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PDFWAC 132T-175-080

Requests for public records.

(1) Any person wishing to inspect or receive copies of public records of the district should make the request in person during the district's customary office hours, or in writing on the district's public records request form, or by letter, or by email addressed to the public records officer. While no official format is required for making a records request, the district recommends that the requestor submit requests using the district provided request form. The request form is available at the office of the public records officer and online at www.wwcc.edu. Regardless of format, the request must include the following information:
(a) The name of the person requesting the record;
(b) Address of the requestor;
(c) Other contact information, including telephone number and any email address;
(d) Identification of the public records adequate for the public records officer to locate the records; and
(e) The calendar date and time of day on which the request was made.
(2) In all cases in which a member of the public is making a request, it shall be the obligation of the public records officer to assist the member of the public in appropriately identifying the public record requested.
(3) If the requestor wishes to have copies of the records made instead of simply inspecting them, he or she should so indicate and make arrangements to pay for copies of the records or to make a deposit. Charges for copies are provided in a fee schedule available at Walla Walla Community College and at www.wwcc.edu.
(4) The public records officer may accept requests for public records that contain the information in subsection (1) of this section by telephone. If the public records officer accepts such a request, he/she will confirm receipt of the information and the substance of the request in writing.
(5) Upon receipt of a request, the district will assign it a tracking number and log it in.
(6) The public records officer will evaluate the request according to the nature of the request, volume, and availability of requested records.
(7) Acknowledging receipt of request. Following the initial evaluation of the request, and within five business days of receipt of the request, the public records officer will do one or more of the following:
(a) Make the records available for inspection or copying including:
(i) If copies are available on the district's internet web site, provide an internet address and link to the web site to specific records requested;
(ii) If copies are requested and payment of a deposit for the copies, if any, is made or other terms of payment are agreed upon, send the copies to the requestor.
(b) Acknowledge receipt of the request and provide a reasonable estimate of when records or an installment of records will be available (the public records officer may revise the estimate of when records will be available); or
(c) Acknowledge receipt of the request and ask the requestor to provide clarification for a request that is unclear, and provide, to the greatest extent possible, a reasonable estimate of time the district will require to respond to the request if it is not clarified.
(i) Such clarification may be requested and provided by telephone and memorialized in writing;
(ii) If the requestor fails to respond to a request for clarification and the entire request is unclear, the district need not respond to it. The district will respond to those portions of a request that are clear.
(d) Deny the request.
(8) Consequences of failure to respond. If the district does not respond in writing within five business days of receipt of the request for disclosure, the requestor should contact the public records officer to determine the reason for failure to respond.
(9) Protecting the rights of others. In the event that the requested records contain information that may affect the rights of others and may be exempt from disclosure, the public records officer may, prior to providing the records, give notice to such others whose rights may be affected by the disclosure. Such notice should be given so as to make it possible for those other persons to contact the requestor and ask him or her to revise the request, or, if necessary, seek an order from a court to prevent or limit the disclosure. The notice to the affected persons will include a copy of the request.
(10) Records exempt from disclosure. Some records are exempt from disclosure, in whole or in part. If the district believes that a record is exempt from disclosure and should be withheld, the public records officer will state the specific exemption and provide a brief written explanation of why the record or a portion of the record is being withheld. If only a portion of a record is exempt from disclosure, but the remainder is not exempt, the public records officer will redact the exempt portions, provide the nonexempt portions, and indicate to the requestor why portions of the record are being redacted.
(11) Inspection of records.
(a) Consistent with other demands, the district shall promptly provide space to inspect public records. No member of the public may remove a document from the viewing area or disassemble or alter any document. The requestor shall indicate which documents he or she wishes the district to copy.
(b) The requestor must claim or review the assembled records within thirty days of the district's notification that the records are available for inspection or copying. The district will notify the requestor in writing of this requirement and inform the requestor to contact the district to make arrangements to review or claim the records. If the requestor or a representative of the requestor fails to claim or review the records within the thirty-day period, or make other arrangements, the district may close the request and refile the assembled records. Other public records requests can be processed ahead of a subsequent request by the same person for the same or almost identical records, which can be processed as a new request.
(12) Providing copies of records. After inspection is complete, the public records officer will make the requested copies or arrange for copying. If the district charges for copies, the requestor must pay for the copies.
(13) Providing records in installments. When the request is for a large number of records, the public records officer will provide access for inspection and copying in installments, if he or she reasonably determines that it would be practical to provide the records in that way. If, within thirty days, the requestor fails to inspect the entire set of records or one or more of the installments, the public records officer may stop searching for the remaining records and close the request.
(14) Completion of inspection. When the inspection of the requested records is complete and all requested copies are provided, the public records officer will indicate that the district has completed a reasonable search for the requested records and made any located nonexempt records available for inspection.
(15) Closing withdrawn or abandoned request. When the requestor either withdraws the request, or fails to clarify an entirely unclear request, or fails to fulfill his or her obligations to inspect the records, pay the deposit, pay the required fees for an installment, or make final payment for requested copies, the public records officer will close the request. Unless the district has already indicated in previous correspondence that the request would be closed under the above circumstances, the district will notify the requestor that it has closed the request.
(16) Later discovered documents. If, after the district has informed the requestor that it has provided all available records, the district becomes aware of additional responsive documents existing at the time of the request, it will promptly inform the requestor of the additional documents and provide them on an expedited basis.
(17) Electronic records. The process for requesting electronic public records is the same as that for requesting paper public records. Costs for providing electronic records are governed by RCW 42.56.120 and 42.56.130 and included in the district fee schedule.
(18) Bot requests. The district may deny a bot request that is one of multiple requests from the requestor to the district within a twenty-four-hour period, if the district establishes that responding to the multiple requests would cause excessive interference with other essential functions of the district.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.50.14 [28B.50.140] and chapter 42.56 RCW. WSR 19-09-021, § 132T-175-080, filed 4/9/19, effective 5/10/19; Order 73-7, § 132T-175-080, filed 3/23/73.]
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