1. The State Public Disclosure is the cornerstone Act, Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 42.17.250 -.341, for rules governing inspection and copying of state and local government records.
2. General rule: Agencies are required to make available for public inspection and copying all public records that are not exempted from disclosure.
3. "Agency" includes all state and local agencies. Although the statute deals explicitly with records held by "agencies," it is not limited by its terms to administrative agency records. The Washington Supreme Court has yet to decide squarely whether the act applies to the judiciary or the Legislature.
4. A "public
record" is any writing containing information relating to conduct of government
or performance of any government function that is prepared, owned, used
or retained by the agency, regardless of the physical form or characteristic.
"Writing" is broadly defined to include documents as well as photographic
film, sound recordings, film and video recordings, magnetic or paper tape,
punched cards, diskettes, and existing data compilations from which information
may be obtained or translated.