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Public Records FAQs
What is a public record?
A public record is any record containing information relating to the conduct of government business, which is prepared, owned, used or retained by an agency. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic media, paper, e-mail, microfilm, audiotapes, videotapes, magnetic tapes, and disks (CDs/DVDs).
A valid public records request is a request for a specific and identifiable public document. A request for general information is not a valid public records request. You do not have to identify the record you want with exact precision. Our staff may assist in clarifying your request.
Is a public records request confidential?
No. Once the WSLCB receives a public records request, that request itself becomes a public record of the WSLCB. Someone else can make a public records request for that document.
In addition, if the WSLCB receives a public records request for records that contain WSLCB personnel information, our staff will notify the affected WSLCB personnel. There are also some instances where licensees have requested to be notified if someone requests copies of their documents. In both cases, our staff typically notifies the affected parties and sends them the requestor’s name and/or a copy of the original request.
How long will it take to process my public records request?
Our public records staff will acknowledge your request within five business days and respond in one of four ways:
- Provide the record
- Acknowledge the request, and provide a reasonable estimate of the time required to prepare the records you are seeking
- Acknowledge the request, and request clarification of the records you are seeking
- Deny the request, and cite the specific legal exemption why your records are being denied
Our staff will try to provide your records as soon as possible, but they may require additional time to process your request for the following reasons:
- To clarify the records you are seeking
- To locate and assemble the information requested
- To notify third persons or agencies affected by your request
- To determine whether any of the information you requested is exempt and that if all, or part, of your request should be denied
What if I just want to look at the public records?
Public records are available for inspection, free of charge. Visit our offices during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., excluding state holidays, at:
Washington State Liquor Control Board
Public Records Office
3000 Pacific Avenue
Olympia, WA 98501
- After the first 100 free copies, WSLCB charges $.15 per page for black-and-white photocopies
- Up to $15.00 per floor plan – black-and-white photocopy, up to 3’ by 3’. We will notify you if your requested floor plans are larger, or if there is more than one floor plan in the file
- $3.00 per videotape (VHS)
- $4.00 for the first audio cassette and $2.00 each thereafter
- $1.00 per DVD
- $10.00 per flash drive
- The cost of postage, when items are mailed USPS
- Up to $.15 per page for scanning existing WSLCB paper or other non-electronic records
There will be no charge for e-mailing electronic records to a requestor, unless a scanning fee applies. There may be extra charges for rush orders, special mailings, or oversized materials. If you would like our staff to notify you with the anticipated cost of your records, before they are processed, please include that with your original request.
What if I have a subpoena for public records?
When a subpoena, summons, search warrant, or other court order is presented, it must go to the Public Records Office in Olympia. A subpoena is an action separate from a request under the public records laws.
Are there any restrictions on what I can do with the records?
Yes. If you obtain a list of individuals through a public records request, it may not be used for any kind of commercial purpose. It also may not be used to contact those individuals as part of a profit-seeking business activity (RCW 42.56.070(9)).
What material is exempt from disclosure?
Both the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56) and the Liquor Control Board section of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 314-60-100) state that certain types of records and information are exempt from public inspection and copying. Where exempt information can be deleted (redacted) from a record, our public records staff will provide the record and the exempt information will be redacted. Our staff will also identify the specific exemption that applies.
What if I want unredacted copies of financial documents?
If you want unredacted copies of financial records (source of funds, lease agreements, purchase records, etc.), please submit a signed Authorization for Release of Financial Records.