WSR 21-16-037
[Filed July 26, 2021, 3:49 p.m., effective July 26, 2021]
Effective Date of Rule: July 26, 2021.
Purpose: During the COVID-19 pandemic, relieve the department of children, youth, and families (DCYF) from (1) in-person contact for the purpose of receiving or fulfilling public records requests, copying public records, or allowing inspection of public records; and (2) the requirement to respond to a request for public records within five days of receiving the request.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 110-01-0100 and 110-01-0200.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.216.065; and chapter 42.56 RCW.
Other Authority: Proclamations of the Governor 20-05 and 20-28.
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.
Reasons for this Finding: Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 20-05 declaring a State of Emergency in all counties in the state of Washington as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. The governor's proclamation directed state agencies to do everything reasonably possible to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 outbreak. As of March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization has classified COVID-19 as a pandemic. Proclamation of the Governor 20-28 amends Proclamation 20-05 and directs state agencies to limit personal contact through social distancing and limit person-to-person contact. Proclamation 20-28 waives and suspends any in-person contact related to public records requests and the requirement that a state agency respond to requests within five days of receipt. WAC 110-01-0100 and 110-01-0200 were amended on an emergency basis on March 31, 2020, under WSR 20-08-123; July 29, 2020, under WSR 20-16-074; November 25, 2020, under WSR 20-24-089; and March 26, 2021, under WSR 21-08-015. Proclamation 20-28.15 issued January 19, 2021, relieves state agencies from complying with provisions of the Public Records Act that involve in-person contact until the state of emergency terminates or until rescinded. This change in circumstances makes it necessary for the emergency rules filed under WSR 21-08-015 to remain in force.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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 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 2, 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: July 26, 2021.
Brenda Villarreal
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 18-14-078, filed 6/29/18, effective 7/1/18)
WAC 110-01-0100Availability of public records.
Pursuant to proclamation 20-28 and any subsequent proclamation, or other gubernatorial or legislative action suspending the requirements of RCW 42.56.080, .090, or .100, public inspection is not permitted.((Public records are available for inspection and copying during the department's normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding legal holidays. A department staff person must be present at all times when a record is being inspected. Appointments are not required, but significantly help the department provide prompt and efficient service. Some department records may be stored in other locations, in computer storage systems, or the state records warehouse, and may take time to identify and gather. Other records may be exempt from disclosure. Original records cannot be removed from the inspection location. If required by law, department staff must redact information in a record before making it available for inspection. Department staff will make copies of records on request.))
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 18-14-078, filed 6/29/18, effective 7/1/18)
WAC 110-01-0200How the department responds to public records requests.
The department will respond to public record requests in a reasonable amount of time given the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.((Within five business days of receiving the request,))When the department receives a request for records, the department will either:
(1) Provide the record;
(2) Acknowledge the request and give a reasonable time estimate of how long the department will take to provide records;
(3) Contact the requestor to clarify the request if it isn't understood by the public records officer; or
(4) Deny all or part of the request in writing, with reasons for the denial. The explanation will include the law that the department relied upon in its denial.
At his or her discretion, the public records officer may send the requested records by email, fax, postal mail, or commercial delivery. The records may be delivered on paper, computer or compact discs, or other methods.