Public Records

Pursuant to SMC 3.01A.235, the City Clerk acts as the City of Spokane Records Officer. It is the role of the Records Officer to provide public access to current, as well as historical, documents. The City of Spokane provides access to public records under the provisions of the Washington State Public Disclosure Act (RCW 42.56).

All records maintained by the City of Spokane are available for public inspection unless specifically exempted by law. You are entitled to access public records, under reasonable conditions, and copies of those records can be provided upon paying copying costs. In most cases, you do not have to explain why you want the records. However, specific information may be necessary to process your request. The City may require further information to establish if disclosure would violate certain provisions of law.

The more precisely you can identify the record(s) you seek, the more responsive the City can be. The City of Spokane provides access to existing public records in its possession but is not required to collect information or organize data to create a record not existing at the time of the request. Keep in mind that a question or request for information only is not a request for a record.

Visit the Public Records Request Center by clicking the button below.

How the City will respond to your Public Records Request

The City will respond to a request for public records within five business days of receipt (RCW 42.56.520).

The City will respond by either:

  1. Providing the record(s), or the disclosable portion(s) of the records, for inspection and/or copying of the record after payment of any applicable fees.
  2. Acknowledging receipt of the request and providing a reasonable estimate of the time necessary to respond based on the need to:
    • Request clarification of an unclear request
    • Locate and assemble the records requested
    • Notify persons or agencies affected by the request
    • Determine whether any of the records are exempt from disclosure
    • Request a deposit before duplication of records
  3. Denying the request. If a request is denied, a written statement shall be provided to the requestor of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record (or part) and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record withheld.

The requestor must claim or review the assembled records within 30 days of the City's notification that the records are available. If the requestor fails to claim or review the records within 30 days, or make other arrangements, the City may close the request and refile the assembled records. If this should happen, a new public records request will need to be filed.

Fees

Cities are not allowed to charge for staff time spent in locating a public record, or for making a record available for inspection. A city can, however, charge for the actual costs connected with copying public records, including the staff time spent making the copies. A city cannot charge more than fifteen cents a page for photocopying unless the city has calculated its actual costs per page and determined that they are greater than fifteen cents. Actual costs for postage and delivery can be included, as well as the cost of any mailing supplies. If a city has to pay an outside source for making duplicates of records, such as photographs, blueprints or tape recordings, the city can also pass those costs on to the requestor. (RCW 42.56.120)

Fee Schedule
CITY OF SPOKANE PUBLIC RECORD ACT
*FEE SCHEDULE
Inspection:
No fee Inspection of agency records on agency public internet web site or scheduled at agency office.
No fee Accessing or downloading records the agency routinely posts on its public internet web site, unless the requestor asks the agency for records to be provided through other means (the following copy charges below then apply).
Copies:
Paper copies (photocopies or printing electronic records), B&W or color: 8x11; 8x14; 11x17 15 cents per page
Scanned records (converting a record from a paper copy to an electronic format) 10 cents per page
Records uploaded to email, or cloud-based data storage service, or other means of electronic delivery 5 cents each per four electronic files or attachments
Records transmitted in electronic format or for use of agency equipment to send records electronically. 10 cents per gigabyte for transmission of records in an electronic format
Digital storage media or device on which records are saved for delivery:
  • CD
  • DVD
  • Thumb drive
  • Other
Actual cost
Label, case, and/or sleeve for CD/DVD Actual Cost
Postage or delivery charges – Specific amount based upon postage/delivery charges for specific mailings or deliveries. Actual Cost
Copy charges above may be combined to the extent more than one type of charge applies to copies responsive to a particular request.
Records copied by outside source:
If materials need to be copied by an outside source, the requestor pays the actual amount invoiced to the City by the Vendor. Actual Cost
Customized Service: Data compilations prepared or accessed as a customized service (cost is in addition to above fees for copies).
Fee Example