Overview of EO 00-03 – Public Records Privacy Protections

Governor Gary Locke issued EO 00-03 in April 2000 to ensure that state agencies protect confidential personal information to the maximum extent possible while complying fully with the state’s public disclosure laws. The executive order is appended to this report.

The proliferation of large databases and other information sources that contain sensitive personal information about individuals has resulted in privacy risks to individuals and significant public concerns about how the information is used. The risks include the potential for privacy abuses and harassment of individuals, financial fraud, and identity theft if the information falls into the wrong hands. Growing public concerns about personal privacy could result in diminished credibility of public agencies in the eyes of the people they serve if personal information is used inappropriately. These risks and concerns create an urgent need for all data custodians, and especially government, to exercise care in safeguarding personal information.

Since state government is accountable to all citizens of Washington for carrying out vital public programs, its agencies should be leaders in responsible information management. This means strict adherence to the access requirements of the state’s open records law and maximizing personal privacy protections within the requirements of that law.

To meet those goals, EO 00-03 does the following:

Since Governor Locke believes that good management requires regular milestones and measures of results, he requested agency directors to track implementation of the EO and submit progress reports. This report reflects information contained in progress reports submitted by agencies at the end of September.

Summary Of Agency Results

The following summarizes major results of agencies as they implement the Governor’s executive order. These results were achieved during the first six months after the issuance of the order and reflect progress as of the end of September 2000:

Selected Agency Privacy Accomplishments

The following summarizes selected agency accomplishments in implementing EO 00-03: