PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS

Washington Law
Washington law (Chapter 42.56 RCW) requires that identifiable public records be made available to members of the public for inspection and copying upon request. Only records that are exempt by law may be withheld from disclosure. The Act also requires that the public records requested are "identifiable". Your public records disclosure request must include a reasonable description that would allow a WASPC employee to locate the records. A general question is not a public disclosure request.

Chapter 42.56 RCW (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=42.56)

WASHINGTON ASSOCIATION OF SHERIFF’S & POLICE CHIEFS (WASPC)
Policies and Procedures for Public Record Requests

I.  Policy:

Although WASPC is neither a government agency nor a public entity, WASPC will generally respond to public records requests submitted in accordance with these policies and Procedures (hereinafter “Policy”) concerning matters that may be deemed a government function that would be otherwise subject to public disclosure. The purpose of this Policy, in keeping with the Public Records Act, is to provide the public with access to information relating to government operations.

Records will be provided in accordance with this Policy, unless the records are exempt from disclosure or are otherwise not related to a government function. Records will be available at 3060 Willamette Dr. NE Suite 200 Lacey, Washington 98504-5502.

Note: WASPC is not a governmental agency and is not generally subject to public disclosure requirements. If any record or information is provided, it is done in the spirit of cooperation and not based on any requirement to do so.

II.  Procedure:

A.  Written Request:  A request for inspection or copies of public records must be made in writing and sent from the requestor or the requestor’s designated agent. The request must provide a detailed and specific description of the requested records or information specifying the subject, dates, locations, etc. The request should also include the name of the requester, date of the request, and phone, email, and/or mailing address to contact the requester. The request can be mailed to the following address:

WASPC Public Disclosure Officer
3060 Willamette Drive NE
Suite 200
Lacey, WA 98516

B.  Response:  WASPC will provide an initial response to a written request for public records within five (5) court days. The response will acknowledge receipt of the written request, provide an estimate for the amount of time needed to produce the requested records, or notify the requester that the request cannot be fulfilled under RCW 42.56.  The estimate may be revised later if the Public Disclosure Officer deems it necessary.

C.  Additional Communication:  The Public Disclosure Officer will communicate as necessary with the requester in order to clarify the records being requested. The Public Disclosure Officer may also communicate regarding the estimated time to produce the request, limitations on the request, or other important information. The requester must engage in communication with the Public Records Officer. Otherwise, the production of documents may be delayed or ultimately denied.

D.  Substantive Response:  The Public Disclosure Officer will respond to the substance of the records request within the timeframe specified in the initial response or any extension, subject to exemptions.  If the Public Disclosure Officer is unable to fully comply in this timeframe, the Public Disclosure Officer will comply to the extent practicable and provide a new good faith estimate for responding to the remainder of the request.  If the Public Disclosure Officer does not fully satisfy the records request in the manner requested, a letter will be provided, explaining any deviation from the terms of the request.

E.  Limitations:  If a particular request is of a magnitude that the Public Disclosure Officer cannot fully or reasonably comply due to constraints on time, resources, or personnel, the Public Disclosure Officer will communicate this information to the requester.  The Public Disclosure Officer will attempt to reach agreement with the requester as to narrowing the request to a more manageable scope and as to a timeframe for response, which may include a schedule of installment responses.  If the Public Disclosure Officer cannot reach agreement with the requester, they shall respond to the extent practicable and inform the requestor when the response is completed.

F.  Denials: A request may be denied if it does not comply with the policies and procedures herein or is determined that the request was made to harass or intimidate; fulfilling the request would threaten the safety or security of the public; fulfilling the request may assist criminal activity; the requester failed to adequately engage in communication with the Public Records Officer; necessary costs have not been paid; or it appears that the requester has abandoned the request.

G.  Fees: In accordance with RCW 42.56.130, no fee will be charged for the inspection of public records or locating public documents and making them available for copying. However, a fee will be charged for photocopying, scanning, materials, and mailing.

Photocopying:                                     $.15 per page
Scanning:                                            $.15 per page
Mailing:                                                at cost

H. Prepayment:  Payment by exact cash, check or money order is required before a request will be completed.  If an installment of records is not claimed or reviewed within thirty (30) days, the Public Disclosure Officer is not obligated to fulfill the balance of the request.