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Records Management

600.200 RECORDS MANAGEMENT POLICY

In compliance with RCW 40.14, the college maintains public records. This system provides for the systematic identification and disposal of obsolete records; transfer of historically valuable records to the department of archives; removal of non-current records from active storage, protection and backup of records essential to the college’s authority and operation; disaster preparedness; insurance of record systems integrity and accessibility; and effective compliance with public disclosure requirements. The board delegates to the president or designee the responsibility to appoint a public records officer who shall administer the process of coordinating the retention of public records in compliance with state law and college regulations.

Adopted by the board of trustees: 5/10/00
Last reviewed: __/__/__
Policy contact: Administrative Services

Related policies and procedures
1600.200 Records Management Procedure

1600.200 ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS PROCEDURE

A. PURPOSE

The purpose of this chapter is to ensure that Wenatchee Valley College complies with the provisions of RCW 42.17 and in particular with those sections of that chapter dealing with public records.

B. DEFINITIONS

Public record includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.

Writing means handwriting, typewriting, printing, Photostatting, photographing, and every other means of recording any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols, combination thereof and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, disks, drums and other documents.

Wenatchee Valley College is an agency organized by statute pursuant to RCW 28B.50.040. Wenatchee Valley College shall hereafter be referred to as the "district." Where appropriate, the term "district" also refers to the staff and employees of the district.

C. DESCRIPTION OF CENTRAL AND FIELD ORGANIZATION OF WENATCHEE VALLEY COLLEGE DISTRICT NO. 15

  1. Wenatchee Valley College is a state agency established and organized under the authority of RCW 28B.50 for the purpose of implementing the educational goals established by the legislature in RCW 28B.50.020. The administrative office of the district is located on the college campus within the county of Chelan, Washington. The college campus likewise comprises the central headquarters for all operations of the district.
    The district is operated under the supervision and control of a board of trustees. The board of trustees consists of five members appointed by the governor. The board of trustees normally meets at least once each month. The board of trustees employs a president, an administrative staff, instructors and other employees. The board of trustees takes such actions and promulgates such rules, and policies in harmony with the rules established by the state board for community and technical colleges, as are necessary to the administration and operation of the district.
    The president of the district is responsible to the board of trustees for the operation and administration of the district.

D. OPERATIONS AND PROCEDURES

Formal decision-making procedures are established by the board of trustees through rules promulgated in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 34.05 RCW, the Administrative Procedure Act.

E. PUBLIC RECORDS AVAILABLE

All public records of the district, as defined in this chapter, are deemed to be available for public inspection and copying pursuant to these rules, except as otherwise provided by RCW 42.17.310 or other statutes.

F. PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICER

The district's public records shall be in the charge of the public records officer designated by the chief administrative officer of the district. The public records officer shall be responsible for implementation of the district's rules regarding release of public records, coordinating district employees in this regard, and generally ensuring compliance by district employees with the public records disclosure requirements in Chapter 42.17 RCW.

G. OFFICE HOURS

Public records shall be available for inspection and copying during the customary office hours of the district. For purposes of this chapter, the customary office hours shall be from 9:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays and holidays or days of closure established by the college calendar or by order of the college president.

H. REQUESTS FOR PUBLIC RECORDS

Requests for public records shall be made at the administrative office of the district at Wenatchee Valley College, 1300 5th St Wenatchee WA 98801. In accordance with the requirements of RCW 42.17.290 that agencies prevent unreasonable invasions of privacy, protect public records from damage or disorganization, and prevent excessive interference with essential functions of the agency, public records are obtainable by members of the public only when those members of the public comply with the following procedures:

  1. A request shall be made in writing upon a form prescribed by the district which shall be available at the district administrative office. The form shall be presented to the public records officer or, if the public records officer is not available, to any member of the district's staff at the district administrative office during customary office hours. The request shall include the following information:
    1. The name of the person requesting the record;
    2. The time of day and calendar date on which the request was made;
    3. The nature of the request;
    4. If the information requested is referenced within the current index maintained by the public records officer, a reference to the requested record as it is described in such current index;
    5. If the requested information is not identifiable by reference to the current index, an appropriate description of the record requested.
  2. In all cases in which a member of the public is making a request, it shall be the obligation of the public records officer, or person to whom the request is made, to assist the member of the public in succinctly identifying the public record requested.
  3. If the request is for documents in an employee personnel file, the employee will be notified within 48 hours and the employee will have rights under RCW 42.17.330 to enjoin the action.

