Public Disclosure Requests


Notice:

In the event of a government shutdown, we regret that the agency's public records office will not be open for business due to a lack of budget appropriation and the resulting government shutdown. We will not be 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 during the shutdown.  Read the full notice.


What are public records?

The Public Records Act ( Chapter 42.56 RCW) is a Washington State law that allows you to review government records. Public records include documents in all formats, whether electronic or paper, that relate to government operations or conduct. All of Commerce’s documents are considered public records, and are subject to public review, unless a law specifically exempts certain information from disclosure.

What records are exempt from disclosure?

Exemptions are listed in the Public Records Act, while others are found elsewhere in Washington and Federal law. Many of these exemptions are designed to protect privacy rights and legitimate business interests.

What if I only have a question or want more information about Commerce work?

General questions or requests for information are not typically Public Disclosure Requests. Commerce is not required to create new records, collect or analyze information, or conduct legal research under the Public Records Act. If you have general questions or would like more information about the Department of Commerce that you can’t locate from our website, please contact us:

Phone: (360) 725-4000
Email: communications@commerce.wa.gov

How do I request a copy of a public document?

Please email your request to publicdisclosure@commerce.wa.gov. Include your name, phone number, email address, and a description of the records you are requesting. The request must be for a specific identifiable record or series of records. The more precisely you identify the record you seek, the more efficient and effective we can be in locating and providing the appropriate documents.
Public Disclosure Requests may also be submitted by mail to:

Public Disclosure Requests
Washington State Department of Commerce
PO Box 42525
Olympia, WA 98504-2525

If you need assistance submitting your request, please call (360) 725-2706.

When will I receive a response to my Public Disclosure Request?

You will receive a response within five business days. We will respond in one of several ways:

  • Provide the records (or a link to the portion of our website that contains the records).
  • We may request clarification.
  • If the documents are not readily available, we will provide a reasonable estimate of time that it will take us to produce the records.
  • For some large requests, we may have to produce the records on a partial or installment basis. We will also provide the estimated timeframes for each incremental delivery as we work through your request.
  • When legal exemptions apply, we may deny the request in whole or in part, either by withholding the requested records or redacting the documents, including an explanation of the denial.
  • Is there a fee?

    There is no fee for electronic records that are provided electronically or for the in-person inspection of public records. We may charge 15 cents per page for paper copies of records or other actual costs associated with mailing or producing the records.

    How to File an External Complaint

    Commerce is committed to ensuring all individuals have the right to participate in programs and activities operated by our sub-recipients regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, or veteran status. Discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently or denied equal treatment or access because of their membership in a protected class, such as, race or religion. If you believe you, or someone you know, were discriminated against, there are federal and state organizations that can assist in protecting your rights. External complaints may be filed with the DOJ, Human Rights Commission (HRC), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and/or the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
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