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About BCIDA
 
The Berks County Industrial Development Authority (BCIDA) was created May 7, 1969 by the County of Berks in compliance with the Pennsylvania Industrial and Commercial Development Authority Law of August 13, 1967 for the purpose of promoting and developing commercial, industrial and manufacturing enterprises and encouraging employment within the County of Berks.  The Authority is authorized to issue Industrial Development Bonds (IDB's) to manufacturing companies for qualified capital projects.  A five-member Board appointed by the County Commissioners for staggered terms governs the BCIDA.  The County Commissioners have given the BCIDA the additional responsibility of developing brownfields.  This action follows a recommendation in the Industrial Site Assessment, and is a key activity in the implementation of the County’s economic development strategy.  The BCIDA meets publicly once a month.
 
The five-member Board of Directors is as follows:
 
Ken W. Seidel, Chairman
James A. Adams, Vice Chairman, Assistant Secretary & Treasurer
Howard E. Body, Vice Chairman, Secretary & Assistant Treasurer
Joseph M. Eways, Vice Chairman, Assistant Secretary & Assistant Treasurer
Rebecca M. Wingenroth, Vice Chairman, Assistant Secretary & Assistant Treasurer
 
 
OBJECTIVE
 
Berks County Industrial Development Authority provides a variety of services to assist in the creation and retention of employment opportunities.  BCIDA has authorization over financing options and provides technical assistance to developers, industries, and other economic development organizations.
 
 
GOALS
  • Retention & Strengthening of Existing Businesses
  • Improved Utilization & Development of Local Infrastructure
  • Creation of Investment, Employment & Wealth in the Community
  • Recruitment of New Business
  • Workforce Development
 
 

 RIGHT-TO-KNOW POLICY FOR PUBLIC RECORDS

 

                                                                                                       Date: 01/21/2009

I.   Introduction

 

Berks County Industrial Development Authority (the “Local Agency”) is a local agency for purposes of the recent amendments to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, 65P.S.§ 66.1 et al.   

           

All local agencies shall provide public records in accordance with the Right-to-Know Law.  Therefore, any record in the possession of the Local Agency shall be presumed to be a public record, except in the following circumstances:

 

(a)   The record is exempt under Section 708 of the Right-to-Know Law;

(b)   The record is protected by the attorney-work product doctrine, the

       attorney-client privilege, or other privilege recognized by the laws of the

       Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (i.e., statute or case law); or

(c)   The record is exempt from disclosure under any other federal or state law

       or regulation, or judicial order or decree.

 

Records are broadly defined under the Right-to-Know Law.  The term includes a document, paper, letter, map, book, tape, photograph, film or sound recording, information stored or maintained electronically, and a data-processed or image-processed document.

 

Requests for public records can be made by any person who is a legal resident of the United States, including resident aliens.  Requests to the Local Agency can also be made by other local agencies, Commonwealth agencies (e.g., The Department of the Auditor General or the Treasury Department), judicial agencies (i.e., the courts), or legislative agencies (e.g., the Senate and House of Representatives). 

 

II.   Access and Procedure

 

In order for a Requester to obtain the protections of the Right-to-Know Law, Requesters must make requests for access to records in writing.  A written request for access to records may be submitted in person, by mail, by e-mail, or by facsimile.

 

The Local Agency has designated Vicki Bentz to act as the Open-Records Officer (“Officer”).  The Officer’s contact information is set forth below:

 


Open Records Officer

Berks County Industrial Development Authority

Berks County Services Center, 14th Floor

633 Court Street

Reading, PA 19601

Phone: (610) 478-6330

Fax: (610) 478-6331

Email: vbentz@countyofberks.com

 

Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Officer at the telephone or e-mail address listed above.

 

All written requests must be addressed to the Officer.  In the event that a written request for records is addressed to a Local Agency representative other than the Officer, the Local Agency representative is hereby directed to promptly forward such requests to the Officer. 

 

Written requests should identify or describe the record sought with sufficient specificity to enable the Local Agency to ascertain which records are being requested.  Unless otherwise required by law, a written request need not include any explanation of the requester’s reason for requesting the records or the intended use of such records.  The form which shall be used to file a request is attached hereto as Exhibit “A”. The Local Agency shall assign a tracking number to each filed form so as to track the Local Agency’s progress in responding to requests under the new Right-to-Know Law.

      Prior to granting a request for access in accordance with the Right-to-Know Law, the Local Agency shall require a requester to prepay an estimate of the fees authorized by law if the fees required to fulfill the request are expected to exceed $100.00.  The fees payable in a record request shall be as follows:

Fees

If a written request for records is granted in whole or in part, the following fees will be charged to the requester:

 

Record Type

Fee

Copies
Certified Record Surcharge

$0.25 per page 
$1.00 per record

Redaction 

No Charge

Other costs  

Actual cost 

Postage:

  Records fitting into standard letter envelope
  Other types of mailing  

No charge
Actual cost


A “photocopy” is either a single-sided copy or one side of a double-sided copy of a standard 8.5” x 11” page. As noted above, the Local Agency shall require a requester to prepay an estimate of the fees listed above if the fees required to fulfill the request are expected to exceed $100, including prepayment of delinquent fees from a prior request. All costs must be paid by check or money order payable to the Local Agency.

 

Except as otherwise provided by statute, no other fees may be imposed unless the Local Agency necessarily incurs costs for complying with the request, and such fees must be reasonable.

 

In all circumstances, the requester must agree to pay applicable fees authorized by the new Right-to-Know Law, such as (but not limited to) postage (not to exceed actual cost of mailing), duplication and certification.  All applicable fees shall be paid before a requester receives access to the record(s) requested.

 

            A record being provided to a requester shall be provided in the medium requested if it exists in that medium; otherwise, it shall be provided in the medium in which it exists.  The Local Agency shall not be required to create a record which does not currently exist or to otherwise compile, maintain, format or organize a record in a manner in which it does not currently compile, maintain, format or organize such record.  The Local Agency may impose reasonable fees for official certification of copies if the certification is at the behest of the requester and for the purpose of legally verifying the public record.

 

            Upon receipt of a written request for a public record, the Officer shall do the following:

 

(a)   Note the date of the receipt on the written request;

(b)   Compute the day on which the five-day period (see discussion of response

       below) will expire, and make a notation of that date on the written request;

       and

(c)   Create a file for the retention of the original request, a copy of the

       response, a record of written communications with the requester, and a

       copy of other communications.

 

III.   Local Agency’s Response

 

            Upon receipt of a written request for access to a record, the Local Agency shall make a good faith effort to determine if the record requested is a public record and whether the Local Agency has possession, custody or control of the identified record.  When doing so, the Local Agency will respond as promptly as possible under the circumstances existing at the time of the request.  Under the Right-to-Know Law, the Local Agency must send a response within five (5) business days of receipt of the written request for access, or else the written request shall be deemed denied.  For purposes of this policy, a business day is any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, except those days when the Local Agency’s office is closed for all or part of a day due to a holiday.          

 

Upon receipt of a written request for access, the Officer shall determine if one of the following applies:

 

(a)   The request for access requires redaction of a record in accordance with

       the Right-to-Know Law;

(b)   The request for access requires the retrieval of a record stored in a remote

        location;

(c)   A timely response to the request for access can not be accomplished due

       to bona fide and specified staffing limitations;

(d)   A legal review is necessary to determine whether the record is a record

       subject to access under the Right-to-Know Law;

(e)   The requester has not complied with the Local Agency’s policies regarding

       access to records;

(f)   The requester refuses to pay applicable fees authorized by the Right-to-

       Know Law; or

(g)   The extent or nature of the request precludes a response within the

       required time period of five (5) business days.

 

            Upon a determination that one of the factors listed above applies, the Officer shall send written notice to the requester within five (5) business days of receipt of the request for access.  The notice shall include a statement notifying the requester that the request for access is being reviewed, the reason for the review, a reasonable date that a response is expected to be provided, and an estimate of applicable fees owed when the record becomes available.  Information which the Local Agency redacts in accordance with the Right-to-Know Law shall be deemed a denial.

 

            If the date that a response is expected to be provided is in excess of thirty (30) calendar days, following the five (5) business days allowed for above, the request for access shall be deemed denied unless the requester has agreed in writing to an extension to the date specified in the notice.  If the requester agrees to the extension, the request shall be deemed denied on the day following the date specified in the notice if the Local Agency has not provided a response by that date.

 

            For purposes of this policy, the “mailing date” shall be the date affixed to a: (1) response from the Officer to a request, which is to be the date the response is deposited in the U.S. mail; (2) final determination from the Officer, which is to be the date the final determination is deposited in the U.S. mail.

 

            Notwithstanding anything contained in this Policy to the contrary, the Local Agency may deny a requester access to a record if the requester has made repeated requests for that same record and the repeated requests have placed an unreasonable burden on the Local Agency.

 

 

IV.   Appeal of Local Agency’s Determination

 

            If a written request for access to a record is denied or deemed denied, the requester may file an appeal with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records within fifteen (15) business days of the mailing date of the Local Agency’s response or within fifteen (15) business days of a deemed denial.  The appeal shall state the grounds upon which the requester asserts that the record is a public record, and shall address any grounds stated by the Local Agency for delaying or denying the request.

 

The Office of Open Records has established a internet website with information relating to the Right-to-Know Law, including information on fees, advisory opinions and decisions, plus the name and address of all Open-Records Officers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  For information on the Office of Open Records, requesters are referred to openrecords.state.pa.us. 

 

V.   Retention of Records

 

            Nothing in the Right-to-Know Law shall be construed to modify, rescind or supercede the Municipal Records Act, 53Pa.C.S.A. § 1381 et seq., or the Local Agency’s lawfully adopted record retention and disposition policy.  Moreover, nothing in the Right-to-Know Law shall be construed to require access to any computer of the Local Agency, or that of an individual or employee of the Local Agency.

 


EXHIBIT “A”

 

Sample Request Form

 

 

STANDARD RIGHT-TO-KNOW REQUEST FORM

 

 

DATE REQUESTED:

 

REQUEST SUBMITTED BY:           E-MAIL U.S. MAIL        FAX     IN-PERSON            

 

 

NAME OF REQUESTOR :______________________________________

 

 

STREET ADDRESS: _____________________________________________

 

 

CITY/STATE/COUNTY (Required): __________________________________________

 

 

TELEPHONE (Optional):___________________________________________________

 

RECORDS REQUESTED:

*Provide as much specific detail as possible so the agency can identify the information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO YOU WANT COPIES?  YES or NO

 

DO YOU WANT TO INSPECT THE RECORDS?  YES or NO

 

DO YOU WANT CERTIFIED COPIES OF RECORDS? YES or NO

____________________________________________________________________________

 

RIGHT TO KNOW OFFICER:

 

DATE RECEIVED BY THE AGENCY:

 

AGENCY FIVE (5)-DAY RESPONSE DUE:

 

 

 

 

**Public bodies may file anonymous verbal or written requests.  If the requestor wishes to pursue the relief and remedies provided for in this Act, the request must be in writing.  (Section 702.) Written requests need not include an explanation why information is sought or the intended use of the information unless otherwise required by law.  (Section 703.)