PaFOIC

Open-records chief says meeting tapes are public.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania's open-records chief says audio recordings of government meetings are public records that must be provided to people who request them.

Terry Mutchler of the state Open Records Office issued an advisory opinion sought by Franklin Park borough in Allegheny County.

The borough secretary tapes council meetings to help in writing the official minutes.

Mutchler said in Tuesday's opinion such tapes were exempt from disclosure under the previous Right-to-Know Law because they aren't minutes.

She says the stronger law that took effect Jan. 1 eliminated that exemption but that local governments can set policies on how long such tapes must be retained.

Borough solicitor Robert Max Junker says officials are considering whether to craft such a policy or possibly to stop taping the meetings.