WSR 18-06-089
[Filed March 6, 2018, 3:46 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 17-17-071.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Olympic College Public Records Policy #700-03 repeal and replacement.
Hearing Location(s): April 10, 2018, at 4 – 6 p.m., at Olympic College, Humanities and Student Services Building, Room 119, 1600 Chester Avenue, Bremerton, WA 98337.
Date of Intended Adoption: May 15, 2018.
Submit Written Comments to: Kim Abel, 1600 Chester Avenue, CSC 300, Bremerton, WA 98337, email, by April 5, 2018.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Karen Fusco, phone 360-475-7540, email, by March 27, 2018.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose of this rule making is to repeal and replace chapter 132C-276 WAC to better conform such chapter to: (1) Recent changes in the law concerning public records; (2) model rules recommended by the attorney general's office (chapter 44-14 WAC); (3) current practices; and (4) adopt a permanent rule that implements the state legislature's new Public Records Act requirements and provide the necessary findings so that Olympic College may use the amended statutory default fee schedule that became effective July 23, 2017, and waive copy fees under limited circumstances.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The college is updating procedures regarding requests for public records in order to comply with legislative changes to the Public Records Act (chapter 42.56 RCW) pursuant to RCW 42.56.120(2), as amended by section 3, chapter 304, Laws of 2017, which are effective July 23, 2017. RCW 42.56.120 as amended requires that before an agency uses the amended statutory default copy fee schedule in the new law (rather than determining actual costs of copies), the agency must have a rule declaring the reason that it is not calculating actual costs because to do so would be unduly burdensome. The statute as amended also allows an agency to waive any charge assessed for a public record pursuant to a rule. The college is also making general housekeeping changes.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 28B.50 RCW.
Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 42.56 RCW.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Olympic College, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Kim Abel, 1600 Chester Avenue, CSC 300, Bremerton, WA 98337, 360-473-2848.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Pursuant to RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i), this agency is not mandated to comply with RCW 34.05.328. Further, the agency does not voluntarily make that section applicable to the adoption of this rule pursuant to subsection (5)(a)(ii), and to date the joint administrative [rules] review committee has not made the section applicable to the adoption of this rule.
This rule proposal, or portions of the proposal, is exempt from requirements of the Regulatory Fairness Act because the proposal:
Is exempt under RCW 42.56.070, 42.56.120. Explanation of exemptions, if necessary: To the extent there are costs assessed by this agency for records provided in response to public records requests by small businesses, the authorized costs are set out in statute and apply to all requesters. RCW 42.56.070, 42.56.120.
March 6, 2018
Kim E. Abel
Public Records Manager and
Policy Development Coordinator
WAC 132C-276-200 Purpose.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for public access to existing, identifiable, nonexempt public records of Olympic College in accordance with the Public Records Act, chapter 42.56 RCW.
WAC 132C-276-210 Definitions.
(1) Public record. The term "public record" and other terms defined in the Public Records Act shall have the same meaning in this chapter that they have under the Public Records Act.
(2) Public Records Act. References in this chapter to the "Public Records Act" are to chapter 42.56 RCW.
(3) Requestor. A "requestor" is any person or entity requesting public records of the college pursuant to the Public Records Act.
(4) College. The term "college" means Olympic College.
WAC 132C-276-220 Description of the college.
(1) Mission - Governance. Olympic College is a public institution of higher education established under chapter 28B.50 RCW as a community college, which offers associate and applied baccalaureate degrees. The college is governed by a board of trustees appointed by the governor. The board appoints a president who serves as the chief executive officer responsible for the administration of the college.
(2) Olympic College campuses. The main campus of the college is located at 1600 Chester Avenue, Bremerton, Washington 98337. The college also offers educational programs online and at other campuses located at 937 West Alpine Way, Shelton, Washington 98584, and 1000 Olympic College Way Northwest, Poulsbo, Washington 98370.
(3) Policies and procedures. College policies meeting the definition of a "rule" under the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW, are adopted by the board of trustees and published in Title 132C of the Washington Administrative Code. Other college policies approved by the administration are published in policies and procedures available on the college web site.
(4) Documents index. As an institution of higher education, the college generally does not have occasion to issue nonexempt "final orders," "declaratory orders," "interpretive statements," or "policy statements" as those terms are defined and used in the Public Records Act. The secretary of the college's board of trustees does maintain and publish on the college web site a documents index of the board's approved meeting minutes which includes motions and resolutions. Inquiries may be directed to the secretary of the board in the office of the president.
(5) College web site. The college's official web site, available at, provides general information about the college and its board of trustees, administration, educational programs, and policies and procedures. Persons seeking public records of the college are encouraged to view the records available on the web site prior to submitting a records request.
WAC 132C-276-230 Processing of records requests.
(1) Applicable law. Requests for public records will be processed in accordance with these rules and applicable provisions of the Public Records Act, chapter 42.56 RCW. Guidance concerning the application of these rules may be found in the advisory model rules adopted by the attorney general under chapter 44-14 WAC.
