Closing request and documenting compliance.
(1) Fulfilling request and closing letter. A records request has been fulfilled and can be closed when a requestor has inspected all the requested records, all copies have been provided, a web link has been provided (with assistance from the agency in finding it, if necessary), an unclear request has not been clarified, a request or installment has not been claimed or reviewed, or the requestor cancels the request. An agency should provide a closing letter stating the scope of the request and memorializing the outcome of the request. A closing letter may not be necessary for smaller requests. The outcome described in the closing letter might be that the requestor inspected records, copies were provided (with the number range of the stamped or labeled records, if applicable), the agency sent the requestor the web link, the requestor failed to clarify the request, the requestor failed to claim or review the records within thirty days, or the requestor canceled the request. The closing letter should also ask the requestor to promptly contact the agency if he or she believes additional responsive records have not been provided.
(2) Returning assembled records.
An agency is not required to keep assembled records set aside indefinitely. This would "unreasonably disrupt" the operations of the agency. RCW 42.17.270
/42.56.080. After a request has been closed, an agency should return the assembled records to their original locations. Once returned, the records are no longer subject to the prohibition on destroying records scheduled for destruction under the agency's retention schedule. RCW 42.17.290
(3) Retain copy of records provided. In some cases, it may be wise for the agency to keep a separate copy of the records it copied and provided in response to a request. This allows the agency to document what was provided. A growing number of requests are for a copy of the records provided to another requestor, which can easily be fulfilled if the agency retains a copy of the records provided to the first requestor. The copy of the records provided should be retained for a period of time consistent with the agency's retention schedules for records related to disclosure of documents.
[Statutory Authority: 2005 c 483 § 4, RCW 42.17.348
. WSR 06-04-079, § 44-14-04006, filed 1/31/06, effective 3/3/06.]