Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
Right to Know Law Policy
Effective January 1, 2009
Public Records of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency ("PHFA/Agency") are generally available to residents of the Commonwealth pursuant to the Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. Section 67.101 et seq. ("RTKL"). The following outlines basic procedures for making a request for public records.
Requests for public records may only be submitted by legal residents of the United States. The request should be addressed to PHFA's Open Records Officer Carrie Barnes and state that the request is being made pursuant to the RTKL:
|U.S. Mail, Hand, or Next Day Delivery:
Right to Know Officer
211 N Front St
PO Box 8029
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8029
Please use the Agency's Right to Know Request Form when requesting records. Prior to submitting a request for a public record, you should be aware that PHFA provides detailed information pertaining to Agency business on its Web site. Additionally, certain contracts which the Agency has entered into may be available at www.patreasury.org for no fee.
If appropriate, PHFA will provide a public record in the format in which it currently exists. Pursuant to the RTKL, PHFA is under no obligation to reformat any record into a different medium or create a form of record that does not exist.
Questions pertaining to PHFA's RTKL Policy can be made online or by calling 717.780.3911 (TTY 717.780.1869) between the hours of 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Questions relating to PHFA's mortgage products, please visit our Homebuyers Web site.
Questions relating to your PHFA account, please contact PHFA's Accounting and Loan Servicing Division at 800.346.3597.
If you have questions that don't pertain to the choices above, please feel free to visit our Questions Web page for additional contact options.
The Agency must provide a response to the RTKL request within five business days unless one or more specific conditions are satisfied and PHFA's Office of Open Records Officer gives the requester written notice ("interim response") that additional time will be required. 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 Agency's next business day.
The Agency may send an interim response if any of the following apply:
- The RTKL request requires redaction of a public record;
- The RTKL request requires retrieval of a record from a remote location;
- A response within the five business day period cannot be accomplished due to bona fide staffing limitations, which limitations must be specified in the interim response;
- A legal review is necessary to determine whether the record requested is subject to access under the RTKL;
- The requester has not complied with the Agency's policies regarding access to public records;
- The requester has not complied with a demand for prepayment of fees, which are required to fulfill the RTKL request and which are estimated to exceed $100; further, if prepayment of fees is required by the Agency, the time period for response shall be tolled from the time the demand for payment is made until such time as payment is actually received;
- The extent or nature of the request precludes a response within the required time period.
An interim response must: 1) be sent to the requester on or before the last day of the five business day period; 2) state that the request is being reviewed and the reason for the review; and 3) state a reasonable date that a response is expected to be provided. This date must not be more than 30 calendar days from the end of the five business day period.
If the date of an expected response is in excess of 30 days following the five days allowed for in Section 901, the request will be deemed denied unless the requester has agreed in writing to the date specified in the notice.
There are three possible final responses. Either the request is: 1) granted; 2) denied; or 3) granted in part and denied in part. The failure to make a timely response is deemed to be a denial.
If a written request is denied in whole or in part, the Agency will issue a final written response that will include an explanation of the procedure for the requester to appeal, if the requester chooses to do so. The written denial will also set forth the specific reasons for the denial.
The Agency will not deny access to a record based upon the fact that portions of the record are not public records and, as a result, not subject to disclosure. The Agency will redact the portions that are not public records and produce the portions that are public records.
Verbal requests may be fulfilled by the Agency; however, in order to pursue the relief and remedies provided under the RTKL, the request for public records must be in writing. The Agency may deny a request in whole or in part pursuant to RTKL, Pennsylvania law and/or Federal law. Additionally, a request may be deemed denied in whole or in part. In the event the Agency denies a request or a request is deemed denied, an appeal may be filed in writing within fifteen business days of the mailing date of the Agency's response. The appeal must state the grounds upon which the requester asserts that the record is public, and should address any grounds stated by the Agency for delaying or denying the request. The appeal shall be set to:
The Commonwealth Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, Plaza Level
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225
A person other than the Agency or the requester, with an interest in the record that is subject to an appeal, may have fifteen days following actual knowledge of the appeal, but no later than the date the Appeals Officer issues an order to intervene in the appeals process.
For additional information regarding the RTKL appeals process, please review the Web site of the Office of Open Records at http://openrecords.state.pa.us.
Duplication of Public Records:
The Agency may either make copies itself or, in its discretion, allow the requester to bring the necessary equipment to make its own copies. The Agency may make its duplication equipment available to a requester but require that the requester operate the equipment; assign Agency staff to make the duplications; or contract for duplication services and require the requester to pay the applicable rate.
Standard fees are outlines below. The Agency may levy additional fees as necessary to cover costs it incurs in filling specific information requests.
Photocopies: one "photocopy" is either a single-sided copy or one side of a double-sided copy.
|One side of a standard page
||$0.25 (black and white copies)
|One side of any nonstandard page
||The Agency will assess reasonable fees for custom or nonstandard copies
|Material fitting into standard letter envelope
No charge shall be made for Agency review or legal review to determine whether the requested records are public records that are subject to production.
If the estimated fees that are required to fulfill the RTKL request exceed $100.00, it may be necessary for the requester to pay the estimated amount in advance, either by certified check or by ordinary check, which must first have cleared to be considered received by the Agency. The demand for prepayment may specify a reasonable period of time in which the requester must make such prepayment. If the requester fails to make prepayment within the specified time, PHFA is not required to produce the requested record(s).
All applicable fees must be paid in order to receive the requested record(s).