TREE FRUIT RESEARCH COMMISSION
[Filed October 31, 2019, 12:57 p.m.]
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: As required by RCW 42.56.040
, the Washington tree fruit research 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 tree fruit research 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 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 adopt[s] 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 tree fruit research commission, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: Ines Hanrahan, Wenatchee, Washington, 509-665-8271.
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 tree fruit research 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 Ines Hanrahan, Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, 1719 Springwater Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801, phone 509-665-8271, email email@example.com, AND RECEIVED BY January 7, 2020.
October 31, 2019
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 4, filed 4/30/70)
WAC 16-560-005Authority and purpose.
These rules are promulgated by the Washington tree fruit research commission pursuant to the authority granted by chapter 15.26
RCW and in accordance with procedures required under chapter 1-12 WAC. The purpose of administrative rules and regulations adopted under this chapter is to administer and carry out the provisions of chapter 15.26
RCW, tree fruit research act, and chapter 42.56 RCW, Public Records Act
"Commission" means the Washington tree fruit research commission.
"Disclosure" means inspection or copying.
"Public records" include any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by the department regardless of physical form or characteristics.
"Writing" means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, telefaxing, photographing, and every other means of recording any form of communication or representation including, but not limited to, letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, motion picture, film and video recordings, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, diskettes, sound recordings, and other documents, including existing data compilations from which information may be obtained or translated.
WAC 16-560-070Public records officer.
The commission's public records shall be in the charge of the public records officer designated by the commission. The commission or its executive director 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.
WAC 16-560-080Requests 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 at 1719 Springwater Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The written request should include:
(a) The name of the person requesting the record and his or her contact information;
(b) The calendar date on which the request is made; and
(c) Sufficient information to readily identify the 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 inspection.
(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 office and the availability of authorized staff to operate that equipment.
WAC 16-560-090Response to public records requests.
(1) The public records officer shall respond to public records requests within five business days by:
(a) Providing the record;
(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; or
(d) Denying the public record request. Responses refusing in whole or in part the inspection of a public record shall include a statement of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record (or any part) and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the records 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 third persons or agencies affected by the request; or
(d) Determine whether any of the information requested is exempt and that a denial should be made as to all or part of the request.
(3) In acknowledging receipt of a public record 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.
WAC 16-560-100Fees—Inspection and copying.
(1) No fee shall 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:
(a) 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;
(b) Staff resources are insufficient to perform a study and to calculate such actual costs; and
(c) 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
(4) 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 tree fruit research commission. The commission may require that all charges be paid in advance of release of the copies of the records.
(5) The commission or its designee may waive the fee when the expenses of processing payment exceeds the costs of providing copies.
WAC 16-560-105Processing of public records requests—Electronic records.
(1) The process for requesting electronic public records is the same as for requesting paper public records.
(2) Providing electronic records:
(a) The commission has the discretion to determine whether to provide records electronically or in paper form.
(b) When a requestor requests records in an electronic format, the public records officer will endeavor to provide the nonexempt records or portions of such records that are reasonably locatable in an electronic format that is used by the commission and is generally commercially available, or in a format that is reasonably translatable from the format in which the commission keeps the record.
WAC 16-560-110Protection of public records.
In order to adequately protect the commission's public records, the following will apply:
(1) Public records made available for inspection may not be removed from the area the commission makes available for inspection. The commission has the discretion to designate the means and the location for the inspection of records.
(2) Inspection of any public record will be conducted in the presence of a designated commission employee.
(3) Public records may not be marked or altered in any manner during inspection.
(4) After inspection is complete, the public records officer or designee will make requested copies or arrange for copying.
(5) Public records that are maintained in a file or jacket, or in chronological order, may not be dismantled except by a designated commission employee for purposes of copying.
(6) Whenever a public records request involves an entire file, a group of records, or a large number of records, the commission is allowed a reasonable time to review the records to determine whether information is exempt from disclosure under chapter 42.56
RCW or other law.
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 15.26
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 15.26
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 which 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 department and the office of the attorney general privileged under RCW 5.60.060
WAC 16-560-120Review of denials of public records requests.
(1) Any person who objects to the 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 executive director or designee shall immediately consider the matter and either affirm or reverse such denial. In any case, the request shall be returned with a final decision, within ten business days following 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 16-560-125Records index.
The commission shall establish a records index, which shall be made available for public review.