WSR 03-08-101

PROPOSED RULES

PARKS AND RECREATION

COMMISSION

[ Filed April 2, 2003, 11:57 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-04-038 on January 28, 2003.

Title of Rule: Chapter 352-40 WAC, Public records.

Purpose: The State Parks and Recreation Commission has determined the need to review the entire chapter for accuracy and to ensure compliance with chapter 42.17 RCW. These administrative rules explain the agency records index, the agency process and fees charged for records requested under public disclosure laws. The commission intends to update the chapter to reflect current indexing, provide for greater flexibility in charging for copies of records, present the rules in clear language, and improve the agency responsive [response] to the citizens.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 79A.05.030, 79A.05.070, 79A.05.075, and chapter 42.17 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 42.17.250 through 42.17.340.

Summary: These administrative rules explain the agency process, records indexing and the fees charged for records requested under public disclosure laws.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Park visitors will gain improved public service.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Lisa Dunn, 7150 Cleanwater Lane, P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8636.

Name of Proponent: Washington state parks.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Except for certain exemptions specified in chapter 42.17 RCW, all public records need to be made available to the public for inspection and copying. Each agency must identify how a citizen can access the records, where and when they can be accessed and how they are indexed. Each agency must further publish a cost breakdown of charges associated with copying public records.

The proposed amendments to chapter 352-40 WAC present these administrative rules in "clear language" in order to make the procedures more understandable to the public. These proposed rules identify how citizens can access agency public records, where and when they can be accessed and how they are indexed. These amendments also explain how the public can obtain a fee schedule of copying costs.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: This proposed rule-making action would amend and update existing rules in chapter 352-40 WAC. The amendments update the current indexing structure of agency records, provide for greater accuracy in charging for the copying of documents, present the rules in clear language, and improve the agency response to citizens.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This chapter of administrative rule does not regulate or have economic impact through regulations on small business. There are no compliance costs to small business.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. Significant legislative rule-making requirements are not imposed on the State Parks and Recreation Commission, nor has the commission voluntarily applied those requirements.

Hearing Location: The public hearing will occur during the regularly scheduled Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission meeting to be held at Whitman College, Young Ballroom, Room B, 280 Boyer Avenue (intersection of Park Street and Boyer), Walla Walla, WA 99362-2083, on May 15, 2003, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Pauli Larson by May 1, 2003, TDD (360) 664-3133 or (360) 902-8505.

Submit Written Comments to: Washington State Parks, Attention: Lisa Dunn, 7219 Cleanwater Lane, P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, e-mail lisa.dunn@parks.wa.gov, fax (360) 586-5875, by April 24, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: May 15, 2003.

April 2, 2003

Jim French

Chief of Policy Research

and Program Development

OTS-6284.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 15, filed 7/25/73)

WAC 352-40-010   ((Purpose.)) What is the purpose of this chapter?   The purpose of this chapter ((shall be)) is to ensure compliance by the Washington state parks and recreation commission with the provisions of RCW 42.17.250 through 42.17.320 dealing with public records.

[Order 15, 352-40-010, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 15, filed 7/25/73)

WAC 352-40-020   ((Definitions.)) How do we define terms?   (1) In accordance with RCW 42.17.020(36) "public record" includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of governmental or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristic.

(2) "Writing" means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, and every other means of recording any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof; and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums and other documents.

(3) "Washington state parks and recreation commission" ((shall mean the)) is a commission appointed by the governor ((pursuant to chapter 43.51 RCW. The Washington state parks and recreation commission shall hereinafter be referred to as the "commission." Where appropriate, the term "commission" also)) consisting of seven citizens of the state as outlined in RCW 79A.05.015.

(4) "Agency" refers to the staff and employees of the Washington state parks and recreation commission.

[Order 15, 352-40-020, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 72, filed 11/22/83)

WAC 352-40-030   ((Description of central and field organization of the Washington state parks and recreation commission.)) Where can citizens access agency public records?   ((The commission is an appointed commission. The administrative office of the commission and its staff are located at Tumwater Airdustrial Center, Olympia, Washington. Five regional offices with limited records availability, as specified in WAC 352-40-070, are located at Millersylvania State Park, Olympia, Washington; 220 Walnut Street, Burlington, Washington; 2201 North Duncan Drive, Wenatchee, Washington; Sacajawea State Park, Pasco, Washington; and 3107 "R" Street S.E., Auburn, Washington.)) Most public records of the commission and the agency are located at the Olympia headquarters office. Copies of certain records may be accessible at regional offices.

