The “Right to Charge Fees” Under the New Right-to-Know Law

Prior to the new Right-to-Know Law, each School District was permitted to establish fees for duplication of records provided that the fees were “reasonable and based on prevailing fees for comparable duplication services provided by local business entities” (65 P.S. § 66.7).  This resulted in variations in the fees to obtain copies between different School Districts.  The new Right-to-Know Law provides that “fees for duplication … shall be established by the Office of Open Records” (65 P.S. § 67.1307).  However, when the Office of Open Records set the different fees, it still provided some degree of flexibility to School Districts and other public entities in establishing fees within a range of permitted amounts.  For example, the Office of Open Records set a range of 10¢ to 25¢ per copy for one-sided copies of standard 8-1/2 X 11 inch pages and a fee of up to $5.00 for certification of a record.  As a result, it is appropriate for each School District to adopt a Resolution to establish the fees, within the permitted range, which that District will charge.  As a service to your School District, a sample Fee Resolution may be accessed from this site.