Right-to-Know – Open Records

“Public access to government information is fundamental to a functioning democracy,” leading RTK attorney says.

(Harrisburg, PA) — As Pennsylvania municipalities, government agencies, the press and corporate vendors serving state and local agencies prepare for the full impact of the new PA Right-to-Know law which takes effect in January, the Harrisburg law firm Nauman, Smith, Shissler & Hall, LLP, is sponsoring a reception at the State Capital, Tuesday, August 12, to welcome Terry Mutchler to Harrisburg in her new position as the first Director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records.

Since Gov. Rendell approved a new law to expedite public access to government documents last February, Ms. Mutchler, an attorney who directed a similar office in Illinois, is responsible for establishing and staffing the office by Jan. 1.In theory the office will mediate between government agencies, the press and citizens in any disputes over whether or not government documents and information are subject to public domain. “As Pennsylvania’s first Director of the Office of Open Records, Ms. Mutchler will set the tone and direction of public access in Pennsylvania for years to come,” Craig J. Staudenmaier, Esq., Nauman Smith Managing Partner said.

“So we think it’s important for people responsible for the law’s implementation at every level of government to come together to begin to implement an appropriate structure for public access.” He added.”We think the logical starting point for this process is a reception to welcome Ms. Mutchler to the state capital community, and introduce her to some of the people who will interact with the Office of Open Records at the local government level.”

People representing county, municipal authorities, townships, boroughs, as well as media and related associations, were invited to meet Ms. Mutchler and welcome her to Harrisburg.

Founded in 1871, Nauman, Smith, Shissler & Hall, LLP, is the oldest law firm in continuous existence in Harrisburg. For further information about the firm’s new RTK Practice Group, visit the Nauman Smith Web site at https://www.nssh.com/rtk or contact Craig Staudenmaier, at Nauman Smith, 717-237-3010 or E-mail: cjstaud@nssh.com.

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