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PDFWAC 180-08-006

Public records officer—Access to public records—Requests for public records—Determination regarding exempt records—Review of denials of public record requests—Protection of public records—Copying—Office hours.

(1) The state board's public records officer shall be the board's secretary (executive director) located in the administrative office of the board located in the Old Capitol Building, 600 South Washington, Olympia, Washington 98504-7206. The secretary (executive director) shall be responsible for implementation of the board's rules and regulations regarding release of public records and generally ensuring compliance by staff with the public records disclosure requirements in chapter 42.56 RCW.
(2) Access to public records in the state board of education shall be provided in compliance with the provisions of RCW 42.56.070.
(3) Requests for public records must comply with the following procedures:
(a) A request shall be made in writing to the secretary (executive director) or designee of the director. The request may be brought to the administrative office of the board during customary office hours or may be mailed, delivered by facsimile, or by electronic mail. The request shall include the following information:
(i) The name of the person requesting the record;
(ii) The time of day and calendar date on which the request was made;
(iii) The nature of the request;
(iv) If the matter requested is referenced within the current index maintained by the secretary (executive director), a reference to the requested information as it is described in such current index;
(v) If the requested matter is not identifiable by reference to the current index, an appropriate description of the record requested shall be provided.
(b) In all cases in which a member of the public is making a request, it shall be the obligation of the secretary (executive director), or person to whom the request is made, to assist the member of the public in succinctly identifying the public record requested.
(4)(a) The board reserves the right to determine that a public record requested in accordance with subsection (3) of this section is exempt under the provisions of RCW 42.56.210. Such determination may be made in consultation with the secretary (executive director) or an assistant attorney general assigned to the board.
(b) Pursuant to RCW 42.56.070, the board reserves the right to delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes any public record when there is reason to believe that disclosure of such details would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy: Provided, however, In each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.
(c) Response to requests for a public record must be made promptly. Within five business days of receiving a public record request, the executive director shall respond by either:
(i) Providing the record;
(ii) Acknowledging that the board has received the request and providing a reasonable estimate of the time required to respond to the request; or
(iii) Denying the public record request.
(d) Additional time required to respond to a request may be based upon the need to clarify the intent of the request, to locate and assemble the information requested, to notify third persons or agencies affected by the request, or to determine whether any of the information requested is exempt and that a denial should be made as to all or part of the request. In acknowledging receipt of a public record request that is unclear, the executive director may ask the requester to clarify what information the requester is seeking. If the requester fails to clarify the request within five working days of being asked for said clarification, the executive director need not respond to it.
(5) All denials of request for public records must be accompanied by a written statement, signed by the secretary (executive director) or designee, specifying the reason for the denial, a statement of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record, and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the public record withheld.
(6)(a) Any person who objects to the denial of a request for a public record may petition for prompt review of such decision by tendering a written request for review. The written request shall specifically refer to the written statement which constituted or accompanied the denial.
(b) The written request by a person petitioning for prompt review of a decision denying a public record shall be submitted to the board's secretary (executive director) or designee.
(c) Within two business days after receiving a written request by a person petitioning for a prompt review of a decision denying a public record, the secretary (executive director) or designee shall complete such review.
(d) During the course of the review the secretary (executive director) or designee shall consider the obligations of the board to comply fully with the intent of chapter 42.56 RCW insofar as it requires providing full public access to official records, but shall also consider both the exemptions provided in RCW 42.56.210 and 42.56.510, and the provisions of the statute which require the board to protect public records from damage or disorganization, prevent excessive interference with essential functions of the board, and prevent any unreasonable invasion of personal privacy by deleting identifying details.
(7) Public records and a facility for their inspection will be provided by the secretary (executive director) or designee. Such records shall not be removed from the place designated for their inspection. Copies of such records may be arranged for according to the provisions of subsection (8) of this section.
(8) No fee shall be charged for the inspection of public records. The board may impose a charge for providing copies of public records and for the use by any person of agency equipment to copy public records. Copying charges shall be reasonable and conform with RCW 42.56.120. 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 official. All charges must be paid by money order, check, or cash in advance.
(9) Public records shall be available for inspection and copying during the customary office hours of the administrative office of the board. For the purposes of this chapter, the customary office hours shall be from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays and dates of official state board of education business requiring all board staff to be away from the office.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 28A.305 RCW, RCW 28A.150.220, 28A.230.090, 28A.310.020, 28A.210.160, and 28A.195.040. WSR 10-23-104, § 180-08-006, filed 11/16/10, effective 12/17/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.305.130, 34.05.220, and 42.17.250 through 42.17.348. WSR 06-23-007, § 180-08-006, filed 11/2/06, effective 12/3/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220, 28A.305.130. WSR 02-18-054, § 180-08-006, filed 8/28/02, effective 9/28/02.]
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