Juniper Beach Water District Public Records Act Rules and Procedures
Exhibit A of JBWD Resolution 2021/11-1
Any person wishing to inspect or copy public records of Juniper Beach Water District (the District) may utilize the Public Records Request Form found on the JBWD website. This request may be emailed or mailed via USPS addressed to the Public Records Officer.
As used in these rules and procedures, “public record” is recognized to be a broad term that includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the District or the performance of any District function, governmental or proprietary, that is prepared, owned, used, or retained by the District regardless of physical form or characteristics.
“Writing” as used in this policy and procedure is likewise a broad term that means any handwriting, typewriting, printing, photocopying, photographing, or other means of recording any form of communication or representation. Included within these definitions are digital and electronic forms of communication, including emails, texts or messages through any medium or application, pages, postings and comments from any District-operated or District-sponsored website.
Purpose of these Procedures and General Principles
The public may request access to water district records consistent with these procedures established by the Board of Commissioners and adopted per resolution and RCW 42.56.040 to explain the process for public access to District records and to provide guidance in how the District will respond to such requests. When processing such requests, the District will provide the fullest assistance to the requestor and provide a response in the most timely manner possible.
Public Records Officer
For the most timely and efficient response, requests for records should be directed in writing to the Public Records Officer listed below, whose responsibilities include serving as a point of contact for members of the public in this process and overseeing the District’s compliance with the Washington Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW.
The current Public Records Officer of the Juniper Beach Water District may be reached as follows below:
Kevin Plambeck, President
Juniper Beach Water District
Hours for Inspection
Public records are available for inspection and copying during normal business hours of the District, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., during the school year, and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on days school is not in session, excluding legal holidays. Records must be inspected at the offices of the District.
Organization of Records
The District will maintain its records in a reasonable, organized manner and take reasonable actions to protect records from damage and disorganization. A requestor shall not take District records from District offices without the permission of the Public Records Officer or designee. During the inspection of records, a District employee will typically be present to protect records from damage or disorganization.
A variety of records and information are available on the District website at www.rentonschools.us. Requestors are encouraged to view the documents available on the website prior to submitting a records request.
Requests to Public Records Officer
Any person wishing to inspect or copy public records of the District shall make the request in writing by letter, fax, or email addressed to the Public Records Officer and including the following information:
Name, address, telephone number and email address of requestor;
Identification of the public records adequate for the Public Records Officer of designee to locate the records; and
The date the request is submitted to the District.
The District’s Public Records Request is available for use by requestors at the District’s central office and online at www.juniperbeachwaterdistrict.net.
A request under the Washington Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW and JBWD Public Records Request Rules must seek an identifiable record. General requests for information from the District that do not seek identifiable records are not covered by Resolution 2021/11-1. Similarly, the District is not obligated by law to create a new record to satisfy a records request for information. The District may choose to create a record depending on the nature of the request and the resources required. An example of such might be to provide the information in a new document, when data from multiple locations is requested and can be more easily combined into a single new record.
Copies of Records
If the requestor wishes to have copies of the records made instead of inspecting them, he or she shall make this clear in the request and make arrangements to pay for copies of the records or a deposit.
Requests Not in Writing
The Public Records Officer or designee may accept informal requests for public records by telephone or in person. To avoid any confusion or misunderstanding, however, requestors should be mindful that a request reduced to writing is always the preferred method. If the Public Records Officer or designee receives a request by telephone or in person, the Public Records Officer will confirm his or her understanding of the request with the requestor in writing.
Order of Processing Requests
The District will typically process requests in the order received. However, requests may also be processed out of order if doing so allows the most requests to be processed in the most efficient manner.
Records requests not made directly to the Public Records Officer of the District will be forwarded by any of the other Commissioners receiving the request to the Public Records Officer for processing.
Response to Requests
Within five (5) business days of receipt of a request, the public records Officer will do one or more of the following:
Provide copies of the record(s) requested or make the record available for inspection—or, in the alternative, provide an internet address and link to the District’s website where the specific record can be accessed (provided that the requestor has not notified the District that he or she cannot access the records through the internet) ; or
Acknowledge that the District has received the request and provide a reasonable estimate of the time it will require to fully respond; or
Seek clarification of the request; or
Deny the request (although no request will be denied solely on the basis that the request is overbroad).
In unusual circumstances, the District may also seek a court order enjoining disclosure pursuant to law.
If the District does not respond in writing within five business days of receipt of the request for disclosure, the requestor should contact the Public Records Officer to determine the reason for the failure to respond.
The District may inquire into the purpose for which a record is requested and may use the answer to aid in gathering responsive records and determining whether the public has a legitimate interest in obtaining the information. However, a requester is not required to provide a purpose and the District may not decline to furnish the records solely because the requester refuses to furnish a purpose for the request.
Protecting Rights of Others
In the event that the requested records contain information that may affect rights of others and may be arguably exempt from disclosure, the Public Records Officer may, prior to providing the records, give notice to such others. The notice may make it possible for the others to contact the requestor and ask him or her to revise the request, or, if necessary, seek a court order to prevent or limit the disclosure. The notice to the affected persons may also include a copy of the request.
Exempt Records from Disclosure
Some records are exempt from disclosure, in whole or in part, under a specific exemption contained in chapter 42.56 RCW or another statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records.
