[Filed October 22, 2019, 3:12 p.m.]
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: As required by RCW 42.56.040
, the Washington state fruit commission is proposing to publish its public records disclosure procedures in a new chapter of the Washington Administrative Code.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: This new chapter will establish procedures the Washington state fruit commission will follow to provide full access to public records and to implement the provisions of the Public Records Act (chapter 42.56
RCW). The rule will establish procedures for the commission to follow in response to requests for public records, including the schedule used by the commission for recovering the costs of producing public records.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: RCW 42.56.040
requires agencies to publish its [their] public records procedures and requires rule making regardless of whether the commission proposes to charge actual costs for producing public records, charge in accordance with the statutory schedule, or waive fees for producing public records. To charge statutory fees, the commission must adopt a rule declaring that charging actual costs would be unduly burdensome.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapters 42.56
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Washington state fruit commission, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: B. J. Thurlby, 105 South 18th Street, Suite 205, Yakima, WA 98901, 509-453-4837.
This notice meets the following criteria to use the expedited adoption process for these rules:
Relates only to internal governmental operations that are not subject to violation by a person.
Explanation of the Reason the Agency Believes the Expedited Rule-Making Process is Appropriate: Using the expedited rule-making process is appropriate because these proposed rules cover internal procedures of the Washington state fruit commission.
THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED UNDER AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS USE OF THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Teresa Norman, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone 360-902-2043, fax 360-902-2092, email email@example.com, AND RECEIVED BY December 24, 2019.
October 22, 2019
B. J. Thurlby
WAC 224-12-100Description of commission, address and telephone number of the Washington state fruit commission.
Headquartered at 105 S. 18th Street, Suite 205, Yakima, WA 98901, the Washington state fruit commission serves Washington soft tree fruit producers by supporting the industry in the areas of education, research, and marketing. The telephone number is 509-453-4837.
WAC 224-12-105Public records officer.
(1) The commission's public records shall be in the charge of the public records officer designated by the commission. The commission or its president may appoint a temporary public records officer to serve during the absence of the designated records officer. The public records officer shall be responsible for implementing the commission's rules regarding disclosure of public records, coordination of staff regarding disclosure of public records, and generally ensuring compliance by staff with public records disclosure requirements.
(2) The name of the commission's current public records officer is on file with the office of the code reviser in accordance with RCW 42.56.580
and is published in the Washington State Register
WAC 224-12-110Request for public records.
(1) All requests for disclosure of public records must be submitted in writing directly to the commission's public records officer by mail to Washington State Fruit Commission, 105 S. 18th Street, Suite 205, Yakima, WA 98901. The request may also be submitted by fax to 509-453-4880 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The written request must include:
(a) The name, address, and telephone number or other contact information of the person requesting the records;
(b) The calendar date on which the request is made; and
(c) Sufficient information to readily identify records being requested.
(2) Any person wishing to inspect the commission's public records may make an appointment with the public records officer to inspect the records at the commission office during regular business hours. In order to adequately protect the commission's public records, the following will apply:
(a) Public records made available for inspection may not be removed from the area the commission makes available for inspection;
(b) Inspection of any public record will be conducted in the presence of the public records officer or designee;
(c) Public records may not be marked or altered in any manner during the inspection; and
(d) The commission has the discretion to designate the means and the location for the inspection of records. The viewing of those records that require specialized equipment shall be limited to the availability of that equipment located at the commission's office and the availability of authorized staff to operate that equipment.
WAC 224-12-115Response to public records requests.
(1) The public records officer shall respond to public records requests within five business days by:
(a) Making the records available for inspection or copying;
(b) Providing a link or address for a record available on the internet under RCW 42.56.520
(c) Acknowledging receipt of the request and providing a reasonable estimate of the time the commission will require to respond to the request;
(d) Sending the copies to the requestor if copies are requested and payment of a deposit for the copies is made or terms of payment have been agreed upon; or
(e) Denying the public records request. Responses refusing, in whole or in part, the inspection of a public record shall include a statement of the specific exemption authorizing withholding of the record, or any part of the record, and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record withheld or to any redactions in records produced.
