Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: To repeal sections of chapter 260-08 WAC that address public records and adopt new chapter 260-09 WAC, this incorporates the Washington state recommended model rules.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 260-08-620, 260-08-630, 260-08-650, and 260-08-660.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 67.16.020 and 67.16.040.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 10-02-039 on December 30, 2009.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 8, Amended 0, Repealed 4.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 8, Amended 0, Repealed 4.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 8, Amended 0, Repealed 4; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: February 11, 2010.
Douglas L. Moore
The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
|WAC 260-08-620||Requests for public records.|
|WAC 260-08-630||Copying fees.|
|WAC 260-08-650||Review of denials of public records.|
|WAC 260-08-660||Protection of public records.|
(2) The purpose of the chapter is to also provide the public full access to information concerning the conduct of government, mindful of individuals' privacy rights and the desirability of the efficient administration of government. These rules will be interpreted in favor of disclosure. In carrying out its responsibilities, the commission will be guided by the provisions of the public records law of the state of Washington.
(2) Any person wishing to request access to public records of the commission, or seeking assistance in making such a request should contact the public records officer of the commission. Information is also available at the commission's web site at www.whrc.wa.gov.
(3) The public records officer will oversee compliance with accessing public records the act but another commission staff member may process the request. Therefore, these rules will refer to the public records officer "or designee." The public records officer or designee will provide the "fullest assistance" to requestors; create and maintain for use by the public and commission employees an index to public records of the commission; ensure that public records are protected from damage or disorganization; and prevent fulfilling public records requests from causing excessive interference with essential functions of the commission.
(2) Organization of records. The commission will take reasonable actions to protect records from damage and disorganization. A requestor may not take records from commission offices without the permission of the public records officer or designee. A variety of records is available on the commission web site at www.whrc.wa.gov. Requestors are encouraged to view the documents available on the web site prior to submitting a records request.
(3) Making a request for public records.
(a) Any person wishing to inspect or copy public records of the commission should make the request in writing, fax, or e-mail addressed to the public records officer and include the following information:
(i) Name of requestor;
(ii) Address of requestor;
(iii) Other contact information, including telephone number and any e-mail address;
(iv) Identification of the public records adequate for the public records officer or designee to locate the records; and
(v) The date and time of day of the request.
(b) If the requestor wishes to have copies of the records made instead of simply inspecting them, he or she should so indicate and make arrangements to pay for copies of the records or a deposit. Standard photocopies will be provided at fifteen cents per page.
(c) The public records officer or designee may accept requests for public records that contain the above information by telephone or in person. If the public records officer or designee accepts such a request, he or she will confirm receipt of the information and the substance of the request in writing.
(a) Make the records available for inspection or copying;
(b) If copies are requested and payment of a deposit for the copies, if any, is made or terms of payment are agreed upon, send the copies to the requestor;
(c) Provide a reasonable estimate of when records will be available; or
(d) If the request is unclear or does not sufficiently identify the requested records, request clarification from the requestor. Such clarification may be requested and provided by telephone. The public records officer or designee may revise the estimate of when records will be available; or
(e) Deny the request.
(2) Consequences of failure to respond. If the commission does not respond in writing within five business days of receipt of the request for disclosure, the requestor should consider contacting the public records officer to determine the reason for the failure to respond.
(3) Protecting rights of others. In the event that the requested records contain information that may affect rights of others and may be exempt from disclosure, the public records officer may, prior to providing the records, give notice to such others whose rights may be affected by the disclosure. Such notice should be given so as to make it possible for those other persons to contact the requestor and ask him or her to revise the request, or, if necessary, seek an order from a court to prevent or limit the disclosure. The notice to the affected persons will include a copy of the request.
(4) Records exempt from disclosure. Some records are exempt from disclosure, in whole or in part. If the commission believes that a record is exempt from disclosure and should be withheld, the public records officer will state the specific exemption and provide a brief explanation of why the record or a portion of the record is being withheld. If only a portion of a record is exempt from disclosure, but the remainder is not exempt, the public records officer will redact the exempt portions, provide the nonexempt portions, and indicate to the requestor why portions of the record are being redacted.
(5) Inspection of records.
(a) Consistent with other demands, the commission will promptly provide space to inspect public records. No member of the public may remove a document from the viewing area or disassemble or alter any document. The requestor shall indicate which documents he or she wishes the agency to copy.
(b) The requestor must claim or review the assembled records within thirty days of the commission notification to him or her that the records are available for inspection or copying. The agency will notify the requestor in writing of this requirement and inform the requestor that he or she should contact the agency to make arrangements to claim or review the records. If the requestor or a representative of the requestor fails to claim or review the records within the thirty-day period or make other arrangements, the commission may close the request and refile the assembled records. Other public records requests can be processed ahead of a subsequent request by the same person for the same or almost identical records, which can be processed as a new request.
(6) Providing copies of records. After inspection is complete, the public records officer or designee will make the requested copies or arrange for copying.
(7) Providing records in installments. When the request is for a large number of records, the public records officer or designee will provide access for inspection and copying in installments if he or she reasonably determines that it would be practical to provide the records in that way. If, within thirty days, the requestor fails to inspect the entire set of records or one or more of the installments, the public records officer or designee may stop searching for the remaining records and close the request.
(8) Completion of inspection. When the inspection of the requested records is complete and all requested copies are provided, the public records officer or designee will indicate that the commission has completed a diligent search for the requested records and made any located nonexempt records available for inspection.
(9) Closing withdrawn or abandoned request. When the requestor either withdraws the request or fails to fulfill his or her obligations to inspect the records or pay the deposit or final payment for the requested copies, the public records officer will close the request and indicate to the requestor that the commission has closed the request.
(10) Later discovered documents. If, after the commission has informed the requestor that it has provided all available records, the commission becomes aware of additional responsive documents existing at the time of the request, it will promptly inform the requestor of the additional documents and provide them on an expedited basis.
(2) When a requestor requests records in an electronic format, the public records officer will provide the nonexempt records or portions of such records that are reasonably locatable in an electronic format that is used by the agency and is generally commercially available, or in a format that is reasonably translatable from the format in which the agency keeps the record.
(2) The commission is prohibited by statute from disclosing lists of individuals for commercial purposes.
Before beginning to make the copies, the public records officer or designee may require 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 the payment of the remainder of the copying costs before providing all the records, or the payment of the costs of copying an installment before providing that installment. The commission 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 one dollar for information on a CD-ROM. There will be no charge for e-mailing electronic records to a requestor, unless another cost applies such as a scanning fee.
(3) Costs of mailing. The commission may also charge actual costs of mailing, including the cost of the shipping container.
(4) Payment. Payment may be made by cash, check, or money order to the Washington horse racing commission.
(2) Consideration of petition for review. The public records officer will promptly provide the petition and any other relevant information to the executive secretary of the commission. The executive secretary will immediately consider the petition and either affirm or reverse the denial within two business days following the commission's receipt of the petition, or within such other time as commission and the requestor mutually agree to.
(3) Review by the attorney general's office. If the commission denies a requestor access to public records because it claims the record is exempt in whole or in part from disclosure, the requestor may request the attorney general's office to review the matter. The attorney general has adopted rules on such requests in WAC 44-06-160.
(4) Judicial review. Any person may obtain court review of denials of public records requests at the conclusion of two business days after the initial denial regardless of any internal administrative appeal.