LAND USE HEARINGS OFFICE
[Filed March 7, 2019, 12:05 p.m.]
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 198-14-090 Costs of providing copies of public records.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose of this proposal is to allow the environmental and land use hearings office (ELUHO) to use the statutory fee schedule when providing public records and to allow ELUHO to use its discretion to waive charges for providing public records.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: EHB 1595 which was passed during the 2017 legislative session, changes the circumstances under which an agency may charge or waive charges for copying public records:
(1) In order to use the statutory fee schedule in lieu of charging actual costs for providing records, agencies are now required to declare by rule the reasons why calculating actual costs would be overly burdensome; and
(2) Agencies may only waive charges for public records requests if it has rules governing such a waiver of charges.
ELUHO has not declared by rule the reasons why calculating actual costs would be overly burdensome, and does not have permanent rules in place governing a waiver of charges. Because of this, ELUHO is limited to charging actual costs for providing public records until ELUHO changes its rules.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 42.56.120
Duty to publish procedures.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 42.56.070
Documents and indexes to be made public—
Statement of costs.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: ELUHO, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Nancy Coverdell, 1111 Israel Road S.W., 360-664-9171; and Enforcement: Nina Carter, 1111 Israel Road S.W., 360-407-8729.
This notice meets the following criteria to use the expedited adoption process for these rules:
Relates only to internal governmental operations that are not subject to violation by a person.
Explanation of the Reason the Agency Believes the Expedited Rule-Making Process is Appropriate: ELUHO has not declared by rule the reasons why calculating actual costs would be overly burdensome, and does not have permanent rules in place governing a waiver of charges. ELUHO is limited to charging actual costs for providing public records until ELUHO updates its rules.
THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED UNDER AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS USE OF THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Nancy Coverdell, ELUHO, 1111 Israel Road S.W., phone 360-664-9171, fax 360-586-2253, email Nancy.Coverdell@eluho.wa.gov, AND RECEIVED BY May 20, 2019.
March 7, 2019
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 12-03-042, filed 1/10/12, effective 2/10/12)
WAC 198-14-090Costs of providing copies of public records.
(1) ((Costs for paper copies.
(a))) There is no fee for inspecting public records. ((Photocopies of thirty-five pages or more will be charged at fifteen cents per page and, nonstandard copies, including planning or engineering documents, oversized maps, and photographs, will be charged at the actual cost of reproduction. ELUHO may, in its discretion, send records to a commercial copying center for duplication. The requestor is required to pay the actual cost of copying performed by a copying vendor. Actual cost will be charged for manuals and nonprinted materials, such as audio or video tapes or CDs.
))ELUHO may charge for providing public records or waive charges for providing public records. ELUHO will charge using the fees listed under RCW 42.56.120 and will maintain a fee schedule on its web site.
(2) There will be no charge for emailing electronic records to a requestor, unless another cost applies.
(3) ELUHO has determined calculating the actual costs for providing public records is unduly burdensome for the following reasons:
(a) The level of effort, supplies, and shipping costs incurred by ELUHO vary widely for each records request and are unique to each records request;
(b) Recordkeeping needed to capture all allowed costs unnecessarily increases ELUHO's administrative overhead; and
(c) Determining actual costs for each records request within the statutory response time frame requires a greater than normal level of administrative resources.
(4) Before beginning to make the copies, the public records officer or designee may require:
(a) A deposit of up to ten percent of the estimated costs of copying all the records selected by the requestor. ((The public records officer or designee may also require))
(b) The payment of the remainder of the copying costs before providing all the records((,)); or
(c) The payment of the costs of copying an installment before providing that installment. ELUHO will not charge sales tax when it makes copies of public records.
(((2) Costs for electronic records. The cost of electronic copies of records shall be the actual cost of medium and preparation, including the actual cost of any necessary scanning. There will be no charge for emailing electronic records to a requestor, unless another cost applies, such as a scanning fee. ELUHO may charge a fee consistent with RCW 43.105.280 and WAC 198-14-070(3) for customized access of electronic records.
(3) Costs of mailing. ELUHO may also charge actual costs of mailing, including the cost of the shipping container.
(4) Payment.))(5) Payment may be made by cash, check, or money order to ELUHO.