Local Appeals in 2015 on a County-by-County Basis

Philadelphia is the state’s most populous county (and city), so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Philadelphia agencies were involved in more local appeals than those in any other county. The top 5 also included Allegheny, Montgomery, Dauphin, and Luzerne counties.

The first map below shows the number of non-inmate appeals involving local agencies which were filed with the OOR in 2015. (All local agencies — e.g., county government, school districts and municipalities — are included in each county total.)

CountyMapTotal

But… it might come as a surprise that Carbon County was at the top of the list in terms of per capita* appeals filed in 2015. The top 5 also included Dauphin, Elk, Cambria, and Luzerne counties.

The map below shows the number of non-inmate appeals involving local agencies filed with the OOR in 2015 per 100,000 population. (All local agencies — e.g., county government, school districts and municipalities — are included in each county total.)

CountyMapPerCapita

* To be precise, per 100,000 population based on 2014 U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates.

The complete Office of Open Records 2015 Annual Report is available on our website (along with previous years).

EDITED TO ADD (March 18, 2016, at 10:12 a.m.):

These maps illustrate workload; the data doesn’t necessarily correlate to the quality of agency responses within a given county. There are many factors to consider in evaluating agency responses and determining why a given number of appeals were filed. For example, it’s quite possible that one or two incidents could spike the number of requests (and potentially appeals) at a given local agency. Also, larger population areas tend to have more requests filed, often with more nuanced issues involved.

Finally, I note that the Office of Open Records has no way of knowing how many appeals are simply granted by agencies. That data is not collected on a statewide basis.

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