AG Local Government Consultation Program

The Attorney General’s Office Local Government Consultation Program now offers local governments help with navigating the complexities of the public records arena. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is pleased to offer these services free of charge to all local governments.

The Consultation Program is a resource to assist you and your agency’s staff with public records response processes and management. Program consultants provide services tailored to local governments by assisting in developing processes and procedures for responding to public records requests, compliance with public records laws, and developing or updating technology related to public records.

The Legislature authorized the Consultation Program during its 2017 session, enabling the AGO to offer this service to all types and levels of local government. One service available through the Consultation Program is an in-person consultation at your office. This is not a formal audit, but rather an assessment of your agency’s public records processes. Program consultants work collaboratively with your agency’s staff, reviewing components of Public Records Act (PRA) processes in detail and offering suggestions.

The program consultants commonly assist with policy development and adoption, identifying records-management issues and providing information related to record exemption questions. In these cases, program staff can answer your questions and provide general information over the telephone or via email.

Assistant Attorney General Morgan Damerow is one of the program consultants and the program’s lead attorney. Morgan has been with the state for 16 years. Over the last four years, he has represented dozens of state agencies in significant PRA cases in front of trial courts, the Court of Appeals and the State Supreme Court. Kathy Bodnar, the AGO’s Assistant Director for Public Records, is also a program consultant. She has served as a Public Records Officer for the AGO for more than 15 years, handling many of the AGO’s more complex requests. Administrative Assistant Ann Armstrong helps with the program’s administrative requirements and coordination with local governments.

To ask a technical question, request an on-site consultation, or if you need help developing resources and policies, program consultants can be contacted by telephone at (360) 570-3418 or via email at [email protected]. More information about the program, as well as a web portal to request assistance, can be found at http://www.atg.wa.gov/pra-consulting-program.

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