(1) The director and administrative offices are located at the headquarters office at 7150 Cleanwater Lane, Olympia, WA 98504-2650. Mailing address for the headquarters office is:

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

P.O. Box 2650

Olympia, WA 98504-2650

360-902-8500

FAX 360-753-1594

TDD 360-664-3133

(a) The public affairs office is available to assist with media inquiries and general public information requests.

Phone: 360-902-8561

E-mail: pao@parks.wa.gov

(b) The information center is available to assist with questions regarding specific parks, overnight accommodations, recreation programs and seasonal park closures. The center can send you a Request for Public Records form by e-mail or will refer your Request for Public Records form to the public records officer.

Phone: 360-902-8844

E-mail: infocent@parks.wa.gov

(c) The public records officer is available to assist in coordination with viewing of or copying agency records. The reception area at the headquarters office in Olympia can refer you to the records officer.

Phone: 360-902-8500

(2) Location of regional offices:

Southwest Region

Headquarters Office

11838 Tilley Road S.E.

Olympia, WA 98512

360-753-7143

Northwest Region

Headquarters Office

220 N. Walnut

Burlington, WA 98233

360-755-9231

Eastern Region

Headquarters Office

2201 N. Duncan Drive

Wenatchee, WA 98801-1007

509-662-0420

Puget Sound Region

2840 Riverwalk Drive S.E.

Auburn, WA 98002

206-931-3907.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17.250. 83-23-095 (Order 72), 352-40-030, filed 11/22/83; Order 15, 352-40-030, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 15, filed 7/25/73)

WAC 352-40-040   ((Operations and procedures.)) How is the agency organized and how is it operated?   All decisions involving basic policy are made by the commission ((at its regular and special monthly meetings as outlined in chapters 352-04, 352-16, 352-24, 352-28, and 352-32 WAC)).

Staff at HQ implements those policy decisions.

Staff at each region develop, maintain and steward the state parks according to the policy decisions.

[Order 15, 352-40-040, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 15, filed 7/25/73)

WAC 352-40-060   What are the duties of the public records officer((.))?   ((The commission's public records shall be in charge of the public records officer designated by the director. The person so designated shall be located in the administrative office of the commission. The public records officer shall be responsible for the following: The implementation of the commission's rules and regulations regarding release of public records, coordinating the staff of the commission in this regard, and generally insuring compliance by the staff of the commission in this regard, and generally insuring compliance by the staff with the public records disclosure requirements of chapter 1, Laws of 1973.)) The agency public records officer is located in the headquarters administrative office and is responsible for:

(1) The implementation of the commission's rules and regulations regarding release of public records.

(2) Coordinating the agency in implementation of state records management techniques and agency indexing standards to ensure protection of, and prompt access to, public records.

(3) Implementing and ensuring compliance by the staff with the public records disclosure requirements of RCW 42.17.250 through 42.17.340.

(4) Assists requestors in coordination and viewing or copying of agency records.

[Order 15, 352-40-060, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 72, filed 11/22/83)

WAC 352-40-070   ((Office hours.)) When can I inspect public records?   Public records ((shall be)) are available for inspection and copying ((during the customary office hours of the commission. For the purposes of this chapter, the customary office hours shall be)) from 9:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. ((All public records of the commission are located at the Olympia headquarters office of the commission. In addition, certain specific records such as commission minutes, commission statements of policy, administrative staff manuals, and instructions to staff emanating from the commission, director, deputy director, and assistant directors can be obtained at the five regional offices identified in WAC 352-40-030. All other requests will be referred to the headquarters office located in Olympia through use of the "request for public information" form, WAC 352-40-900.))

[Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17.250. 83-23-095 (Order 72), 352-40-070, filed 11/22/83; Order 15, 352-40-070, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 15, filed 7/25/73)

WAC 352-40-080   ((Requests for)) How do I request inspection or copying of public records((.))?   In accordance with requirements of ((chapter 1, Laws of 1973)) RCW 42.17.255, that agencies prevent unreasonable invasions of privacy((,)) and RCW 42.17.290 that agencies protect public records from damage or disorganization, and prevent excessive interference with essential functions of the agency, public records may be inspected or copied, or copies of such records may be obtained, by members of the public upon compliance with the following procedure:

(1) A request shall be made in writing ((upon a form prescribed by the commission which shall be available at its administrative office or the regional offices indicated in WAC 352-40-030. The form shall be presented to the public records officer, or to any member of the commission's staff if the public records officer is not available, during customary office hours)) using agency Form A-374, Public Records Request. The form may be requested and obtained through the mail, by e-mail, or by FAX as referenced in WAC 352-40-030. The form shall be presented to the public records officer or to any member of the agency if the public records officer is not available, during customary office hours. The agency may in its discretion fill requests made by telephone, e-mail or facsimile copy (FAX). The request shall include the following information:

(a) The name, address and phone number of the person requesting the record;

(b) The ((time of day and calendar)) date on which the request was made;

(c) ((The nature of the request;

(d) If the matter requested is referenced within the current index maintained by the records officer, a reference to the requested record as it is described in such current index;

(e) If the requested matter is not identifiable by reference to the commission's current index, an appropriate description of the record requested.)) If inspection of the record is requested, the time of day and calendar date on which the requestor wishes to inspect the public records;

(d) An appropriate description of the record requested;

(e) A statement that the information will not be used for commercial purposes.

(2) The public records officer, or ((staff member)) agency employee assisting the member of the public making the request, will ascertain that the information requested is not exempt from public inspection and copying as outlined in WAC 352-40-100 ((and further defined in section 31, Laws of 1973. Included therein, but not limited to, are such exemptions as personal information that may violate the right of privacy of the individual, national defense information, certain aspects of real estate appraisals as outlined in (g) of said section, and other vital governmental data.

(3) In all cases, it shall be the obligation of the public records officer, or staff member to whom the request is made, to:

(a) Locate the specific document(s) requested by the member of the public in the most timely manner possible;

(b) Assist the member of the public in appropriately identifying the public record requested;

(c) Protect and otherwise prevent damage to the public record being inspected and copied;

(d) Prevent disorganization of file folders or document containers;

(e) Remain in the company of the member of the public at all times during which a public document is being inspected, and provide the fullest assistance possible;

(f) Prevent excessive interference with the other essential functions of the agency.

(4) In all cases, the member of the public making the request will not be permitted access to the file storage area)).

(3) Requests for identifiable public records will be processed promptly. The agency will respond within five working days of receiving the request by either:

(a) Providing the record;

(b) Acknowledging receipt of request and providing a reasonable estimate of the time required to respond; or

(c) Denying the request.

Additional time required to respond to a request may be based upon the need to clarify the intent of the request, to locate and assemble the information requested, to notify third persons or agencies affected by the request, or to determine whether any of the information requested is exempt and that a denial should be made as to all or part of the request. In acknowledging a receipt of a public record request that is unclear, the agency may ask the requestor to clarify what information the requestor is seeking. If the requestor fails to clarify the request, the agency need not respond to it.

(4) The agency does not distinguish among persons requesting records and such persons shall not be required to provide information as to the purpose for the request except to establish whether inspection and copying would violate RCW 42.17.260(5) or other statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records to certain persons. Agency facilities shall be made available to any person for the copying of public records except when and to the extent that this would unreasonably disrupt the operations of the agency.

[Order 15, 352-40-080, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 92-10-019, filed 4/29/92, effective 5/30/92)

WAC 352-40-090   ((Copying.)) Is there a cost to view or copy public records?   ((No fee shall be charged for the inspection of public records. The commission shall charge a fee of ten cents per page per copy for public records and for use of the commission copy equipment. This charge is the amount necessary to reimburse the commission for its costs for copying.)) The agency does not charge a fee for the inspection of public records.

The agency will charge an amount necessary to reimburse its costs for providing copies of records. This amount shall be reviewed from time to time by the agency and shall represent the costs of providing copies of public records and for use of the agency's copy equipment, including staff time spent copying records, preparing records for copying, and restoring files. This charge is the amount necessary to reimburse the agency for its actual costs for copying and is payable at the time copies are furnished. The charge for special copy work of nonstandard public records shall reflect the total cost, including the staff time necessary to safeguard the integrity of these records.

Contact the public records officer for fee schedule of copying costs.

The public records officer or designee may waive the fee if the cost of preparing a billing for recoverable reproduction costs exceeds the amount to be recovered.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 43.51 RCW. 92-10-019, 352-40-090, filed 4/29/92, effective 5/30/92; Order 15, 352-40-090, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 15, filed 7/25/73)

WAC 352-40-100   ((Exemptions.)) Can my request be denied?   (1) ((The commission reserves the right to determine that a public record requested in accordance with the procedures outlined in WAC 352-40-080 is exempt under the provisions of section 31, chapter 1, Laws of 1973.)) Yes, a request can be denied if it is exempt from disclosure under the provisions of RCW 42.17.255 and 42.17.310.

