BillTracker

Concerning costs associated with responding to public records requests (Nealey, McBride, Senn)

Revises the public records act with regard to:
(1) Requiring statements of actual costs for photocopies and electronically produced copies to be adopted by the agency only after public notice and a hearing;
(2) Allowing the denial of a bot request;
(3) Requiring that a request be for identifiable records; and
(4) Expanding information on agency charges.

EFFECT OF FLOOR STRIKER AMENDMENT:
(1) Clarifies that a request for all records on a particular topic is not a request for all records of an agency.
(2) Requires agencies to use the most reasonable cost- efficient method for determining the actual costs for copying records.
(3) Provides that creating alternative electronic versions of records does not amount to creating a new public record.
(4) Removes the default cost for copying audio or video recordings.
(5) Changes the default rate for electronic attachment charges from $.40 per 25 attachments to $.05 per four attachments.
(6) Changes the alternative flat fee rate from $5 to $2 per request and clarifies that the same charge may not be applied to subsequent installments of a request.
(7) Changes the provisions of the customized service charge to apply where the agency uses information technology services not otherwise used by the agency for other purposes.
(8) Permits a requestor to seek judicial review of the reasonableness of an agency's estimate for copying charges.

EFFECT OF COMMITTEE STRIKER AMENDMENT:
(1) Requires that agencies charging a flat fee for electronic records requests document an estimate of the costs and that the costs must be clearly equal to or more than two dollars prior to charging the flat fee.
(2) Requires agencies to provide an estimate of charges to fulfill a records request before any copies are made, and allows requestors to modify a request to reduce the number of copies made.

Hearing Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 -- 8:00 am

WA State Legislature Link:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1595&Year=2017    (opens a new browser tab)