WSR 17-18-040
[Filed August 30, 2017, 10:32 a.m., effective August 30, 2017, 10:32 a.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: In response to recent legislation relating to costs associated with responding to public records request[s], sections of chapter 495B-276 WAC will need to be amended to be in compliance of state mandates by July 23.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 495B-276-090.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28B.50.130.
Other Authority: EHB 1595.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest; and that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.
Reasons for this Finding: Bellingham Technical College finds good cause that new emergency rule WAC 495B-297-090 is necessary for the following reasons. The Public Records Act is chapter 42.56 RCW. The 2017 legislature amended RCW 42.56.120 (section 3, chapter 304, Laws of 2017) to require that effective July 23, 2017, if an agency uses the new law's amended statutory default copy fee schedule (rather than determining actual costs of copies), the agency must have a rule declaring the reason it is not calculating actual costs is because to do so would be unduly burdensome. The college is not calculating actual costs for copying records because to do so would be unduly burdensome.
There is insufficient time under permanent rule-making procedures for the college to bring its copy fees into statutory compliance by July 23, 2017, and as directed by the legislature. The college also finds that it is in the general welfare and the public interest, and benefits requesters and the agency, to adopt the emergency rule in order to preserve and update fees in accordance with the legislatively adopted schedule, allow for fee waivers, and provide payment procedures. Therefore, emergency rule making is necessary. The college intends to proceed with permanent rule making on these subjects in the near future.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, 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: August 30, 2017.
Ronda Laughlin
Executive Assistant
to the President
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 93-05-018, filed 2/10/93, effective 3/13/93)
WAC 495B-276-090 ((Copying.)) Charges for public records.
((No fee shall be charged for the inspection of public records. The district may impose a reasonable charge for providing copies of public records and for the use by any person of agency equipment to copy public records and such charges shall not exceed the amount necessary to reimburse the district for its actual costs incident to such copying. No person shall be released a record so copied until and unless the person requesting the copied public record has tendered payment for such copying to the appropriate district official.)) (1) Calculating the actual costs of charges for providing public records is unduly burdensome because it will consume scarce college resources to conduct a study of actual costs, and it is difficult to accurately calculate all costs directly incident to copying records, including equipment and paper costs, data storage costs, electronic production costs, and staff time for copying and sending requested records.
(2) Instead of calculating the actual costs of charges for records, the college president or designee shall establish, maintain, and make available for public inspection and copying a statement of costs that the college charges for providing photocopies or electronically produced copies of public records, and such charges for records shall not exceed the maximum default charges allowed in RCW 42.56.120 (2)(b).
(3) The college may also use any other method authorized by the Public Records Act for imposing charges for public records including, but not limited to, charging a flat fee, charging a customized service charge, or charging based on a contract, memorandum of understanding, or other agreement with a requestor.
(4) The college may waive charges assessed for records when the public records officer determines collecting a fee is not cost effective.
All charges must be paid by money order, cashier's check, or cash in advance.