Public Records Requests
A request under the Washington Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW, must seek an identifiable record or identifiable records. A request for all or substantially all of the records prepared, owned, used, or retained by ESD 105 is not a valid request for identifiable records.
Requesting Electronic Records:
The process for requesting electronic public records is the same as for requesting paper public records. However, to assist ESD 105 in responding to a request for electronic records, a requestor should provide specific search terms that will allow the Public Records Officer or designee to locate and assemble identifiable records responsive to the request.
Creating New Records:
ESD 105 is not obligated by law to create a new record to satisfy a records request for information. ESD 105 may choose to create a record depending on the nature of the request and the convenience of providing the information in a new document, such as when data from multiple locations is requested and can be more easily combined into a single new record.
Copies of Records:
If the requestor wishes to have copies of the records made instead of inspecting them, they shall make this clear in the request and make arrangements to pay for copies of the records or a deposit.
PROCESSING OF PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS
Order of Processing Requests:
ESD 105 will typically process requests in the order received. However, requests may also be processed out of order if doing so allows the most requests to be processed in the most efficient manner.
Records requests not made to the Public Records Officer of ESD 105 will be forwarded by ESD staff receiving the request to the Public Records Officer for processing.
Protecting Rights of Others:
In the event that the requested records contain information that may affect the rights of others and may be arguably exempt from disclosure, the Public Records Officer may, prior to providing the records, give notice to such others. The notice may make it possible for the others to contact the requestor and ask them to revise the request, or, if necessary, seek a court order to prevent or limit the disclosure. The notice to the affected persons may also include a copy of the request.
Records Exempt From Disclosure:
Some records are exempt from disclosure, in whole or in part, under a specific exemption contained in chapter 42.56 RCW or another statute that exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records.
If ESD 105 believes that a record is exempt from disclosure and should be withheld, the Public Records Officer will state in writing the specific exemption (and statutory section) which applies and provide a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record being withheld or redacted. This exemption and explanation will be provided to the requestor in a withholding index or log.
If only a portion of a record is exempt from disclosure, but the remainder is not exempt, the Public Records Officer will redact the exempt portions, provide the nonexempt portions, and indicate to the requestor why portions of the record are being redacted in the withholding index or log.
List of Laws Exempting or Prohibiting Disclosure:
Pursuant to RCW 42.56.070 (2), these rules contain a list of laws—other than those specifically listed in the Washington Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW—which may exempt disclosure of certain public records or portions of records. ESD 105 has identified the following laws:
- The Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act (FERPA), 20 USC § 1232g (regarding student educational records);
- Washington State Student Education Records Law, RCW 28A.605.030;
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et. seq. and 34 C.F.R. Part 300 (protecting the confidentiality of personally identifying information contained in student records of students with disabilities).
- Privileged communications and attorney work product, such as set forth in Chapter 5.60 RCW;
- Criminal Records Privacy Act (CRPA), Chapter 10.97, RCW;
- Information on students receiving free or reduced lunch, 42 USC §1758(b)(6);
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 45 CFR parts 160-164 (regarding health care information privacy and security);
- Abuse of Children – Protection and Procedure, RCW 26.44.010; RCW 26.44.030(9);
- Notification of Juvenile Offenders, RCW 13.04.155(3);
- Examination question for teachers or pupils prior to the examination, RCW 28A.635.040;
- Public Law 98-24, Section 527 of the Public Health Services Act, 41 USC § 290dd-2 (confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records);
- United States and Washington Constitutional provisions including, but not limited to, the right of privacy and freedom of association. In addition to these exemptions, RCW 42.56.070 (9) prohibits providing access to lists of individuals requested for commercial purposes, and ESD 105 may not do so unless specifically authorized or directed by law.
The above list is for informational purposes only and is not intended to cover all possible exemptions from the public records law. The above list includes only exemptions which may be in addition to those set forth in Chapter 42.56 RCW. Under appropriate circumstances, ESD 105 may rely upon other legal exemptions which are not set forth above or contained within the public disclosure law.
How Do I submit A Public Records Request?
If you would like to submit a public records request, please contact our Public Records Officer, Brittany Kaple.