(2) ((In addition, pursuant to section 26, chapter 1, Laws of 1973, the commission reserves the right to)) Under the provisions of RCW 42.17.260, the agency will 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 1, Laws of 1973)) RCW 42.17.260. The public records officer will fully justify such deletion in writing.

(3) Under the provisions of RCW 42.17.269, public records requests will also be denied if the purpose of the request is to sell or use the information for commercial purposes.

(4) All denials 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 record withheld.

[Order 15, 352-40-100, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 15, filed 7/25/73)

WAC 352-40-110   ((Review of denials of public records requests.)) What is the review process for a denial of a public records request?   (((1) Any person who objects to the 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 director of the commission. The director shall immediately consider the matter and either affirm or reverse such denial. In any case, the request shall be returned with a final decision, within two business days following the original denial.

(3) Administrative remedies shall not be considered exhausted until the director has returned the petition with a decision or until the close of the second business day following denial of inspection, whichever occurs first.)) The public records officer or designee denying the request shall immediately send a copy of the written response to the director of the commission. The director or designee shall immediately consider the matter and, within two business days, either affirm or reverse such denial. If the director or designee has not responded to the requestor by the end of the two business days following denial of inspection, then the request is deemed denied.

[Order 15, 352-40-110, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 15, filed 7/25/73)

WAC 352-40-120   ((Protection of)) How does the agency protect public records((.))?   ((All)) Public records of the ((commission)) agency are located in the Olympia headquarters((, administrative services division, central files section)) and each of the regional locations as outlined in WAC 352-40-030. Records are available for inspection and copying at ((this)) these locations during office hours identified in WAC 352-40-070 ((and then only in the presence of an authorized employee of the commission and with the aid and assistance of such an employee)).

In order to protect these records, you must comply with the following guidelines:

(1) You may not remove any public record from the agency premises.

(2) You must have a designated agency employee present while inspecting public records.

(3) You may not mark or deface a public record in any manner during inspection.

(4) You may not dismantle public records which are maintained in a file or jacket or in chronological or other filing order.

Access to file cabinets, shelves, vaults, or other storage areas is restricted to agency personnel unless other arrangements are made with the public records officer or designee.

[Order 15, 352-40-120, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 90-20-032, filed 9/25/90, effective 10/26/90)

WAC 352-40-130   ((System of indexing records.)) How are agency records indexed?   ((Agency records are indexed and retained as follows:

The index for commission policies, administrative policies, agency procedures, memorandums of understanding, and operations directives is located in the central files office. Office files and memoranda, and official public records as defined by RCW 42.17.260, are retained in the agency and their locations are identified by the existing central files index coding system.

Such records are the responsibility of the individual agency divisions to inventory, maintain, and dispose. Record descriptions, retention, and authorization disposition are listed on the records inventory schedule of each office of record and are located in the central files office.)) The records retention schedule established by the division of state archives of the office of the secretary of state serves as an index for the identification and location of agency records and includes all records issued before July 1, 1990, for which the agency has maintained an index.

The records retention schedule indexes records according to the originating program or section, and then the record series title. Each title is further identified by a statement of function or purpose, and the retention period. With the assistance of the public records officer or designee, the records retention schedule is available to the public for inspection and copying.

A separate index of policy statements as defined in RCW 34.05.010(15) entered after June 30, 1990, shall be maintained by the agency.

In addition, the agency has a functional index coding system for physical files, commission policy, administrative policy and agency procedures.

Commission meetings minutes are indexed by year, month, and agenda item number. They are also summarized by topic.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.51.040. 90-20-032, 352-40-130, filed 9/25/90, effective 10/26/90; Order 15, 352-40-130, filed 7/25/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 15, filed 7/25/73)

WAC 352-40-150   Adoption of form.   The commission hereby adopts for use by all persons requesting inspection and/or copying or copies of its records, the Form ((attached hereto as WAC 352-40-900, entitled ")) A-374, Request for Public Record.(("))

[Order 15, 352-40-150, filed 7/25/73.]


REPEALER

     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 352-40-050 Public records available.
WAC 352-40-125 Purpose of records index.
WAC 352-40-127 Definitions in records index.
WAC 352-40-140 Location of record indexes and communications.
WAC 352-40-900 Request for public record -- Form.

Legislature Code Reviser 

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office