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PRESS RELEASE: CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS

Released June 23, 2015

Contact Jeremy Barclay , (360) 515-6661

DOC Communications

AN IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTERS DURING BUDGET SHUTDOWN

We regret that at this time, the agency’s public records office is not open for business due to a lack of budget appropriation and the resulting government shutdown.

We are not able to process public records requests while the office is closed. When the office re-opens, more time will be needed to process requests because we anticipate there will be a backlog of pending requests as well as new requests that may have been submitted.

This posting and the details below describe how public records requests will be processed after the office re-opens.

This posting provides public records requesters with notification that additional time will be needed to process current and new records requests. This notice also serves as the five business-day acknowledgment of requests as described below. RCW 42.56.520.

This posting is provided to give the fullest assistance to requesters. RCW 42.56.100.

We hope to re-open soon. The estimates of time below may be affected by the number of days the office is closed, as well as the volume of any pending backlog of requests or new requests. As a result, the estimates and this notice may need to be adjusted accordingly. We will update this notice after we re-open, if needed. Please check back after we re-open.

Thank you for your patience. If you have questions after the office re-opens, you may contact Jeremy Barclay at 360-515-6661.

SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS FOR RECORDS INSPECTIONS

If public records requesters had scheduled an inspection of records at the office during the time the office is shut down, that appointment is hereby cancelled and will be rescheduled. Within 15 business days of the office re-opening, or from the date of the last communication from the agency (whichever is later), requesters will be contacted to reschedule their appointment. This is an estimate of time. The office anticipates it will inform requesters if this estimate needs to be revised.

PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS PENDING AT THE TIME THE OFFICE SHUT DOWN

Public records requesters who had requests that were being processed when the office was shut down (and which requests were previously acknowledged) are hereby notified that their requests will continue to be processed after the office re-opens. However, the office will need more time to process those requests. If requesters were awaiting further information or records from the office, they are advised that within 15 business days of the office re-opening or the date of the last communication from the office (whichever is later), requesters will be informed of the status of their requests or receive other information about their requests. This is an estimate of time. The office anticipates it will inform requesters if this estimate needs to be revised.

Public records requesters who had requests that were pending at the time the office was shut down (and which could not be acknowledged due to the closure) are hereby notified that this posting is their five business-day acknowledgment. RCW 42.56.520. Those requests will be processed once the office re-opens. However, the office will need more time to process those requests. Within 15 business days of the office re-opening requesters will be informed of the status of their requests, and be provided a more detailed estimate of time or further response. This is an estimate of time. The office anticipates it will inform requesters if this estimate needs to be revised.

NEW PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS SUBMITTED WHILE THE OFFICE IS SHUT DOWN

New public records requests that are submitted during the time the office is shut down will be designated as received on the day the office re-opens. The office will provide additional information to these requesters on the status of their request and an estimate of further time the office needs to respond, within five business days from the date the office re-opens. If needed due to the backlog or volume of new requests, this notice also serves as the initial five business-day acknowledgment under RCW 42.56.520.

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