The Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law (RTKL) is designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department supports a citizen's right to know how the Department conducts business on their behalf.
Pursuant to Section 504 of the Right-to-Know Law the following information will assist with providing background and all necessary documents related to the policies, processes, and procedures for Right-to-know requests.
To facilitate access to documents of public interest and reduce the need for RTKL requests, the department makes many documents public.
Submitting a Request
A written request to the Department under the RTKL must:
- Be addressed to the Department Open Records Officer at:
Pennsylvania Insurance Department
Agency Open Records Office
Attn: Terri Lynn Brown, Agency Open Records
Officer, 1326 Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
- Identify a name and address to which the Department should address its response;
- Indicate that the request is being made pursuant to the RTKL;
- Can be submitted in person at the address listed above, by e-mail to RTK-Insurance@pa.gov or by facsimile at 717-772-1969;
- Be sufficiently specific to enable the Department to ascertain which records are being requested; and
- Be from a person that is a legal resident of the United States.
Please note: While verbal requests may be fulfilled by the Department, the requester cannot pursue the relief and remedies provided under the RTKL unless the request is in writing.
All RTKL requests received by the department will be considered public record.
RTKL requests may be on the Office of Open Records Request Form or the form designated by the Department:
Time for response
The Department has 5 business days to respond to a request for records under the RTKL. If the Department does not respond within that time, the request is considered "deemed denied," and a requester's appeal rights commence. The Department is permitted to take an additional 30 calendar days to respond to any request for the reasons set forth in the RTKL if it informs the requester in writing about the extension and the reason for it.
The regular business hours of the RTKL Office are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Any RTKL request received by the RTKL Office after the close of regular business hours shall be deemed to have been received by that office on the following business day.
For purposes of determining the end of the five business day period, the day that a RTKL request is received is not counted. The first day of the five business day period is the Department's next business day.
The Department shall make a final written response in which it may grant the request, partially deny it, or deny it in its entirety, or state the reason why the request cannot be fulfilled. If the Department fails to issue a response within the applicable response period, the request is deemed denied.
- Granting access to records. The Department may grant a request for records by issuing a response: (1) sending copies of the records to the requester; or (2) by notifying the requester that the records are available on the Department's website or other publicly accessible electronic means.
- Denying or partially denying access to records. To the extent the Department denies a request for records, through redaction or otherwise, or cannot fulfill the request, the Department will respond in writing. The response will describe the requested records, inform the requester that the Department does not possess the responsive records or, if the records are exempt from public access, provide a citation to the relevant legal basis for withholding the requested records. The response will set forth the procedure to appeal the denial.
The Department will charge fees consistent with the RTKL Fee Structure.
Right-To-Know Law Appeals
To challenge the denial, partial denial, or deemed denial of a request for Department records, an appeal may be filed to the Office of Open Records ("OOR") using the following methods:
- Online using the OOR Appeal Form
- In writing to the OOR at:
The Office of Open Records
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
333 Market St., 16th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101-2234
- By e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Requirements of an appeal
All appeals must be filed within 15 business days of the mailing date of the Department's response. All appeals must be in writing; must state the grounds upon which the requester asserts that the requested records are public records; must address any grounds stated by the Department for denying the request; and must include a copy of the request and the Department's response, if any.
For additional information on this law, the request process, and the appeal process, please review the Pennsylvania Insurance Department's Right-to-Know-Law Policy in its entirety and view the 'Resources' section on the right-hand side of this webpage.