WSR 11-09-089



[ Filed April 20, 2011, 11:31 a.m. ]

PDC Interpretation No. 11-01: Factors to determine when an entity is the functional equivalent of a public agency under chapter 42.17 RCW - Telford v. Thurston County Board of Commissioners.

Interpretation: The public disclosure commission (commission) will use the Telford four-part balancing test if there is a question as to whether an entity is a public agency for the purposes of chapter 42.17 RCW, including RCW 42.17.130 and 42.17.190. This test will be used on a case-by-case basis. The factors will be balanced; not all four factors need be satisfied in order to conclude an entity is a public agency. Those factors are:

(1) Whether the entity performs a governmental function,

(2) The level of government funding,

(3) The extent of government involvement or regulation, and

(4) Whether the entity was created by government.

To provide further guidance, the commission notes that in Telford, the court looked at several facts concerning the two associations (entities) that were the parties in that case. Those facts included the associations' history and organic documents, sources of revenue and funding systems, purposes, membership, services and activities, the degree to which they were controlled by public officials, whether they participated in public retirement systems or other government systems, and the reporting and auditing of their financial affairs including whether the associations were audited by the state.

Further information may be found at The commission meeting materials can be found at under Commission Meetings. For additional information concerning this interpretation contact Suemary Trobaugh, administrative officer, (360) 753-1985, toll-free 1-877-601-2828 or e-mail

Washington State Code Reviser's Office