SB 5834

                              As Passed House

                               April 10, 1991


Title:  An act relating to archives and records management.


Brief Description:  Updating archiving methods.


Sponsor(s):  Senator McCaslin; by request of Secretary of State.


Brief History:

   Reported by House Committee on:

State Government, April 2, 1991, DPA;

Passed House, April 10, 1991, 95-0.





Majority Report:  Do pass as amended.  Signed by 10 members:  Representatives Anderson, Chair; Pruitt, Vice Chair; McLean, Ranking Minority Member; Bowman, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Chandler; R. Fisher; Grant; Moyer; O'Brien; and Sheldon.


Staff:  Linda May (786-7135).


Background:  The state archivist is responsible for managing the archives of the state of Washington.  As part of that responsibility, the archivist sets standards for the durability and permanence of records which are to be maintained permanently or for a very long time by state or local agencies.  At the present time, most of these records are on paper or microfilm.  A number of new technologies are emerging whereby records could be created, stored and maintained in alternative formats.


Summary of Bill:  The state archivist is given expanded rule-making authority to set standards for the durability of public records maintained by state and local agencies.  The archivist may adopt rules governing procedures for creating, maintaining, transmitting, and reproducing images of public documents created with new technologies, and rules governing the accuracy and durability of these images.  The procedures adopted are to be consistent with current standards, policies, and procedures of the Department of Information Services.


Fiscal Note:  Available.


Effective Date:  Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.


Testimony For:  This bill broadens the definition of public records to include new forms.  This measure can help resolve potential legal challenges as to whether optical images are public records.  It also allows the state archivist to set standards for these new record formats.  It is important for state agencies to have standards and consistent policies regarding optical imaging.  Many counties are in the process of putting their records on optical disks.  It would be helpful for the counties to have standards to go by, as well.


Testimony Against:  None.


Witnesses:  Michael Betz and Don Whiting, Office of the Secretary of State; Susan Moriarty, Department of Labor and Industries; and Sue Burkley, County Auditors Association (all in favor).