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Published on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cities in King County receive extraordinary public records requests

We have heard that all or nearly all cities in King County, as well as King County and the Port of Seattle, have received the same request from the same individual. The individual has requested ALL of the jurisdictions’ public records.

This extraordinary request has the potential for significant impacts on those jurisdictions in terms of time to review and respond, as well as the need to preserve all records (suspending the retention schedule so as not to destroy any records subject to the request), which would also result in significant potential costs. The impacted cities are currently reviewing the request and working on determining how to respond.

There has been some speculation that the requestor may also submit the same or similar request to other types of jurisdictions within King County. So far the requestor has indicated that they do not intend to request to jurisdictions outside of King County.

For many cities, this extraordinary request highlights the weaknesses of the Public Records Act. While the goal of the act is open and transparent government, abuse of the law can lead to a waste of taxpayer resources.

To read an article about this request, click here.

Categories: Open government