PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Public records, amending chapter 44-06 WAC.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 42.56.040, 42.56.070, 34.05.220.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The current rules of the attorney general's office (AGO) relating to public records were last revised in 1997. Since that time, the Public Records Act has been recodified substantially from chapter 42.17 RCW to chapter 42.56 RCW. Also, in 2006, pursuant to statutory authority granted in 2005 (section 4, chapter 483, Laws of 2005 (codified as RCW 42.56.570)), the AGO adopted a set of advisory model rules for state and local agencies on public records. These are codified in chapter 44-14 WAC. It is appropriate for the AGO to revise its own public records rules in chapter 44-06 WAC in light of these statutory and administrative developments as well as in response to the developing issues surrounding requests for, and production of, electronic records.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study; and because the AGO undertook a fairly comprehensive review of rules relating to public records when it adopted the Public Records Act model rules in 2006, and that effort involved substantial public participation, the AGO does not intend to duplicate that effort for the purpose of revising its rules in chapter 44-06 WAC. Rather, the AGO will convene an internal work group to review the model rules in chapter 44-14 WAC and adopt and incorporate relevant aspects of them into chapter 44-06 WAC. The internal work group will also review any comments received pursuant to this preproposal statement of inquiry in developing a proposed rule to include with a notice of proposed rule making.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Any person wishing to comment on the general subject matter of rules for the AGO implementing the Public Records Act or suggesting specific rule language should file written comments by May 2, 2008, with the rules coordinator, Danielle French, Rules Coordinator, Attorney General's Office, P.O. Box 40100, Olympia, WA 98504-0100, (360) 753-6207, fax (360) 664-0228, firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 12, 2008