WSR 13-05-014



[ Filed February 7, 2013, 10:58 a.m. , effective March 10, 2013 ]

     Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

     Purpose: Adopt new WAC 390-37-182 Penalty factors. Describes factors the public disclosure commission may consider when imposing and suspending penalties for violations of chapter 42.17A RCW, in adjudicative proceedings before the commission and in brief adjudicative proceedings conducted by a single commissioner.

     Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 42.17A.110, 42.17A.755.

      Adopted under notice filed as WSR 13-01-022 on December 10, 2012.

     Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

     Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

     Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

     Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

     Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0;      Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

     Date Adopted: February 6, 2013.

Lori Anderson

Communications and

Training Officer

[NEW SECTION]WAC 390-37-182   Penalty factors.   (1) In assessing a penalty, the commission considers the purposes of RCW 42.17A, including the public's right to know of the financing of political campaigns, lobbying and the financial affairs of elected officials and candidates as declared in the policy of RCW 42.17A.001; and, promoting compliance with the law. The commission also considers and applies RCW 42.17A.755 and may consider any of the additional factors described in (3).

     (2) Under RCW 42.17A.755, the commission:

     (a) May waive a penalty for a first-time violation;

     (b) Shall assess a penalty for a second violation of the same rule by the same person or individual, regardless if the person or individual committed the violation for a different political committee;

     (c) Shall assess successively increased penalties for succeeding violations of the same rule.

     (3) In addition to the requirements of RCW 42.17A.755, the commission may consider the nature of the violation and any relevant circumstances, including the following factors:

     (a) The respondent's compliance history, including whether the non-compliance was isolated or limited in nature, indicative of systematic or on-going problems, or part of a pattern of violations by the respondent;

     (b) The impact on the public, including whether the non-compliance deprived the public of timely or accurate information during a time-sensitive period;

     (c) Sophistication of respondent, or respondent's organization, or size of campaign;

     (d) Amount of financial activity during statement period or election cycle;

     (e) Whether the non-compliance resulted from a knowing or intentional effort to conceal, deceive or mislead, or violate the law;

     (f) Whether the late or unreported activity was significant in amount or duration under the circumstances;

     (g) Whether the respondent or anyone else benefitted economically from the non-compliance;

     (h) Personal emergency or illness of the respondent or member of his or her immediate family;

     (i) Other emergencies such as fire, flood, or utility failure preventing filing;

     (j) Commission staff or equipment error, including technical problems at the agency preventing or delaying electronic filing;

     (k) Corrective action or other remedial measures initiated by respondent prior to enforcement action, or promptly taken when non-compliance brought to respondent's attention (e.g., filing missing reports, amending incomplete or inaccurate reports, returning prohibited or overlimit contributions);

     (l) Whether the respondent is a first-time filer;

     (m) Good faith efforts to comply, including consultation with commission staff prior to initiation of enforcement action and cooperation with commission staff during enforcement action;

     (n) Penalties imposed in factually similar cases; and,

     (o) Other factors relevant to a particular case.

     (4) The commission, and the presiding officer in brief adjudicative proceedings, may consider the factors in (1) - (3) in determining whether to suspend a portion or all of a penalty upon identified conditions, and whether to accept, reject, or modify a stipulated penalty amount recommended by the parties.

     (5) The presiding officer in brief adjudicative proceedings may consider whether any of the factors in (1) - (3) are factors that warrant directing a case to the full commission.


     Reviser's note: The unnecessary underscoring in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

     Reviser's note: The bracketed material preceding the section above was supplied by the code reviser's office.