(2) Prioritizing of requests. Public records requests generally will be processed in the order in which they are received by the records office and within the staffing limitations of the office. However, the records office may expedite requests for a single record or for only a few records, if such records are easily identifiable and can be readily retrieved. The records office may ask, but not require, a requestor to prioritize the records the requestor is seeking.
(3) Clarification of requests. The public records officer may request clarification of a records request in accordance with applicable provisions of the Public Records Act. The requestor must respond to the request for clarification within fifteen business days of the request for clarification.
(4) Providing records by installment. If a requestor submits multiple records requests, or if a request seeks a large number of records or many different types of records, the public records officer may provide access to the records in installments in accordance with applicable provisions of the Public Records Act.
(5) Denial of bot requests. The public records officer may deny a bot request as defined by, and under the circumstances set forth in, RCW 42.56.080(3) if the records officer reasonably believes the request was automatically generated by a computer program or script.
WAC 132C-276-240 Public records available for inspection.
(1) Scheduling of appointments. Public records identified as responsive to a public records request may be made available for inspection and copying during customary office hours by scheduling an appointment with the public records officer. The requestor must review the assembled records, or installment of records, within fifteen business days of being notified that the records are available for review.
(2) Protection of records. The public records officer will be responsible for providing full access to public records made available for inspection, for protecting the records from damage or disorganization, and for preventing excessive interference with essential college functions. Public records made available for inspection may not be removed from the office without the permission of the records officer.
(3) Copying of records. The public records officer will arrange for copying of any records designated by the requestor and will charge such copying fees as may apply under WAC 132C-276-270.
WAC 132C-276-250 Public records officer.
(1) Designation. A public records officer designated by the college shall be responsible for responding to public records requests in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and applicable provisions of the Public Records Act, chapter 42.56 RCW. The duties of the public records officer under this chapter may be delegated to one or more public records assistants designated by the college.
(2) Duties. The public records officer shall oversee the college's compliance with the Public Records Act. The records officer (or designee) and the college are responsible for providing the fullest assistance to requestors of public records, for ensuring that public records are protected from damage or disorganization, and for preventing records requests from excessively interfering with essential institutional functions or unreasonably disrupting the operations of the college. The college may take reasonable precautions to prevent a requestor from being unreasonably disruptive or disrespectful to college staff.
(3) Records office. Inquiries regarding public records of the college may be addressed to the public records officer at the following office address:
Public Records Officer
Olympic College
1600 Chester Avenue
Bremerton, WA 98337
(4) Office hours. The customary office hours of the public records office are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.
WAC 132C-276-260 Requests for public records.
(1) Online requests preferred. Requests for public records of the college may be addressed to the public records officer at the email address given in WAC 132C-276-250. The college encourages, but does not require, requestors to use the public records request form made available online at on the public records web page. Requests made orally, whether by phone or in person, may be confirmed in writing by the public records officer.
(2) Contents of records requests. A request for public records must include the following information:
(a) The name and contact information of the person requesting the records;
(b) The requestor's mailing address, which may be an electronic mail address;
(c) The date and time of the request;
(d) A description of the requested records that is sufficiently detailed to enable the public records officer to identify and locate the records.
(3) Lists of individuals for commercial purposes. State agencies and institutions are not permitted to provide lists of individuals for commercial purposes. A request for lists of individuals must be accompanied by the requestor's signed declaration that the list will not be used for commercial purposes. The public records officer may inquire as to the requestor's intended use of the list and may deny the request if it is evident from the request and/or the requestor's response to an inquiry that the list will be used for a commercial purpose.
(4) Assistance in identifying records. The public records officer may assist requestors in identifying the specific records sought by the requestor. With limited exceptions, a requestor may not be required to state the purpose of the request. However, the records officer may ask the purpose of the request if such inquiry will assist in identifying the records requested.
WAC 132C-276-270 CopyingPayments.
(1) Fees and payment procedures. The following copying fees and payment procedures apply to requests to the college under chapter 42.56 RCW and received on or after the effective date of this section.
(2) Inspection of records. There is no fee for inspecting public records made available for inspection by the public records officer under WAC 132C-276-240.
(3) Actual costs not calculated. Pursuant to RCW 42.56.120 (2)(b), the college is not calculating all actual costs for copying records because to do so would be unduly burdensome for the following reasons:
(a) The institution does not have the resources to conduct a study to determine all its actual copying costs;
(b) To conduct such a study would interfere with other essential college functions; and
(c) Through the 2017 legislative process, the public and requestors have commented on and been informed of authorized fees and costs, including for electronic records, provided in RCW 42.56.120.
(4) Default fees adopted. The college will charge for copies of records pursuant to the default fees in RCW 42.56.120 (2)(b), (c), and (d). The college will charge for customized services pursuant to RCW 42.56.120(3). Under RCW 42.56.130, the college may charge other copy fees authorized by statutes outside of chapter 42.56 RCW. The college may enter into an alternative fee agreement with a requestor under RCW 42.56.120(4). The charges for copying methods used by the college are summarized in the fee schedule available on the college's web site.
