Sign up for the Open Government eNewsletter
We warmly welcome your thoughts on og-blog and especially welcome your emails with suggested postings and links to interesting stories and court cases. If you have something to say about open government in Washington State, sending it to og-blog is probably the best way to get it out. Don’t hesitate to contact us at

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Governor Asks State Agencies to Provide Electronic Records

We give credit where credit is due. And some credit is due here.

In a memorandum to all state agency directors dated September 18, 2007, Gov. Gregoire asks state agency directors to provide electronic records to requestors in an electronic format if possible. Specifically, the Governor is "asking" (her words) agency directors to "work with people who request electronic copies of non-exempt public records and, whenever possible, to satisfy those requests." Og-blog is working on getting a link to the memo.

Here is a link to the Olympian article discussing the Governor's memo.

State agencies can look to the Attorney General's model rules on electronic records for guidance. The Attorney General adopted them on June 15, 2007. Perhaps the AG's model rules persuaded the Governor to follow suit? Who knows.

We can't help wondering if the Governor's sudden willingness to provide electronic records stems from the political battering she's been taking this summer over the Tom Carr Sunshine Committee appointment, initially withholding the Sunshine Committee records, and her overall poor reputation on open-government issues. You can decide for yourself.

However, the Governor deserves credit for her electronic-records directive. If she really forces reluctant state agencies to comply, our hats will be off to her on this. If she doesn't ... we'll let you know. In a big way.