000 state and local agencies responded. The majority, 87.4 percent, said they received one or fewer Right-to-Know Law requests per week in 2016.

This law enables citizens to see the role of money in campaigns; bidding processes for public projects; whether government services, jobs and contracts are being dealt with an even hand and more. That kind of information is vital to news organizations — but also to any engaged citizen.

— Erie Times-News

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