Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee

​Public records reporting

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UPDATE 

August 3, 2018

The Public Records Data Collection system is now closed.

Information about the 2018 reporting period will be coming soon.

July 2, 2018

The public records data collection system will remain open until July 27, 2018. Please note that while the statutory deadline has passed, JLARC is encouraging additional entries into the system. Please contact JLARCPublicRecStudy@leg.wa.gov if you have questions or need assistance.

Access the reporting system at http://app.leg.wa.gov/PublicRecordsReporting/Account/Login.

Important Notice:

Some agencies have expressed confusion over the difference between the timeframe used for determining whether an agency has met the $100,000 reporting threshold, versus the 2017 reporting period. These are not the same time periods!

To determine whether an agency has met the $100,000 reporting threshold, the agency should determine if it had actual staff and legal costs associated with fulfilling public records requests of at least $100,000 during the prior fiscal year. State and local agencies operate on different fiscal years, so you will need to consult your internal executive or budget department to determine the timeframe for your agency’s prior fiscal year.

Once an agency has determined it will be reporting, the data reported to JLARC should reflect activity for the 2017 reporting period, July 23, 2017 – December 31, 2017.

Updates

May 31, 2018

An update to the Public Records Data Reporting guidance is now available. The companion “Revisions” document shows which metrics have been updated, the purpose of the revision and how the language has changed. We encourage you to take a look at these documents as you prepare to for this new reporting effort.

May 22, 2018

An update to the Public Records Data Reporting guidance is now available. Since it was originally published in November, JLARC has received suggestions for clarifying their guidance on a few of the metrics. These suggestions are reflected in the updated document. The companion “Revisions” document shows which metrics have been updated, the purpose of the revision and how the language has changed. We encourage you to take a look at these documents as you prepare to for this new reporting effort.

May 2, 2018

The public records data reporting system is now open. Updates have also been made to the agency guidance and FAQ document. These updates include minor wording changes.

  • Click here to access the public records reporting system.
  • Click here for instructions on using the public records reporting system.
  • Click here for the Updated agency guidance document
  • Click here for the Updated FAQ document
April 4, 2018

An update to the Public Records Data Reporting guidance is now available. This update includes minor wording changes.

February 8, 2018

An update to the Public Records Data Reporting guidance is now available. Since it was originally published in November, JLARC has received suggestions for clarifying their guidance on a few of the metrics. These suggestions are reflected in the updated document. The companion “Revisions” document shows which metrics have been updated, the purpose of the revision and how the language has changed. An updated version of the Frequently Asked Questions document has also been posted. We encourage you to take a look at these documents as you prepare to for this new reporting effort.

January 2, 2018

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

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.

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 JLARCPublicRecStudy@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 JLARCPublicRecStudy@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.