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Published on Friday, January 30, 2015

AWC public records bill up for hearing next week

On Tuesday, February 3 at 10 am, the House State Government Committee will hear HB 1684, concerning charges for the cost of providing records in response to public records requests. AWC will testifying in support of this proposal.

In recognition of the trend towards requestors asking for records electronically in lieu of paper copies, HB 1684, sponsored by Rep. Dean Takko (D-Longview), allows agencies to charge a reasonable fee for the transmission of electronic copies. Currently there is no authority for an equivalent per page cost for electronic transmission, yet there are costs associated with producing electronic copies of records in response to public records requests similar to those of making a paper copy.

Under the legislation, a local government may not charge for the transmission of the first ten megabytes of electronic data for each individual request but may charge a rate of fifteen cents per megabyte after. A local government may also charge the actual cost of postage, delivery, or the cost of any container, envelope or storage device to send the public records request. Finally, if an agency determines that the records request is more than 10% of the agency’s records they may, before processing the request, require a deposit in an amount not to exceed the estimate of providing 10% of all agency records. We encourage you to let your legislators know that cities’ support this bill.

Categories: Open government