There are approximately 2,200 local governments and numerous state agencies in Washington State. The Public Records Act mandates that every government entity have a public records officer. The goal of the Washington Association of Public Records Officers (WAPRO) is to harness the collective knowledge and talent of these public records officers to increase transparency and Public Records Act compliance through standardized education. Conventional wisdom says “many hands make light work” and “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With 2,200 pairs of hands working together, WAPRO will help make light work of PRA compliance.
By participating in WAPRO, a small investment from each local and state agency in WAPRO will help buy a lot of prevention. WAPRO will increase transparency and better PRA compliance by increasing the availability of standardized Public Records Act education. WAPRO will also serve as a forum where Public Records Officers and others who are part of an agency’s PRA compliance program can share ideas, spot trends and share best practices. Finally, WAPRO will help agencies evaluate software solutions such as tracking software and archiving tools that can ultimately make agencies more transparent for less money.
What Does the Future Hold for WAPRO?
The ultimate goal of WAPRO is to promote a culture of transparency in Washington governments through education of its public records practitioners. The Association pursues this goal by:
- Hosting training events:
- Spring Training, Annual Business Meeting & Fall Conference
- Publishing quarterly newsletters to provide updates on new developments in the law
- Providing a common voice to address legislative issues
- Monitoring Public Records Act litigation statewide
- Offering sample forms, policies, response letters, tracking systems
- Providing online resources and standardized training programs