(5) Advanced payment required - Fee waivers. Requestors are required to pay for copies in advance of receiving records or an installment of records. The records officer will notify the requestor when payment is due. Fee waivers are an exception and are available for some small requests under the following conditions:
(a) It is within the discretion of the public records officer to waive copying fees when:
(i) All of the records responsive to an entire request are paper copies only and consist of fifteen or fewer pages;
(ii) All of the records responsive to an entire request are electronic with attachments of a size totaling no more than the equivalent of one hundred printed pages and can be provided through an online secure web portal or in a single email with attachments; or
(iii) Would be contrary to the agency's mission or would not be in the public interest.
(b) Fee waivers are not applicable to records provided in installments.
(6) Copying fee deposits. The public records officer may require an advance deposit of ten percent of the estimated fees when the copying fees for an installment or an entire request, or customized service charge, exceed twenty-five dollars.
(7) Payment method. Payment should be made by check or money order payable to Olympic College. The college prefers not to receive cash. For cash payments, it is within the public records officer's discretion to determine the denomination of bills and coins that will be accepted.
(8) Closure of request for nonpayment. The college will close a request when a requestor fails by the payment date to pay in the manner prescribed for records, an installment of records, or a required deposit.
WAC 132C-276-280 Closing public records requests.
(1) Generally. Once the requestor has inspected or been provided with copies of the records made available in response to their request, that request is closed. However, with respect to any installment of records other than the final installment, the foregoing applies only to that installment and not the entire request, unless otherwise provided in this chapter.
(2) Other closing events. A request may also be closed:
(a) If a requestor does not respond to a request for clarification or otherwise fails to clarify within fifteen business days;
(b) If the requestor fails to make a required deposit or payment for requested copies as provided under WAC 132C-276-270;
(c) If all records identified in any notice of availability, including a notice with respect to an installment of records, have not been inspected, paid for, or picked up within fifteen business days of issuance of such notice of availability; or
(d) As otherwise provided by this chapter or by law.
(3) Disposition of records upon closing. Upon the closing of a request, originals of any records assembled in response to the request will be refiled.
WAC 132C-276-290 Records exempt from inspection and copying.
(1) Public Records Act exemptions. The Public Records Act, chapter 42.56 RCW, exempts from inspection or copying certain categories of records as set forth in the Public Records Act or under other statutes. The public records officer will disclose the existence of exempt records as required by law, but may deny the inspection or copying of such records to the extent that the records are exempt from inspection or copying under the Public Records Act or other applicable law.
(2) Commonly applied exemptions. The public records office maintains an exemption key explaining the exemptions most commonly applied by the college in processing requests for public records. A copy of the exemption key can be requested from the public records officer and will typically be provided by the records officer in responding to a request for records that are determined in whole or in part to be exempt from inspection or copying.
(3) Determining applicable exemptions. The public records officer may seek information from the requestor sufficient to determine whether another statute prohibits disclosure of the requested records. For example, student education records generally may not be disclosed to third parties without the student's written consent.
WAC 132C-276-300 Review of denials of public records requests.
(1) Petition for internal administrative review. A requestor who objects to the denial, or partial denial, of a records request may petition in writing to the public records officer for a review of that decision. The public records officer will promptly refer the petition to the office of the president. A senior administrator designated by the president will consider the petition and render a decision within two business days following the initial receipt of the petition by the public records officer. The time for considering the petition may be extended by mutual agreement of the college and the requestor.
(2) Review by attorney general's office. A requestor who objects to the denial, or partial denial, of a records request may request the office of the attorney general to review the matter as provided in RCW 42.56.530 and WAC 44-06-160. Requests for attorney general review must be directed to Public Records Review, Office of the Attorney General, Post Office Box 40100, Olympia, Washington 98504-0100.
(3) Judicial review. A requestor may petition the superior court for judicial review of the college's decision denying a public records request, whether in whole or in part, by following the procedures in RCW 42.56.550. The denial of a petition for internal administrative review under subsection (1) of this section shall constitute the final agency action subject to judicial review.
WAC 132C-276-310 Court protection of public records.
(1) Notifying interested persons. The college, as required or permitted by law or contract, including any collective bargaining agreement, and in other appropriate circumstances, may notify persons named in a public record, or to whom the record specifically pertains, that release of the record has been requested, and that such persons may apply to the superior court for a protective order under RCW 42.56.540.
(2) Applying for court protection. The college in appropriate circumstances may apply to the superior court for a protective order enjoining the examination of any specific public record in accordance with the procedures under RCW 42.56.540. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as either requiring or prohibiting the college's application to the court for such an order.
The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 132C-276-010
WAC 132C-276-020
WAC 132C-276-030
Description of central and field organization of Community College District No. 3.
WAC 132C-276-040
Operations and procedures.
WAC 132C-276-050
Public records available.
WAC 132C-276-060
Public records officer.
WAC 132C-276-070
Office hours.
WAC 132C-276-080
Requests for public records.
WAC 132C-276-090
WAC 132C-276-100
WAC 132C-276-110
Review of denials of public records requests.
WAC 132C-276-120
Protection of public records.
WAC 132C-276-130
Adoption of form.
WAC 132C-276-990
Appendix A—Request for public record to Community College District No. 3.