Requests for public records.
(1) Many requests for public records can be handled quickly and informally without the need for a formal written request. You may ask orally, in person, or by telephone to look at a document, or get a copy of a document. You may also ask informally in writing, by letter or electronic mail. Requests may be made by electronic mail to the commission records center. Commission staff will advise you if a formal written request, as described in subsection (4) of this section, is required.
(2) The commission may require any person who seeks access to public records to present a formal written request. The commission may require a formal written request, for example, if you ask for large quantities of information or make an unusual request. The formal written request helps the commission make sure that you get all the information you have requested and that any charges for copies are proper.
(3) The commission may require a formal written request if the information you ask for might be within one of the exceptions to the law requiring disclosure. In this situation, your formal written request helps the commission make sure that its decision to disclose or withhold the information is made properly and that you get the public records you are entitled to receive. Examples of information that might be exempt from disclosure include documents that have been designated "confidential" by the person providing them to the commission, documents containing private or personal information, and documents that may be involved in litigation or hearings.
(4) If you need to make a formal written request for information, you may use a "public records request" form provided by the commission or you may write a letter that contains the information listed below. If you want to use the form, you can get a copy at the commission's internet site or office, or you can ask to have it sent to you.
(5) Formal written requests must include the following information:
(a) Your name, address, and telephone number.
(b) The date on which you submit your request.
(c) The identity of any individual, business, or other organization for whom you are making the request, if not only for yourself personally.
(d) A clear indication, such as a document heading or title that you are requesting public records, to help make sure that the request is handled properly.
(e) Whether you want to inspect the public records or get copies, or both.
(f) A clear description of the public records you want so that commission staff can find the records. If you know how the public records are described in the index maintained by the commission, provide that description to assist the commission to identify the public records you want to review.
(g) A statement of whether you are making the request in order to obtain a list of individuals to be used for any commercial purposes.
(6) Commission staff will make a reasonable effort to assist in identifying and providing all public records that you request.
(7) The commission may waive the need for a completed form when doing so supports the commission's administrative convenience and is not inconsistent with legal requirements or public policies.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040
and 80.04.160. WSR 03-24-028 (General Order R-510, Docket No. A-010648), § 480-04-090, filed 11/24/03, effective 1/1/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040
, 80.04.160 and 81.04.160. WSR 98-02-011 (Order R-446, Docket No. A-970591), § 480-04-090, filed 12/29/97, effective 1/29/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040
. WSR 92-07-006 (Order R-368, Docket No. A-910530), § 480-04-090, filed 3/5/92, effective 4/5/92; Order R-43, § 480-04-090, filed 4/5/73.]