The Open Public Records Act requires records maintained by state, county, and city governments be made available to the public. SBCTC is a state agency subject to the Washington State Public Disclosure Act (RCW 42.56).
The Public Records Act Chapter, 44-14 WAC provides model rules to assist agencies responding to disclosure requests.
SBCTC Policy Manual Chapter 7: Public Information and Public Records outlines the agency’s records retention and records policies.
Guidelines applicable to public disclosure requests received by SBCTC are outlined below.
SBCTC and its employees are required to maintain all documents and records pertaining to its conduct and performance. Public disclosure requests may include:
- Employee or former-employee records
- Bids or RFP submissions
- Financial records
- College system statistics
Public records can be written documents, recordings, photos, electronic disks, magnetic tape or email correspondence. All records maintained by SBCTC are available for public inspection unless specifically exempted by law. Public records are accessible under reasonable conditions. You do not have to explain why you want to access a public record although we may ask you clarifying questions to process your request.
SBCTC is not required to create records. If a record does not exist, then we cannot fulfill your request for public information.
Washington state law specifically exempts some records from public disclosure. Exemptions are designed to protect the privacy of individuals, protect law enforcement or other investigative agencies processes or the legitimate business interests of citizens.
Exemptions include, but are not limited to:
- Information regarding employees, such as social security numbers, home phone numbers, home addresses, resumes and employment applications
- Investigative records relating to current enforcement
- Correspondence between agency staff and the Attorney General's Office
- Information from certain records which would constitute an invasion of privacy as defined in (RCW 42.56.210)
- SBCTC is prohibited by statue from disclosing lists of individuals for commercial purposes – data that if disclosed could result in private gain and/or public loss
In some cases, we may redact portions of a public record exempt from disclosure. It is our obligation to tell you why a record is exempt.
If you want to review or get copies of the non-public information listed above, it will be necessary for the college to request an Attorney General's opinion about this information. The Attorney General's office has up to 12 weeks to make a decision on whether the information is public or not public.
Once the Public Records Office receives a request, it responds within five business days.
The response consists of one of the following actions:
- Release of the record(s)
- Denial of the request and reason(s) for denial
- Request for clarification
- Acknowledge receipt of the request and provide a reasonable estimate of time required to comply with the request. This time period is subject to change depending on the difficulties and size of the request.
Additional information may be needed to clarify your request. To assure public disclosure requests are processed in a timely manner, complete and detailed information is required.
Once a public records request is received, it becomes a public record of SBCTC. When records are gathered to fulfill a request, the records may contain the names of employees, students or third parties. SBCTC may notify individuals regarding disclosure of records that contain their name or other identifiers. Such notices typically include the name of the requestor and/or a copy of the request form.
Requests for public records at SBCTC may be made in writing or email correspondence to SBCTC’s Public Records Officer.
To make a public disclosure request, please include the following information:
- Your name
- Full mailing address
- Contact phone number
- Email address
- Detailed description of the requested record(s)
- Indicate how you would like to receive the record:
- Review the records in person at the SBCTC office
- Have copies mailed at a cost of $ .10 per page for standard black and white photocopies plus shipping and postage
- Receive documents on a DVD at a cost of $1.95 per disc plus shipping and postage
- Sent electronically by email (free of charge unless another cost applies
Email requests should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send a written request to:
Julie Walter, Public Records Officer
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
PO Box 42495
Olympia, WA 98504-2495
Last Modified: 12/21/17 2:55 PM