Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Open Government Tour

Attorney General Statewide Forums

Attorney General Rob McKenna hosted a series of public hearings across the state in the Summer and Fall of 2005 in an effort to increase citizen involvement in government and gather input for new model rules on public disclosure.

These Open Government Forums, co-sponsored by major daily newspapers in 13 cities across Washington, were designed to accomplish three goals:

  1. Increase public awareness of the new, stronger public records laws approved during the 2005 legislative session.
  2. Receive public testimony to assist the Office of Attorney General in developing a set of model rules that will guide state agencies and local governments in facilitating requests for public records.
  3. Bring people who seek access to government information together with those who are charged with providing it, in an effort to find common ground and build trust.

Attorney General McKenna spearheaded the effort to update the state’s Public Disclosure Act during the 2005 legislative session. The new public disclosure law prohibits government agencies from denying public records requests because they are overbroad.

"Access to open government is
vitally important in a free society.
That's why Washington voters
approved the Public Disclosure Act
nearly 30 years ago. We must work
to ensure our government remains
accessible and transparent."

Attorney General Rob McKenna

The new law also provides additional compliance tools to government agencies by allowing them to respond to requests on a partial or installment basis, and helps discourage nuisance requests by allowing agencies to ask for a small copying deposit on each installment of a public records request or to cease fulfilling a request if an installment is not picked up.

Finally, the law directs the Office of Attorney General to adopt model rules on public records disclosure to assist both records requestors and government agencies. The Open Government Forums gave citizens the opportunity to help identify the best practices to include in these model rules.

Open Government Forum Schedule:




Listen to the Audio


July 26, 2005

Kitsap Sun

Bremerton-7-26.MP3 (52.4 MB)


August 16, 2005

Yakima Herald-Republic

Yakima-8-16.mp3 (62 MB)


August 17, 2005

Wenatchee World

Audio unavailable due to technical difficulties.


August 23, 2005

The Herald

Everett-8-23.MP3 (102 MB)


August 24, 2005

The Daily World

Aberdeen-8-24.MP3 (93.8 MB)


September 7, 2005

The Daily News

Longview-9-7.MP3 (59.4 MB)

Mt. Vernon

September 20, 2005

Skagit Valley Herald

Mt. Vernon-9-20.MP3 (78.4 MB)


September 22, 2005

The Tri-City Herald

Tri-Cities-9-22.MP3 (63.5 MB)


September 28, 2005


Spokane-9-28.MP3 (108 MB)


October 3, 2005

The Olympian

Olympia-10-03.MP3 ( 110 MB)


October 5, 2005

The Columbian

Vancouver10-05.MP3 (70.8 MB)


October 10, 2005

The News Tribune

Tacoma 10-10.MP3 (106.6 MB)


October 11, 2005

The Seattle Times

Seattle-10-11.MP3 (107.6 MB)

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