If the District believes that a record is exempt from disclosure and should be withheld, the Public Records Officer will state in writing the specific exemption (and statutory section) which applies and provide a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record being withheld or redacted. This exemption and explanation will be provided to the requestor in a withholding index or log.
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 in the withholding index or log.
List of Laws Exempting or Prohibiting Disclosure
Pursuant to RCW 42.56.070 (2), these rules contain a list of laws—other than those specifically listed in the Washington Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW—which may exempt disclosure of certain public records or portions of records. The District has identified the following laws:
Privileged communications and attorney work product, such as set forth in RCW 5.60;
Personal information as described in RCW 42.56.230;
Employment and Licensing set forth in RCW 42.56.250;
Real Estate Transactions found in RCW 42.56.260;
Financial, commercial, and proprietary information such as set forth in RCW 42.56.270;
Archaeological Sites as described in RCW 42.56.30;
Public utilities and transportation information such as set forth in RW 42.56.330;
Those situations as described in regards to Public utility districts and municipally owned electrical utilities—Restrictions on access by law enforcement authorities described in RCW 42.56.335;
Information relating to Security as set forth in RCW 42.56.420.
The above list is for informational purposes only and is not intended to cover all possible exemptions from the public records law. The above list includes only exemptions which may be in addition to those set forth in Chapter 42.56 RCW. Under appropriate circumstances, the District may rely upon other legal exemptions which are not set forth above or contained within the public disclosure law.
Prohibition against Commercial Use
In addition to these exemptions, RCW 42.56.070 (9) prohibits providing access to lists of individuals requested for commercial purposes, and the District may not do so unless specifically authorized or directed by law.
Inspection of Records
Consistent with other demands, and without unreasonably disrupting District operations, the District shall promptly provide for the inspection of nonexempt public records. No member of the public may remove a document from the viewing area without the permission of the Public Records Officer, nor may he or she disassemble or alter any document. The requestor shall indicate which documents he or she wishes the District to copy. There is no cost to inspect District records.
Providing Copies of Records
After inspection is complete, the Public Records Officer or designee shall make the requested copies or arrange for copying. The cost for copies is established via District Resolution. Payment may be made by cash, check, or money order payable to the District. The District may also charge actual costs of mailing, including the cost of the shipping container.
Before beginning to make the copies, the Public Records Officer or designee may require a deposit of up to ten percent of the estimated costs of copying all the records selected by the requestor. The Public Records Officer or designee may also require the payment of the remainder of the copying costs before providing all the records, or the payment of the costs of copying an installment before providing that installment.
Providing Records in Installments
When the request is for a large number of records, the Public Records Officer or designee has the right to provide access for inspection and copying in installments. If, within thirty (30) days, the requestor fails to inspect the entire set of records or one or more of the installments, the Public Records Officer or designee may stop searching for the remaining records and close the request as discussed further below.
Completion of Inspection
When the inspection of the requested records is complete and all requested copies are provided, the Public Records Officer or designee will indicate that the District has completed a diligent search for the requested records and made any located nonexempt records available for inspection.
Closing Withdrawn or Abandoned Request
The requestor must claim or review the assembled records within thirty (30) days of the District's notification to him or her that the records are available for inspection or copying. The District should notify the requestor in writing of this requirement and inform the requestor that he or she should contact the District 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, the District may close the request and refile the assembled records.
When the requestor either withdraws the request 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 the District has closed the request.
Later Discovered Documents
If, after the District has informed the requestor that it has provided all available records, the District 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.
Processing of Public Records Requests for Electronic Records
Requesting Electronic Records
The process for requesting electronic public records is the same as for requesting paper public records. However, to assist the District in responding to a request for electronic records, a requestor should provide specific search terms that will allow the Public Records Officer or designee to locate and assemble identifiable records responsive to the request.
Providing Electronic Records
When a requestor requests records in an electronic format, the Public Records Officer or designee will provide the nonexempt records or portions of such records that are reasonably locatable in an electronic format that is used by the District and is generally commercially available, or in a format that is reasonably translatable from the format in which the District keeps the record.
Cost for Electronic Records
The cost of electronic copies of records shall be provided for by District Resolution. There will be no charge for smaller requests which can be fulfilled by emailing electronic records to a requestor. The Public Records Officer or designee may also require the payment of the costs of the CD or DVD before providing that installment. The District may also charge actual costs of mailing, including the cost of the shipping container.
Per Resolution 2021/11-1, Juniper Beach Water District has chosen to adopt the statutory default charges as described in RCW 42.56.120:
15 cents/page for photocopies or printed copies of electronic records;
10 cents/page for records scanned into electronic format;
5 cents for every four electronic files or attachments uploaded to an email, cloud storage service, or other electronic delivery system;
10 cents/gigabyte for transmitting records electronically;
The actual cost of the digital storage media/device, container used to mail the copies, and postage or delivery charges;
A customized service charge for requests that would require information technology expertise to prepare data or provide customized electronic access.
Internal Review of Denials of Public Records
Petition for Internal Administrative Review of Denial of Access
Any person who objects to the initial denial or partial denial of a records request may petition in writing (including email) to the Public Records Officer for a review of that decision. The petition shall include a copy of or reasonably identify the written statement by the Public Records Officer or designee denying the request.
Consideration of Petition for Review
The Public Records Officer shall immediately consider the petition and shall either affirm or reverse the denial within two business days following the receipt of the petition, or within such other time as the District and the requestor mutually agree to.
Public Records Request Form