Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered a public record?
A public record is any record that is created or used in the process of governmental business.
More information on the definition of a public record...

Are there records that are not available for disclosure?
There are certain records that are exempt from public disclosure per Washington State law [RCW 42.56.140].

Who can make a public records request?
Anyone may file a public records request [RCW 42.56.080].

Is there a request form that I need to fill out?
Clark College requires that a Public Records Request form be completed for every request.

Am I required to identify myself or give a reason for my request?
No. People requesting public records are not required to identify themselves or disclose the reason they are requesting records [RCW 42.56.080]. However, persons who do not wish to identify themselves will need to make arrangements to pay fees (if required) and to pick up records once they have been compiled.

When will I get a response?
Washington law requires that Clark College provide an initial response or responsive records within five business days of receiving the request [RCW 42.56.520]. Basic requests may be fulfilled in this five day time period, but more complex requests might require an extended period of time to fulfill. Our office will work with the requestor to provide the timeliest response possible.

Are there fees associated with making a request?
Clark College does not charge for locating public records or providing access to the records. Charges may apply for the copying of records. More information...

Is Clark College required to respond to my request?
Response to a public records request is mandatory and Washington State law requires that we provide the fullest assistance to the requestor [RCW 42.56.100]. There are penalties for noncompliance and agencies may be fined for each day a record is withheld.

Why was my request denied?
Clark College may deny your request if no such record exists or the request does not reasonably identify a record.

What is considered an identifiable record?
An identifiable record is one that can be reasonably located although the Public Records Act does not require that a requestor name the record. A request for information is not considered an identifiable record. Clark College will work with the requestor to clarify the request and provide the fullest assistance possible.

How can I file a complaint?
A requestor who has concerns about a request denial may petition for internal administrative review of the denial. In writing the petition, identify the written statement denying the request. Submit the petition in writing to the Office of Records Management and Preservation, where it will be forwarded to the President of the College.