WHEREAS, The constant evolution of technology presents a challenge for state agencies responsible for maintaining and releasing public records, especially in light of ever increasing demands for government records in electronic format for a wide range of commercial purposes; and

WHEREAS, Commercial use of personally identifiable information contained in electronic public records raises-new concerns for individual privacy; and

WHEREAS, in recognition of these growing concerns and the unique responsibility of government of balancing individual protection and broad public access, in vetoing House Bills 2604 and 2790 upon the close of the 1996 Legislative Session, I created a joint Executive-Legislative Work Group on Access to Government Electronic Records; and

WHEREAS, I called on the Work Group to examine current practices and policies with a view toward bringing consistency to the circumstances under which the state releases government records for commercial or business purposes; and

WHEREAS, the Work Group held a series of public meetings to consider, discuss, and take public testimony on a number of issues related to commercial access to government records; and

WHEREAS, on December 9th, 1996, the Work Group presented its final report of findings and recommendations, including asking that the Governor issue an executive order instructing state agencies to adhere to a model contract for the release of information for commercial purposes; and

WHEREAS, the use of a contract in such instances serves to advance the legitimate use of government-held information for the benefit of the state and the public while protecting personally identifying information and other data from inappropriate or unwarranted dissemination or intrusion; and

WHEREAS, the use of such contracts in no way hampers or complicates access by the public or media to public records otherwise available for inspection and disclosure.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Lowry, by virtue of the power vested in me as Governor of the State of Washington, hereby order and direct:

1. All state agencies, unless otherwise directed, specified or prohibited by 42.17 RCW or other state statutes, shall allow otherwise appropriate access to public records for commercial purposes only through means of a contractual agreement between the agency and the entity requesting such access (Contractor).

2. Such agreements for access to public records for commercial purposes shall require, at a minimum, the following limitations provided herein as a general. guide to be specifically crafted by each agency as necessary and appropriate for individual legal and contractual requirements:

3. This Order is meant to be prospective in its application and takes effect immediately.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto
set my hand and caused the seal of the State
of Washington to be affixed at Olympia
this 15th day of January A.D., Nineteen hundred and ninety-seven.




Governor of Washington

Secretary of State