What is a Public Record?

A public record includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.

Writing means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photo-stating, photographing, and every other means of recording any form of communication or representation including, but not limited to, letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, motion picture, film and video recordings, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, diskettes, sound recordings, and other records including existing data compilations from which information may be obtained or translated. [RCW 42.56.010]

A public records request must be for identifiable records. An "identifiable record" is one that is existing at the time of the request and which agency staff can reasonably locate. A request for all or substantially all records prepared, owned, used, or retained by an agency is not a valid request for identifiable records under this chapter, provided that a request for all records regarding a particular topic or containing a particular keyword or name shall not be considered a request for all of an agency's records. [WAC 44-14-04002]

Note to College Vendors: All information that you provide Clark College, even your email communications, are considered public records. As a public agency, Clark College is required to respond to public records requests and disclose information from its purchasing records that may consist of other vendors’ confidential information. Therefore, please do not include any sensitive information or materials such as trade secrets or proprietary information in your official bids, proposals, quotations, or correspondences. If you do so and do not want disclosure of such information, you must hire an attorney to file an injunction.