The Washington Public Records Act is one of the strongest open government laws in the nation and reflects the desire of Washington citizens to know what their government is doing. A transparent and accessible government is essential to a successful free society, and fosters trust and confidence in government.
Strong “sunshine laws” are crucial to assuring government accountability and transparency. In Washington State, those laws provide for open public records and open public meetings.
Washington’s Attorney General’s Office produced an Open Government Internet Manual (Deskbook) to answer questions about the Public Records Act. The deskbook is a comprehensive, easy-to-read overview intended to help clarify provisions of the law and hopefully prevent future disagreements. This Internet Manual provides a general summary and is not intended to provide a complete discussion of every detail of the Public Records Act or Open Public Meetings Act.