Below are Department of Corrections (DOC) policies that apply to and/or relate to the Public Records Act.
- DOC Policy 280.500 Records Management of Official Offender Files
- DOC Policy 280.510 Public Disclosure of Records
- DOC Policy 590.500 Legal Access for Offenders
- DOC Policy 640.020 Offender Health Records Management
- DOC Policy 800.005 Personnel Files
Below are Department of Corrections (DOC) forms that apply to and/or relate to the Public Records Act.
- DOC 05-066 Request for Disclosure of Records (English)
- DOC 13-035 Authorization for Disclosure of Health Information (English)
Laws & Regulations
Below are federal orders, state initiatives and orders, and state laws (RCWs) and regulations (WACs) that apply to and/or relate to the Public Records Act.
- U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73
Concerns the dissemination of arrest and conviction records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to the subjects of such records upon request. Identification data is not maintained by the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, but by local, state and federal agencies. Order 556-73 states the subject of the record must apply to the original contributing agency to change, correct, or update identification data that appears on an FBI arrest or conviction record.
State Initiatives & Orders
- Executive Order 00-03 (EO 00-03) – Public Records Privacy Protections
Signed November 2000 by former Governor Gary Lock. Intent is to ensure state agencies comply fully with state public records and open government laws, while protecting personal information to the maximum extent possible. The status of EO 00-03 is listed as "Active" at the Executive Orders Archive .
- Initiative 276, 1972 (Public Disclosure Act)
A law approved by the people of Washington in a vote held in 1972. It became known as the Public Disclosure Act (formally RCW 42.17). The law has since been superseded by the Public Records Act, recodified as RCW 42.56 on July 1, 2006.
Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
- RCW 4.24.550 Sex offenders and kidnapping offenders – Release of information to public – Web site.
Regarding public agencies authority to release information to the public regarding sex offenders and kidnapping offenders.
- RCW 10.97 Washington State Criminal Records Privacy Act
- RCW 40.24 Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking
States that the location or address of a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, or stalking is exempt from public disclosure.
- RCW 42.52.050 Confidential information—Improperly concealed records.
Pertains to the ethics of disclosure of confidential information.
- RCW 42.52.520 Investigation.
The identity of the person filing an ethics complaint (Whistleblower protection ) is exempt from public disclosure.
- RCW 42.56 Public Records Act
- RCW 42.56.010 Definitions.
Lists definitions for the Public Records Act, including the legal definition of "public record."
- RCW 42.56.030 Construction.
Concerning the intent and purpose of the Public Records Act.
- RCW 42.56.040 Duty to publish procedures.
Mandates state agencies shall publish procedures in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) for how the public may make public records requests. The DOC's procedures are codified in WAC 137-08 .
- RCW 42.56.070 Documents and indexes to be made public.
- The agency shall make available for public inspection and copying all records unless they fall within specific exemptions, and/or may delete parts of records to prevent unreasonable invasion of personal privacy. All deletions must be explained fully in writing.
- Mandates that each agency shall publish and maintain a current list containing every law, other than those listed in the Public Records Act, that the agency believes exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records of the agency. See the DOC Exemption Log for the Department's list.
- States that agencies who do not choose to determine the actual per page cost for providing photocopies of public records (42.56.070(7)), may not charge in excess of fifteen cents per page for photocopies of public records, or for use of agency equipment to photocopy public records and the actual postage or delivery charge and the cost of any container or envelope used to mail the public records to the requestor.
- States the Public Records Act does not give any agency authority to sell or provide access to lists of individuals requested for commercial purposes.
- RCW 42.56.080 Facilities for copying—Availability of public records.
Concerning agencies making public records available to "any person" for any reason (except to establish if the request would violate RCW 42.56.070(9), or other statute exemptions).
- RCW 42.56.120 Charges for copying.
A reasonable charge may be imposed for providing copies of public records and for the use by any person of agency equipment to copy public records, which charges shall not exceed the amount necessary to reimburse the agency for its actual costs directly incident to such copying.
- RCW 42.56.210 Certain personal and other records exempt.
Specifies except for information described in RCW 42.53.230(3)(a) and confidential income data exempted from public inspection (RCW 84.40.020 ), exemptions detailed in the Public Records Act are inapplicable if the exempted information can be deleted from the specific records that have been requested. Also specifies that if an agency denies a record, in whole or in part, the agency's response should include a statement of the specific statutory exemption authorizing the withholding of the record (or part), and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record withheld.
- RCW 42.56.230 Personal information.
Details the types of personal information that are exempt from public inspection and copying.
- RCW 42.56.240 Investigative, law enforcement, and crime victims.
Details the types investigative, law enforcement, and crime victim information that is exempt from public inspection and copying.
- RCW 42.56.250 Employment and licensing.
