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Published on Friday, March 21, 2014

New open government training requirements effective July 1

With the Legislature’s passage of ESB 5964, new open government training requirements go into effect for governing bodies, elected officials, and public records officers on July 1, 2014.  

Open meetings: Every member of a governing body (including members of boards and commissions) of a public agency must complete open meetings training within 90 days after taking the oath of office or otherwise assuming official duties. Training must be completed every four years and may be completed remotely.

Public records and records retention: All elected officials, people appointed to vacancies in elected offices, and public records officers/managers must complete training in public records and record retention within 90 days after taking the oath of office or otherwise assuming official duties. The training must be consistent with the Attorney General’s model rules for compliance with the public records act. The training also must be completed every four years and may be taken remotely. 

The Attorney General is working on a set of FAQ’s to help answer questions about this new training requirement.  The requirement is not intended to be onerous.  The Attorney General’s office said 30 minute web-based trainings should be sufficient to satisfy the requirement.  The Attorney General is advising all those subject to the new training requirement take training during 2014 to establish this as the base year and then retraining every four years or upon re-election/appointment.

AWC is gathering a list of upcoming trainings that will help cities meet this requirement. We will publish that list in our weekly City Voice e-newsletter and an upcoming Bulletin.

Recently, Attorney General Bob Ferguson sat down with AWC to talk about the importance of open government and the new training requirement.  Check it out here.

Categories: Open government
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