University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Washington Administrative Code

Title 478 WAC - University of Washington


Chapter 478-276 WAC: Governing Access to Public Records

WAC 478-276-085: Responses to public records requests.


(1) Responses generally. The public records office shall respond within five business days of receiving a public records request by:

  (a) Providing the records;

  (b) Providing an internet address and link to the records on a university web site;

  (c) Acknowledging that the request has been received and providing a reasonable estimate of the time required to respond to the request; or

  (d) Denying the request.

(2) Additional time. Additional time for the office to respond to a request may be based upon the need to:

  (a) Clarify the request;

  (b) Locate, assemble, and review the records requested;

  (c) Notify third persons or agencies affected by the request; or

  (d) Determine whether any of the information requested is exempt and that a denial should be made as to all or part of the request.

(3) Request for clarification. If a public records request is unclear, the public records office may ask the requestor to clarify the request. If the requestor does not respond to a request for clarification or otherwise fails to clarify the records request within ten business days, the university need not respond to it, and the university may consider the request abandoned and close it in accordance with WAC 478-276-105.

(4) Priority of requests. The public records office will handle requests in the order in which they are received; provided, however, that the public records office will modify this approach as, and to the extent it deems necessary, to ensure that requests which seek larger volumes of records, require closer review, or are otherwise more complicated or time consuming, do not unreasonably delay simpler, more routine requests.

(5) Installments. When it appears that the number of records responsive to a request may be large, that the process of locating, assembling, or reviewing the records may be lengthy, or that it is otherwise appropriate, the public records office may choose to provide records on a partial or installment basis. For the purposes of WAC 478-276-090 through 478-276-105, and unless otherwise provided under these rules, each installment of records shall be treated as a separate public records request.

(6) Customized electronic access. Where the public records office deems it appropriate, the university may choose to provide customized electronic access to public records; provided, however, that any requestor seeking such customized electronic access must pay, in advance, for university staff time and any other direct costs related to providing such customized electronic access. Because the university maintains electronic records in a very wide variety of formats, the viability of providing this service is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 and chapter 42.56 RCW. 13-05-073, § 478-276-085, filed 2/19/13, effective 3/22/13.]