County executive eases access to public records

March 31, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. March 31, 2010

King County Executive Dow Constantine has taken a step to aid people seeking public records from county government.

The measure directs each department in the executive branch of county government to designate a person responsible for compliance by public records officers who respond to requests under the state Public Records Act. The policy documents steps to be taken by employees when they receive a records request.

Constantine signed the new policy March 22. The policy update expands and details existing policy, and incorporates model rules issued by the state attorney general.

“Under the law, public records belong to the public,” Constantine said in a news release. “This policy reaffirms my commitment to open government, transparency, and customer service, and provides guidance to our public records officers in support of their duties to respond to requests under the Public Records Act.”

The policy fulfills the terms of a county ordinance adopted in October by the King County Council.

The executive branch replied to about 1,800 requests filed under the Public Records Act last year. The revised procedures take effect tomorrow.

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