Attorney general’s open government bill signed into law

June 24, 2014

The Open Government Trainings Act takes effect July 1.

The law is designed to improve public disclosure practices and reduce lawsuits through mandatory training of public officials. A 2012 state Auditor’s Office study found more than 250 “open government-related issues” among local governments. The report found most violations are the result of insufficient training and knowledge, leading to lawsuits that could have been prevented.

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Open-records training could be legislated

February 11, 2014

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would send public officials and employees to what amounts to open-records school.

House Bill 2121 would require public officials and employees to undergo training on open government laws under the state’s Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act.

When the public’s right to know is “stymied” by a public records officer, Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-Seattle) said, “it’s not a pleasant thing to deal with.” Pollet is the main sponsor of the bill, and advocated for a similar bill last year.

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January 8, 2013

Use caution in seeking open records changes

Reporters can be pesky — annoying even, particularly when trying to get information out of government entities.

Reporters file requests for information under the state’s open records law more often than Joe Citizen, as they do their job on your behalf. Forgive us if reporters tend to be more sensitive to possible changes to those laws, particularly changes that might dam up the river of information.

Cities across the state are lobbying the Legislature to make changes to open records laws that could make public records — your records — harder to get.

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County executive eases access to public records

March 31, 2010

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.

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