Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee

​Public records reporting

December 8, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the public records data collection metrics are now available.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Request For Information (RFI) are now available.

December 1, 2017

JLARC Issues Request for Information (RFI) to Vendors for Public Records Data Collection System. RFI responses due 12/15/17.

Updates

November 2017

Guidance is now available for agencies preparing to report on public records performance metrics

During the 2017 session the Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1594. That bill requires certain agencies to report annually on a variety of metrics related to fulfilling public records requests. Over the past few months, JLARC has been working with state and local agency staff to standardize the metrics and to develop guidance that will assist agencies in fulfilling that reporting requirement. That guidance is now available.

While JLARC’s reporting system is not yet in place, the guidance provides agencies with information about the specific types of data they should be collecting in order to complete the reporting by July 1, 2018.

The new law requires that agencies that spent an estimated $100,000 or more in staff and legal costs during the past fiscal year must report, and agencies that spent under $100,000 may report voluntarily.

Click here to review or download the guidance document.

Click here to review or download Frequently Asked Questions regarding the metrics.

If you have questions about these metrics, please contact JLARC at JLARCPublicRecordsStudy@leg.wa.gov or (360) 786-5171. Answers to frequently asked questions will be posted to the website on a regular basis, beginning December 1.

September 2017

JLARC has entered into a contract with Sightline, LLC to manage the development of a public records data collection and reporting tool to fulfill JLARC’s responsibilities under ESHB 1594 Section 6 (5).

This page will be updated with information about reporting guidelines, timelines, and other news.

Questions may be directed to JLARCPublicRecordsStudy@leg.wa.gov or (360) 786-5171.

September 5, 2017

JLARC has entered into a contract with Sightline, LLC to help JLARC fulfill its responsibilities under ESHB 1594 Section 6 (5). Sightline will beworking with JLARC to:

    • establish definitions for statutory metrics
    • develop a data collection and reporting tool

July 24, 2017

Questions about new requirements for public records data reporting

When and where can I find guidance about reporting data?

In response to ESHB 1594 Section 6 (5), JLARC staff are developing data standards and an approach to collecting information about public records requests. JLARC staff are working with an advisory group and consultants, and will reach out to additionalstakeholders in the coming months.

Formal guidance will be available in the next few months for information that must be reported in July 2018. JLARC staff anticipate needing this time to develop definitions inorder to ensure data will be as consistent as possible across multiple entities.

We realize that there will be uncertainty about what information to track internally until formal guidance is provided. We suggest entities make efforts to prepare for reporting in July but acknowledge that you may need to adjust your approach to align with forthcoming guidance. Please consult with your legal counsel if you are unsure about interim approaches. You should fully implement other provisions outside of Section 6(5) of the law effective July 23, 2017.

Do I have to report?

You must report if your entity’s public records costs exceed $100,000. In determining whether you meet this threshold, please consider:

  • Legal costs incurred in the course of responding to a records requests. Do not include legal costs of litigation after responding to a records request
  • Whether you have 1 FTE or equivalent across multiple staff who are responsible for responding to records requests during the fiscal year. If so, your costs would likely approach $100,000.

Additional clarification is forthcoming.