I. COPYING

No fee shall be charged for the inspection of public records. The district may impose a reasonable charge for providing copies of public records and for the use by any person of agency equipment to copy public records and such charges shall not exceed the amount necessary to reimburse the district for its actual costs incident to such copying. No person shall be released a record so copied until and unless the person requesting the copied public record has tendered payment for such copying to the appropriate district official. All charges must be paid by money order, cashier's check, or cash in advance.

J. DETERMINATION REGARDING EXEMPT RECORDS

  1. The district reserves the right to determine that a public record requested in accordance with the procedures outlined in section H above, is exempt pursuant to the provisions set forth in RCW 42.17.310 or other statute. Such determination may be made in consultation with the public records officer, president of the college district, or an assistant attorney general assigned to the district.
  2. Pursuant to RCW 42.17.260, the district reserves the right to delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes any public record and there is reason to believe that disclosure of such details would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy or impair a vital governmental interest: Provided, however, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.
  3. Response to requests for a public record must be made promptly. For the purposes of this section, a prompt response occurs if the college, within five business days, either:
    1. Provides the record;
    2. Acknowledges receipt of the request and provides a reasonable estimate of the time the college will require to respond to the request; or
    3. Denies the request.
  4. All denials of request for public records must be accompanied by a written statement, signed by the public records officer or designee, specifying the reason for the denial, a statement of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the public record withheld.

K. REVIEW OF DENIALS OF PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS

  1. Any person who objects to the denial of a request for a public record may petition for prompt review of such decision by tendering a written request for review. The written request shall specifically refer to the written statement which constituted or accompanied the denial.
  2. The written request by a person demanding prompt review of a decision denying a public record shall be submitted to the president of the district or the president’s designee.
  3. Within two business days after receiving the written request by a person petitioning for a prompt review of a decision denying a public record, the president or designee, shall complete such review.
  4. During the course of the review the president or designee shall consider the obligations of the district to comply with the intent of chapter 42.17 RCW insofar as it requires providing full public access to official records, but shall also consider the exemptions provided in RCW 42.17.310 or other pertinent statutes, and the provisions of the statute which require the district to protect public records from damage or disorganization, prevent excessive interference with essential functions of the agency, and prevent any unreasonable invasion of personal privacy by deleting identifying details.

L. PROTECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

Public records and a facility for their inspection will be provided by the public records officer. Such records shall not be removed from the place designated. Copies of such records may be arranged according to the provisions of Section I above.

M. RECORDS INDEX

  1. The district has available for the use of all persons a current index which provides identifying information as to the following records issued, adopted, or promulgated by the district after March 14, 2001:
    1. Final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases;
    2. Those statements of policy and interpretations of policy, statute and the constitution which have been adopted by the agency;
    3. Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;
    4. Planning policies and goals, and interim and final planning decisions;
    5. Factual staff reports and studies, factual consultant's reports and studies, scientific reports and studies, and any other factual information derived from tests, studies, reports or surveys, whether conducted by public employees or others; and
    6. Correspondence and materials referred to therein, by and with the agency relating to any regulatory, supervisory or enforcement responsibilities of the agency, whereby the agency determines, or opines upon, or is asked to determine or opine upon, the rights of the state, the public, a subdivision of state government, or of any private party.
  2. The current index maintained by the district shall be available to all persons under the same rules and on the same conditions as are applied to public records available for inspection.

N. ADOPTION OF FORM

The district shall adopt an appropriate form for use by all persons requesting inspection and/or copying or copies of its records.

Approved by the president’s cabinet 3/28/01
Presented to the board of trustees:
Last reviewed: __/__/__
Procedure contact: Administrative Services

Related policies and procedures
600.200 Access to Public Records Policy