last revised: January 2007
The Attorney General’s Open Government Internet Manual (Deskbook) was produced by the Attorney General’s Office with the assistance of Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington and local and state government organizations. The deskbook is a comprehensive, easy-to-read overview intended to help clarify provisions of the law and hopefully prevent future disagreements. This Internet Manual provides a general summary and is not intended to provide a complete discussion of every detail of the Public Records Act or Open Public Meetings Act. Also, readers should review developments in the law since this manual was published.
Attorney General’s Open Government Internet Deskbook (Public Records and Open Meetings)
Chapter 1: Public Records Act – General and Procedural Provisions
Chapter 2: Public Records Act – Exemptions from Disclosure (Laws Allowing Withholding of Records)
Chapter 3: Open Public Meetings Act – General and Procedural Provisions
Chapter 4: Open Public Meetings Act – Executive Sessions (Closed Sessions)
The Deskbook provides links to cited statutes and Attorney General’s Opinions. More information on open government is available at:
The Attorney General’s Open Government Internet Deskbook was written and edited by:
Michele Earl-Hubbard, principal with Allied Law Group. Michele represents citizens and media outlets in Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act cases and media law.
Robert R. Meinig, Legal Consultant with the Municipal Research and Services Center, which provides legal advice and other services to municipal officials.
Greg Overstreet, principal with Overstreet Law Firm. Greg focuses almost exclusively on open government matters, such as cases under the Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act. He served from 2005-2007 as the Attorney General’s open-government ombudsman. He was the primary drafter of the Model Rules and advised the Attorney General on legislative issues related to public records.
Kristal Wiitala, Public Records/Privacy Officer for the Department of Social and Health Services. Kristal manages and coordinates public records and privacy policies and issues across all of DSHS programs and offices.
If you have any questions or comments about the content of this deskbook, please contact the Attorney General’s Office’s public records officer.