172-10-040 - Processing of public records requests-General

172-10-040. Processing of public records requests-General

(1) The public records officer will process requests in the order that allows the most requests to be processed in the most efficient manner. University employees who receive a request for public records shall immediately forward the request to the university public records officer.

(2) Acknowledging receipt of request. Within five business days of receipt of a request, the public records officer will do one or more of the following:

(a) Make the records available for inspection or copying;

(b) If copies are requested and payment of a deposit for the copies, if any, is made or terms of payment are agreed upon, send the copies to the requestor;

(c) Provide a reasonable estimate of when records will be available;

(d) If the request is unclear or does not sufficiently identify the requested records, request clarification from the requestor. Such clarification may be requested and provided by telephone. The public records officer may revise the estimate of when records will be available; or

(e) Deny the request.

(3) Follow-up on requests. If Eastern Washington University does not respond in writing within five business days of receipt of the request for disclosure, the requestor should consider contacting the public records officer to determine the reason for the failure to respond.

(4) Protecting rights of others. In the event that the requested records contain information that may affect rights of others or may be exempt from disclosure, the public records officer may, prior to providing the records, give notice to such others whose rights may be affected by the disclosure. Such notice should be given so as to make it possible for the affected persons to seek an order from a court to prevent or limit the disclosure. The notice to the affected persons will include a copy of the request.

(5) Records exempt from disclosure. Some records are exempt from disclosure, in whole or in part. If Eastern Washington University believes that a record is exempt from disclosure and should be withheld, the public records officer will state the specific exemption and provide a brief explanation of why the record is being withheld. If only a portion of a record is exempt from disclosure, but the remainder is not exempt, the public records officer will redact the exempt portions, provide the nonexempt portions, and indicate to the requestor why portions of the record are being redacted.

(6) Inspection of records.

(a) Consistent with other demands, Eastern Washington University shall promptly provide space to inspect public records. No member of the public may remove a document from the viewing area or disassemble or alter any document. The requestor shall indicate which documents he or she wishes the agency to copy.

(b) The requestor must claim or review the assembled records within thirty days of the university's notification to him or her that the records are available for inspection or copying. Eastern Washington University will notify the requestor in writing of this requirement and inform the requestor that he or she should contact the university to make arrangements to claim or review the records. If the requestor or a representative of the requestor fails to claim or review the records within the thirty-day period or make other arrangements, Eastern Washington University may close the request and refile the assembled records. Subsequent requests from the same person will be processed as a new request.

(7) Providing copies of records. After inspection is complete, the public records officer shall make the requested copies or arrange for copying.

(8) Providing records in installments. When the request is for a large number of records, the public records officer will provide access for inspection and copying in installments, if he or she reasonably determines that it would be practical to provide the records in that way. If, within thirty days, the requestor fails to inspect the entire set of records or one or more of the installments, the public records officer may stop searching for the remaining records and close the request.

(9) Completion of inspection. When the inspection of the requested records is complete and all requested copies are provided, the public records officer will indicate that Eastern Washington University has completed a diligent search for the requested records and made any located nonexempt records available for inspection.

(10) Closing withdrawn or abandoned request. When the requestor withdraws the request, fails to respond to a request for clarification, or fails to fulfill his or her obligations to inspect the records or pay the deposit or final payment for the requested copies, the public records officer will close the request and indicate to the requestor that Eastern Washington University has closed the request.

(11) Later discovered documents. If, after Eastern Washington University has informed the requestor that it has provided all available records, Eastern Washington University becomes aware of additional responsive documents existing at the time of the request, it will promptly inform the requestor of the additional documents and provide them on an expedited basis.

(Adopted by WSR 14-24-034, Filed 11/24/2014, effective 12/25/2014)

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