Public Disclosure Records Requests

Washington State law RCW 42.56 requires all agencies to respond to requests for public records in a timely manner and in an acceptable way. Records that are created by the department during the course of business are considered public records. The term "public records (RCW 42.56.010(2))" applies to any record, no matter the media, including electronic.
 

Covid-19 Impact on Public Records Requests

Governor Inslee has temporarily suspended some requirements listed in RCW 42.56 Public Records Act by issuing Governor’s Proclamation 20-28 due to the global pandemic, COVID-19.

Temporary Changes to the Public Records Process at WSDOT

All in person Public Records Act business is temporarily suspended, such as onsite records inspections or submitting a new request. WSDOT will still process all open requests and will accept new requests through our Online Public Request Center, Fax, and Postal mail. Additionally, the proclamation has temporarily suspended the requirement for an agency to respond to a new public records request within 5 business days. However, WSDOT Public Records staff are teleworking and striving to limit the impact of this pandemic on requesters. We are working hard to keep this business as usual, please have patience as we navigate this.

The Governor’s full proclamation can be found here: Governor’s Proclamation 20-28 (pdf 218 kb) (Open Public Meetings act and Public Records Act)

For any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to WSDOT Public Disclosure Manager, Ashley Holmberg at 360-870-2869.

 

Questions about Public Disclosure

What is the difference between public disclosure and public information?
How do I make a public disclosure request?
How long will it take to answer my request?
What records are exempt from Public Disclosure?
What are the copying costs?

 

What is the difference between public disclosure and public information?

Public Disclosure is the process of how the public may obtain public records from state agencies.

Public Information is information and/or records that can be obtained from other sources outside WSDOT (i.e., the Internet, State Library, ferry schedules, maps, etc.)

How do I make a public disclosure request?

  1. Use the Public Disclosure Request Center 
  2. or you can mail or fax your request to:

WSDOT
Records & Information Management 
PO Box 47410
Olympia, WA  98504-7410
 
Phone: 360-705-7424
Fax: 360-705-6808

How long will it take to answer my request?

Within five business days after receiving the request, we will:

  1. Provide the record(s); or
  2. Acknowledge your request and give you a reasonable estimate of how long it will take to respond; or
  3. Deny the request in writing, stating the reasons for the denial (this could also include a denial of part of your request and granting the remainder). By statute, RCW 42.56.520, the department must cite the specific exemption that applies.

What records are exempt from Public Disclosure?

  • Personal information regarding agency personnel, such as: social security numbers, home phone numbers, home addresses, resumes and employment applications.
  • Investigative records relating to a current investigation.
  • Test scores, 
  • Data, if disclosed, that could result in private gain and/or public loss.
  • Correspondence between department/agency staff and the Attorney General's Office
  • Information that if released, would constitute an invasion of privacy as defined in RCW 42.56.210 & 42.56.230 
  • For a complete list of exemptions see RCW 42.56.210-480

What are the costs?

Copies are charged at .15 cents per page (standard single sided 8 ½" x 11" black & white sheet).
A price list can be supplied, upon request, for copies other than the standard size

Per WAC 468-06-090 as of April 12, 2019 all Public Records Requests received by WSDOT will be subject to the new Fee schedule allowed per RCW 42.56.120. If you have questions about a current request, please contact your assigned Coordinator or for general questions feel free to call the Public Disclosure Office at 360-705-7424.

Washington State Department of Transportation
Public Disclosure Fee Schedule

Inspection

No fee

Inspection by requester at agency in Olympia

No fee

Requester accessing or downloading records the office routinely posts on its web site

Copies

15 cents per page

Photocopy of paper records, or printed (paper) copies of electronic records (applies if requester asks for paper copies)

10 cents per page

 

Electronic copy of scanned paper records (applies if paper copies must be scanned in order to produce in electronic format)

5 cents for each  4 electronic files or attachments

Files and attachments loaded and delivered on a cloud based storage service

10 cents per gigabyte

 

Files and attachments loaded and delivered on a digital storage media (CD, DVD or thumb drive).

Actual cost

Records on CD - includes cost of CD, Disc Sleeve, Mailer and Postage

Actual cost

Records on DVD - includes cost of DVD, Disc Sleeve, Mailer and Postage

Actual cost

Records on Thumb Drive - includes cost of Thumb Drive, Mailer and Postage

Actual cost – Amount dependent on size of container or envelope

 

Container or envelope used to mail paper or other types of copies

Actual cost – Amount dependent upon weight & USPS or other delivery service rates

Postage or delivery charges

  • Copy charges above may be combined to the extent more than one type of charge applies to copies responsive to a particular request
  • Copy charges are assessed for each installment of records provided to the requester

Copy Charges - Other Records

Cost varies – Per other statutes

Records for which other costs are authorized pursuant to laws outside RCW 42.56.  RCW 42.56.130.

Cost varies - Actual cost (based upon vendor cost to office)

Records sent to an outside vendor due to their unusual size or format, or other factors making copying by office unfeasible.  Mailing/delivery and container costs also apply.

Customized Service

Cost varies - Actual cost (based upon request)

Data compilations prepared or accessed as a customized service. Cost is in addition to above fees for copies, including mailing/delivery and container costs.  RCW 42.56.120(3).