Public Records Request

Record Response Time

Please note that due to current staffing shortages with the Department of Commerce Records Department, responses to your request may be delayed for a prolonged period of time. We are currently projecting delays of up to 60 days or more.

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 the main office.

Email: Communications@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-4000

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 may be a fee for electronic records that are provided electronically. There is no fee 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. For details regarding fees, please see the Commerce Public Disclosure Request Fee Schedule (PDF).

Contact

Following the Governor’s Proclamation 20-28-8, Commerce is temporarily suspending all in-person Public Records Act (PRA) activities. This includes activities permitting a requestor to walk into any Commerce office or facility during customary business hours to submit PRA requests, physically inspect records or agency PRA procedures, copy records, or other walk-in activities. Requesters may continue to submit requests via phone, email or U.S. Mail.