EXECUTIVE ETHICS BOARD
[Filed November 3, 1998, 10:19 a.m.]
Date of Adoption: October 13, 1998.
Purpose: The purpose of this chapter is to provide rules implementing RCW 34.95.220 [34.05.220] and 42.17.250 through 42.17.320 for the Executive Ethics Board.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 42.52.360 (2)(b).
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 98-16-006 on July 23, 1998.
Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: The only change was WAC 292-13-100, subsection (3) being changed to (d). The Executive Ethics Board received no written comments relating to the adoption of chapter 292-130 WAC at the time of its public hearing held on October 13, 1998. The board members voted to adopt the following amendment to the proposed rule: WAC 292-130-100, subsection (3) would be changed to (d). There were no public comments at the public hearing.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
November 3, 1998
Margaret A. Grimaldi
Chapter 292-130 WAC
AGENCY ORGANIZATION--PUBLIC RECORDS
WAC 292-130-010 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to provide rules implementing RCW 34.05.220 and 42.17.250 through 42.17.320 for the executive ethics board.
WAC 292-130-020 Function--Organization--Office. The executive ethics board was created by chapter 42.52 RCW to enforce the state's ethics law and rules adopted under it with respect to state-wide elected officers and all other officers and employees in the executive branch, boards and commissions, and institutions of higher education.
The executive ethics board consists of five members, appointed by the governor as follows: One member shall be a classified service employee; one member shall be a state officer or state employee in an exempt position; one member shall be a citizen selected from a list of three names submitted by the attorney general; one member shall be a citizen selected from a list of three names submitted by the state auditor; and, one member shall be a citizen at large selected by the governor.
The board's administrative office is located at 1125 Washington Street SE, 6th Floor, P.O. Box 40100, Olympia, Washington, 98504-0100. The office hours are 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday except legal holidays and during regularly scheduled board meetings.
WAC 292-130-030 Operations and procedures. Board members meet the second Friday of each month, except for the months of August and December, at such times and places as are deemed necessary for the conduct of agency business. All meetings are conducted in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act (chapter 42.30 RCW). Three members of the board constitute a quorum. Any matter coming before the board may be decided by a majority vote of those members present and voting. Minutes shall be taken at all meetings.
The board issues advisory opinions; develops education and training materials; investigates, hears, and determines complaints; reviews and approves agency ethics policies; and, reviews, approves, or denies contracts between state officers and employees and state agencies.
Written communications intended for board consideration or action shall be filed with the administrative office.
WAC 292-130-040 Executive secretary. The executive secretary shall perform the following duties under the general authority and supervision of the board:
(1) Act as records officer and administrative arm of the board.
(2) Coordinate the policies of the board and the activities of board staff.
(3) Act as a liaison between the board and other public agencies.
(4) Conduct ethics training and information outreach.
WAC 292-130-050 Public records--Availability. Public records are available for inspection and copying except as otherwise provided by RCW 42.17.310 and chapter 292-100 WAC.
WAC 292-130-060 Index. The board has indexed by subject matter the advisory opinions of the board. The index is maintained in the administrative office and is accessible at the board's web site located at www.wa.gov/ethics.
The volume of correspondence managed by the office is such that it would be unduly burdensome to formulate and maintain an index of all correspondence. In lieu of an index, the following filing system is utilized at the board's administrative office:
(1) Complaints received by the board are indexed by year, number, name of the respondent and agency.
(2) Whistleblower referrals from the state auditor are indexed by whistleblower case number.
(3) Contract approvals are filed by year and name of the state employee.
(4) Agency ethics policies are filed by agency name.
WAC 292-130-070 Public records--Officer. The public records officer for the administrative office shall be the executive secretary to the board.
WAC 292-130-080 Hours for seeking public records. Public records shall be available for inspection and copying from 9:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays and during regularly scheduled board meetings.
WAC 292-130-090 Requests for public records. Chapter 42.17 RCW requires that agencies protect public records from damage or disorganization, and prevent excessive interference with essential functions of the agency; therefore, public records may be inspected or copied or copies of such records obtained, upon compliance with the following procedure:
(1) A request shall be made in writing either via electronic mail or in writing upon a form prescribed by the administrative office. The form shall be presented to the public records officer, or to a member of the staff designated by him or her if the public records officer is not available, during office hours. The request shall include:
(a) The name of the person requesting the record;
(b) The calendar date on which the request was made;
(c) A description of the record or records requested.
(2) In all cases in which a member of the public is making a request, it shall be the obligation of the public records officer or designated staff member to whom the request is made to assist in appropriately identifying the public record or public records requested.
WAC 292-130-100 Response to public records requests. (1) The administrative office shall respond promptly to requests for disclosure. Within five business days of receiving a public records request, the office will respond by:
(a) Providing the record;
(b) Acknowledging that the office has received the request and providing a reasonable estimate of the time the office will require to respond to the request; or
(c) Denying the public records request.
(2) Additional time for the office to respond to a request may be based upon the need to:
(a) Clarify the scope of the request;
(b) Locate and assemble the information requested;
(c) Notify third persons who may be named in a record; or
(d) Determine whether any or all of the information requested is exempt and that a denial should be made as to all or part of the request.
WAC 292-130-110 Copying fees. No fees shall be charged for the inspection of public records. The office will charge one dollar for the first ten pages and ten cents per copy for additional pages for requests made under this chapter. The public records officer may waive the fees for copies when the expense of processing the payment exceeds the cost of providing the copies. These charges are necessary to reimburse the office for the costs of providing copies of public records and use of the copying equipment. The office may require that all charges be paid in advance of release of the copies.
WAC 292-130-120 Protection of public records. (1) No person shall knowingly alter, deface, or destroy public records of the office.
(2) Original copies or portions thereof of public records of the office shall not be removed from the premises.
(3) Care and safekeeping of public records of the office, furnished pursuant to a request for inspection or copying, shall be the sole responsibility of the requestor.
(4) Records furnished for public inspection or copying shall be returned in good condition and in the same sequence or organization as when furnished.
WAC 292-130-130 Exemptions. (1) The administrative office reserves the right to determine that a public record requested in accordance with the procedures outlined in WAC 292-130-060 is exempt under the provisions of RCW 42.17.310.
(2) In addition, pursuant to RCW 42.17.260(1), the office reserves the right to delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes any public record in any cases where there is reason to believe that disclosure of such details would be an invasion of personal privacy protected by chapter 42.17 RCW. The public records officer will fully justify such deletion in writing.
(3) Any denial of requests for public records must be accompanied by a written statement specifying the reason for the denial, including a statement of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the records withheld.
WAC 292-130-140 Review of denials of public records request. (1) Any person who objects to a denial of a request for a public record may petition for prompt review of such decision by tendering a written request for review. The written request shall specifically refer to the written statement by the public records officer or other staff member which constituted or accompanied the denial.
(2) Immediately after receiving a written request for review of a decision denying a public record, the public records officer or other staff member denying the request shall refer it to the chair of the board. The chair shall immediately consider the matter and either affirm or reverse such denial or call a special meeting of the board as soon as legally possible to review the denial.