BillTracker

Improving public records administration (McBride, Nealey, Springer)

Revises the public records act to improve public records administration. Requires training for records officers and public records officers to address particular issues related to the retention, production, and disclosure of electronic documents. Requires the attorney general to establish a consultation program to provide information for developing best practices for local agencies requesting assistance in compliance with the public records act. Requires the division of archives and records management in the office of the secretary of state to: (1) Establish and administer a competitive grant program for local agencies to improve certain technology information systems for public records; (2) Conduct a study to assess the feasibility of implementing a statewide open records portal through which a user can request and receive a response, relating to public records information, through a single internet web site; and (3) Convene a stakeholder group to develop the initial scope and direction of the study. Requires the county auditor to charge a surcharge of one dollar per instrument for every document recorded. Makes an appropriation from the general fund to the secretary of state solely for purposes of the study.

1ST SUBSTITUTE COMPARED TO ORIGINAL:
The Appropriations Committee (Committee) recommended removing the requirement to offer mediation to resolve an unclear public records request. The Committee recommended requiring that agencies include an estimate of time to respond to a records request that has not been clarified. The Committee recommended the addition of an additional element of the records portal report for the allocation of liability between the portal management and the agency providing records regarding claims over access to records.

EFFECT OF HOUSE FLOOR STRIKER AMENDMENT:
Expires the Attorney General's local government consultation program and state archivist's training services in 2020. Expires the state archives local government competitive grant program and additional $1 recording fee for that program in 2020. Allows funding from the additional $1 recording fee to be used for the state archivist's training services. Requires a JLARC study and report by the end of 2019 on the effectiveness of the grant program, the AG consultation program, and the state archivist's services, with recommendations whether those programs and services should continue. Requires that no more than one-half of the revenue from the additional document recording fee may be used collectively for the AG consultation program and the state archivist's training program.

EFFECT OF SENATE STATE GOV'T COMMITTEE STRIKER AMENDMENT:
(1) Removes records held by agency volunteers who do not serve in an administrative capacity and who do not have delegated agency authority which are not otherwise required to be retained by the agency from the definition of "record."
(2) Requires that agencies estimating annual public records fulfillment costs of over $40,000 to report metrics regarding public records fulfillment and compliance to JLARC annually, which JLARC must compile and report to the Legislature.
(3) Requires agencies to maintain a log of public records requests, responses, and final dispositions.
(4) Modifies officials making appointments to stakeholder group directing the study on the open records portal.

EFFECT OF SENATE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE STRIKER AMENDMENT:
(1) Removes records held by agency volunteers who do not serve in an administrative capacity and who do not have delegated agency authority which are not otherwise required to be retained by the agency from the definition of "record."
(2) Requires that agencies estimating annual public records fulfillment costs of over $40,000 to report metrics regarding public records fulfillment and compliance to JLARC annually, which JLARC must compile and report to the Legislature.
(3) Requires agencies to maintain a log of public records requests, responses, and final dispositions.
(4) Modifies officials making appointments to stakeholder group directing the study on the open records portal.
(5) The statewide open records portal feasibility study is made subject to appropriation.
(6) The $25,000 general fund appropriation for the statewide open records portal feasibility study is removed

EFFECT OF SENATE FLOOR STRIKER AMENDMENT:
(1) Removes records held by agency volunteers who do not serve in an administrative capacity and who do not have delegated agency authority which are not otherwise required to be retained by the agency from the definition of "record."
(2) Requires that agencies estimating annual public records fulfillment costs of over $100,000 to report metrics regarding public records fulfillment and compliance to JLARC annually, which JLARC must compile and report to the Legislature.
(3) Requires JLARC to work with state and local agencies to define standardized metrics and develop a reporting method.
(4) Requires agencies to maintain a log of public records requests, responses, and final dispositions.
(5) Modifies officials making appointments to stakeholder group directing the study on the open records portal.
(6) The statewide open records portal feasibility study is made subject to appropriation.
(7) The $25,000 general fund appropriation for the statewide open records portal feasibility study is removed.

Hearing Date: Friday, March 31, 2017 -- 1:00 pm

WA State Legislature Link:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1594&Year=2017    (opens a new browser tab)