The PRA ensures the sovereignty of the people and the accountability of the governmental agencies that serve them by providing full access to information concerning the conduct of government.
Predisik v. Spokane School Dist. No. 81, 182 Wn.2d 896 (2015).
The Washington State Legislature created the Attorney General’s Office Local Government Public Records Consultation Program. In 2017 Laws (Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1594) it amended the Public Records Act (PRA) at RCW 42.56.570. The program will assist local government agencies by providing information and assistance to local agencies for developing PRA best practices, including but not limited to:
- Responding to records requests;
- Seeking additional public and private resources for developing and updating technology information services; and
- Mitigating liability and costs of compliance.
The Local Government Public Records Consultation Program provides consultation services to local governments for developing best practices in complying with the PRA. The Attorney General’s Office provides different levels of consultation services. Based upon the needs of the requesting agency, consultation may be via telephone, email, or in-person. Local agencies receiving in-depth consultations will receive a survey shortly after the consultation. Completion of the survey is required to participate in the program.
The Attorney General’s Office has a small, dedicated staff supporting this program. The Attorney General’s Office will compile data on the number, type, and effectiveness of consultations to submit a legislatively-required report to the Joint Legislative Audit Review Committee (JLARC). JLARC will report the information to the Washington State Legislature. This program will end on June 30, 2020, unless extended by the State Legislature.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
The Attorney General’s Office has posted a FAQ that will answer many of your questions relating to the new Local Government Public Records Consultation program. For more information, click here.
2018 Model Rules.
The Attorney General’s Office recently updated its Public Records Act Model Rules. For more information, click here.
Secretary of State Local Government Records Consultation and Grants Program.
For records retention and management consultations, contact the Washington State Archives. In addition, the Secretary of State’s Office is offering Local Records Grants program for local government agencies. Agencies can subscribe to Washington State Archives’ Listserv to receive updates to the grant program. To subscribe click here.
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