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The Right-to-know law

Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) gives any U.S. citizen the right to request records from all three branches of government in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The law is a state version of the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).


When Pennsylvania (or one of its private contractors) is in possession of a record, the law presumes that the record is public. However, the law has thirty exceptions—such as commercial trade secret information or information that, if disclosed, might harm people or their privacy.


When you file a request for records, it doesn’t matter who you are or why you want the records. The law is designed to make sure that Pennsylvania’s government operates openly and fairly, so that taxpayers and citizens can know exactly how their money is being spent and what their government is doing on their behalf.

RTKL Lawyer


Learn how to draft, file, and appeal Right-to-Know Law requests


Learn how to protect your trade secret information


Learn how to stay in compliance and defend frivolous requests

RTKL History

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