Details the type of employment and licensing information that is exempt from public inspection and copying.
- RCW 42.56.290 Agency party to controversy.
States that records relevant to a controversy to which an agency is party, but which records would not be available to another party under the rules of pretrial discovery for causes pending in the superior courts, are exempt from disclosure.
- RCW 42.56.310 Library records.
Any library record, the primary purpose of which is to maintain control of library materials, or to gain access to information, that discloses or could be used to disclose the identity of a library user is exempt.
- RCW 42.56.360 Health care.
Details the type of health care information that is exempt from disclosure.
- RCW 42.56.420 Security.
Details the type of security information that is exempt from disclosure.
- RCW 42.56.520 Prompt responses required.
States responses to public records requests must be made within five business days of receiving the request, and details the ways an agency may respond. Those requests that are responded to with a denial must be accompanied by a written statement of the specific reasons. This RCW mandates agencies shall establish mechanisms for the most prompt possible internal review of denials, such that reviews shall be deemed completed by the end of the second business day following the denial, and shall constitute the final agency action for the purposes of judicial review.
- RCW 42.56.530 Review of agency denial.
States that if an agency denies a person opportunity to inspect a public record, the person may request the attorney general to review the matter.
- RCW 42.56.550 Judicial review of agency actions.
States that if a person has been denied access to public records, or a person believes an agency has not made a reasonable estimate of time the agency requires to respond to a request, they may initiate a judicial review by the superior court in the county in which the record in question is maintained.
- RCW 42.56.565 Inspection or copying by persons serving criminal sentences—Injunction.
Concerning the statutory reasons public records may be withheld from a person who is serving a criminal sentence in a state, local, or privately operated correctional facility on the date the request for public records was made.
- RCW 42.56.580 Public records officers.
Mandates each state agency shall appoint and publicly identify a public records officer whose responsibility it is to serve as a point of contact for members of the public in requesting disclosure of public records. For state agencies, the name and contact information of the public records officer shall be registered in the state registrar at the time of designation and maintained on the code revisers website for the duration of the designation.
- RCW 43.06A.050 Confidentiality.
Concerning the confidentiality (exemption) of family and children's ombuds.
- RCW 43.43.856 Divulging investigative information prohibited—Confidentiality—Security of records and files.
Concerning the confidentiality (exemption) of organized crime investigative information.
- RCW 70.02 Medical Records – Health Care Information Access and Disclosure
- RCW 70.02.030 Patient authorization of disclosure.
States a patient may authorize a health care provider or health care facility to disclose the patient's health care information.
- A health care provider or health care facility may charge a reasonable fee for providing the health care information and is not required to honor an authorization until the fee is paid.
- Where the patient is under supervision at the department of corrections, an authorization signed pursuant of this section for health care information related to mental health or drug or alcohol treatment expires at the end of the term of supervision, unless the patient is part of a treatment program that requires the continued exchange of information until the end of the period of treatment.
- RCW 71.05 Mental Illness
A law intended to protect the health and safety of persons suffering from mental disorders, and to protect public safety through use of parens patriae and police powers of the state.
- RCW 71.09.120 Release of information authorized.
Pertaining to the authorized release of information concerning specific sexually violent predators.
Washington Administrative Code (WAC)
- WAC 44-14-01003 Construction and application of act.
Pertaining to the construction and application of the Public Records Act.
- WAC 137-08 Public Records – Disclosure
The complete title of the Department of Corrections Public Records Disclosure chapter.
- WAC 137-08-080 Public disclosure coordinator.
Specifies that each Departmental administrative unit shall designate a public disclosure coordinator.
- WAC 137-08-090 Request for public records.
States the procedures for requesting public records from the Department of Corrections.
- WAC 137-08-110 Fees – Inspection and copying.
States the Department will collect a fee of twenty cents per page plus postage to reimburse itself the cost of providing copies of public records.
- WAC 137-08-150 Exemptions to public records disclosure.
The Department reserves the right to determine if a public record requested is exempt or nondisclosable under RCW 42.56.210 through RCW 42.56.480.
- WAC 246-08-400 How much can a health care provider charge for searching and duplicating health care records?
Specifies the fee parameters health care provider may charge for providing public records.
- WAC 446-20-200 Disclosure to assist victim.
A criminal justice agency may, but need not, disclose investigative information to "persons who have suffered physical loss, property damage, or injury compensable through civil action" as contemplated by RCW 10.97.070 . Disclosure may be made to the apparent victim; an attorney, parent or guardian acting for the victim or an executor or administrator of an estate of a decedent victim; an authorized agent of the victim; another law enforcement or criminal justice agency making inquiry on behalf of the victim; and/or, upon an appropriate showing, an indemnitor, assignee, insurer, or subrogee of the victim.
- Office of the Code Reviser
- Open Government Resource Manual
- Washington State Register