(2) Additional time to respond to the request may be based upon the need to:
(a) Clarify the intent of the request;
(b) Locate and assemble the information requested;
(c) Notify persons or agencies affected by the request; or
(d) Determine whether any of the information requested is exempt from disclosure and that a denial should be made as to all or part of the request.
(3) In acknowledging receipt of a public records request that is unclear, the public records officer may ask the requestor to clarify what records the requestor is seeking. The public records officer is not obligated to provide further response if the requestor fails to clarify the request.
(4) In the event the requested records name a specific person or pertain to a specific person and may be exempt from disclosure, the commission may, prior to providing the records, give notice to others whose rights may be affected by the disclosure. Sufficient notice will be given to allow affected persons to 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.
WAC 224-12-120Fees—Inspection and copying.
(1) No fee will be charged for the inspection of public records.
(2) Pursuant to RCW 42.56.120
(2), the commission declares for the following reasons that it would be unduly burdensome for it to calculate the actual costs it charges for providing copies of public records: Funds were not allocated for performing a study to calculate actual costs and the commission lacks the necessary funds to perform a study and calculations; staff resources are insufficient to perform a study and to calculate such actual costs; and a study would interfere with and disrupt other essential agency functions.
(3) The commission may charge fees for production of copies of public records consistent with the fee schedule established in RCW 42.56.120
. For all copying or duplicating service charges incurred, an invoice will be sent to the requestor. Reimbursement is payable within fifteen days of receipt of invoice payable to the Washington state fruit commission. The commission may require that all charges be paid in advance of release of the copies of the records.
(4) The commission or its designee may waive any of the foregoing copying costs.
(5) For email requests that encompass more than twenty separate emails the commission may deliver said emails via electronic storage device; the commission works with third-party computer technicians who may be required to help fulfill public record solicitations. The commission may charge actual technician time fees to the requestor.
The commission's public records are available for disclosure except as otherwise provided under chapter 42.56
RCW or any other law. Requestors should be aware of the following exemptions to public disclosure specific to commission records. This list is not exhaustive and other exemptions may apply:
(1) Production or sales records required to determine assessment levels and actual assessment payments to the commission under chapter 15.28
RCW (reference RCW 42.56.380
(2) Financial and commercial information and records supplied by persons:
(a) To the commission for the purpose of conducting a referendum for the establishment of the commission; or
(b) To the commission under chapter 15.28
RCW with respect to domestic or export marketing activities or individual producer's production information (reference RCW 42.56.380
(3) Lists of individuals requested for commercial purposes (reference RCW 42.56.070
(4) Records that are relevant to a controversy to which the commission is a party but which records would not be available to another party under the rules of pretrial discovery for causes pending in the superior courts, including records involving attorney-client communications between the commission and the office of the attorney general (reference RCW 5.60.060
(2) and 42.56.290
(5) Credit card numbers, debit card numbers, electronic check numbers, card expiration dates, or bank or other financial account numbers, except when disclosure is expressly required or governed by other law (reference RCW 42.56.230
WAC 224-12-130Review of denial of public records requests.
(1) Any person who objects to the initial denial of a request to copy or inspect public records may petition the commission for review of such decision by submitting a written request to the commission. The request shall specifically refer to the statement which constituted or accompanied the denial.
(2) The commission's president or designee shall immediately consider the matter and either affirm or reverse the denial within ten business days following the commission's receipt of the written request for review of the original denial.
(3) Under RCW 42.56.530
, 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.
(4) Any person may obtain court review of a denial of a public records request under RCW 42.56.550
WAC 224-12-135Records index.
The commission shall establish a records index, which shall be made available for public review. The index includes the following records:
(1) Commission authorizing statute;
(2) Commission rules;
(3) Minutes of commission meetings; and
(4) Commission board roster.