FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Aug. 9, 1996
Commercial access work group establishes
web site, sets next meeting
OLYMPIA -- The group appointed
by Gov. Mike Lowry to examine public policy questions related
to the commercial release of government electronic records wants
to know what Washington residents think of its work, through a
new site on the World Wide Web.
Interested persons may access information about the group, including
its purpose and plans, at Governor's Work Group on Commercial Access to Government Electronic Records,
and are encouraged to offer comments.
"These issues affect just about everybody in the state,
and we seek diverse viewpoints," Lowry said of the group's
web site. "In light of what happened this week in Oregon,
where someone used the public record law to purchase the state's
motor vehicle database, then posted that information on the Internet,
I think it's vitally important that we raise these issues surrounding
the release of government electronic records and look for sensible
The release of public lists of individuals for commercial purposes
is restricted under Washington's Open Records Act, except when
authorized by legislation. The number of laws creating exemptions
to the restriction has grown since the Act was created in 1972
by citizen initiative.
Gov. Lowry directed the 13-member work group to consider under
what circumstances restricted records in electronic format should
be released for commercial purposes, with particular emphasis
on safeguarding the privacy rights of individuals who are subjects
of those records. The group also will examine how agencies should
allocate and recover costs of making such information available.
Its recommendations are due in November to the Governor, who may
use them to prepare legislation.
Citizens may offer comments in person at the next work group
meeting Aug. 21, from 1 to 5 p.m. in Hearing Room 4 of the John
L. Cherberg Building in Olympia. Citizens may still mail comments
Governor's Work Group
P.O. Box 42445
or send comments via electronic mail to
The work group's chairman is Steve Kolodney, director of the Department of Information Services. Other members are: Kent Caputo, the Governor's legal counsel; State Rep. Phil Dyer; Kathy Baros Friedt, director of the Department of Licensing; State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen; Chip Holcomb, assistant attorney general; Dennis Karras, director of the Department of Personnel; Bruce Miyahara, secretary of the Department of Health; Gary Moore, commissioner of the Employment Security Department; Lyle Quasim, secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services; State Sen. George Sellar; State Rep. Cathy Wolfe; and Nancy Zussy, state librarian.
For more information, contact Eric Campbell at the Department of Information Services at 360-407-5282 or call the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790.