Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2009 NO. 1 > Mar 5 2009

The Public Works Board lacks the statutory authority to hire, supervise, evaluate, transfer, and fire staff assigned to it by the Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development.

AGO 2002 NO. 2 > Apr 10 2002

While associations comprised of counties or local public officers are not “agencies” as defined in RCW 42.17.020, they could in certain circumstances be found to be “functional equivalents” of agencies for purposes of applying particular portions of the Public Disclosure Act; this would be greatly dependent on the facts of a particular case.

AGO 1988 NO. 3 > Feb 5 1988

The Washington Department of Corrections has authority to enter into an agreement whereby the Department will house federal prisoners in Washington state prisons, in return for monetary payments from the federal government.

AGO 1988 NO. 4 > Feb 18 1988

1. A public agency may not, in procuring architectural or engineering services, consider proposed price or cost in determining which firm is most highly qualified to provide services. 2. When a public agency selects a firm to perform architectural or engineering services, price and cost may be considered only after the most qualified firm has been selected, at which time the law provides for negotiation of a "fair and reasonable" price.  

AGO 1994 NO. 5 > Mar 31 1994

1.  The State Auditor's authority to audit the records of agencies, including the Legislature, implies authority to require that records be kept in sufficient detail to satisfy audit needs. 2.  The State Auditor has authority to require state agencies, including the Legislature, to maintain records of telephone numbers called from state-owned telephones, for audit purposes. 3.  If the State Auditor maintains files containing legislative telephone records, such records are exempt from public disclosure while the audit investigation is pending; thereafter, the records are generally not exempt from disclosure unless someone can make a showing that particular records fall within some recognized exception to the public disclosure laws. 4.  The State Auditor's authority to audit the Legislature, including the authority to prescribe the keeping of records for audit purposes, extends to the Legislature itself and to committees created by the Legislature (such as the Legislative Transportation Committee and the Legislative Evaluation and Accountability Program Committee), and to persons or agencies exercising legislative power (such as the State Actuary and the Redistricting Commission).

AGO 1994 NO. 7 > Apr 26 1994

1.  RCW 43.03.050 and .060, which authorize the Office of Financial Management to prescribe travel and expense reimbursement policies for state agencies, include courts and other agencies in the judicial branch of state government.2.  To the extent it can be justified by varying circumstances, the Office of Financial Management may prescribe different expense reimbursement rates for judicial branch agencies than for other state agencies; however, the mileage rate established under RCW 43.03.060 must be uniform for all employees.

AGO 1994 NO. 10 > Jul 29 1994

1.  A county lacks authority to require any agency of the United States to follow county policies or procedures in land use decisions or environmental regulation, except where Congress has specifically directed federal agencies to conform to local law.  2.  A county lacks authority to require any agency of the State of Washington to follow county policies or procedures in land use or environmental regulation, except where state law, expressly or by necessary implication, requires state agencies to conform to county procedural or substantive requirements as to a particular agency decision.

AGLO 1977 NO. 11 > Mar 17 1977

Legal consequences of a failure by the legislature to adopt a biennial state budget prior to the commencement of the fiscal period to be covered thereby.

AGO 1996 NO. 18 > Nov 26 1996

Where the Legislature has authorized expansion of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center but has conditioned funding upon the receipt of contributions from a public or private co-developer, and has imposed further conditions which render it economically impracticable to call for public bids on those portions of the expansion project which will be "jointly" used by the co-developers, and the Convention and Trade Center will call for public bids on those portions of the project that are intended for its use as a state instrumentality, the public works laws are sufficiently flexible to allow the "joint" portions of the construction project to be designed and built by the co-developer without call for public bids.

AGO 1987 NO. 24 > Nov 23 1987

The seat of government is the city of Olympia as it existed in 1890.  All state executive offices must be located at the seat of government, i.e. , in, within, near, or in close proximity to the city of Olympia as it existed in 1890.   The agency head and core administrative functions must be located at the seat of government.  Branch offices may be located away from the seat of government.   An agency head and core administrative functions may be located other than at the seat of government on a temporary basis.

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