skip navigation

New MRSC Webpage Showcasing OPMA and PRA Practice Tips


October 8, 2014 by Flannary Collins
Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Public Records Act

New MRSC Webpage Showcasing OPMA and PRA Practice Tips

During my ten years as Shoreline assistant city attorney, I faced constant questions from staff and officials on the Public Records Act (PRA) and Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA). Two of my go-to resources for these questions were MRSC’s PRA and OPMA publications, both of which I found to be thorough and helpful. Now, MRSC, in partnership with the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) Local Government Performance Center, has developed even more resources on these two laws, all of which are available on the MRSC website: OPMA and PRA Checklists and Practice Tips.

The goal of our joint effort with the SAO was to create practical tools and resources for local government officials and employees by providing bite-size pieces of information on different aspects of the OPMA and the PRA.  Although there are a lot of helpful treatises and information out there on the OPMA and the PRA, my experience has been that the information is often too dense to absorb in one sitting. Our aim was to break the two laws down into specific areas that were of primary interest to MRSC customers, and to present that information in smaller packages that are easier to absorb.

The project began with targeted research, through surveys and in-depth interviews of local officials and employees across Washington State, to uncover the key challenges and information gaps related to these two laws. Based on those findings, we broke the OPMA and the PRA into the following topics and developed concise (and colorful) practice guides on each:

OPMA

  • Agency Obligations: A Starting Point
  • Notice Requirements
  • Executive Session Procedures
  • Electronic Communications

PRA

  • Agency Obligations: A Starting Point
  • How to Perform an Adequate Search
  • Electronic Records – PRA and Records Retention
  • Electronic Records – Do’s and Don’ts

The final piece of our project was to create a robust webpage, where we summarized relevant case law, developed templates for agency use, and showcased certain examples and creative ideas to further expand on each topic.

We think you will find the information user-friendly and practical. The guides will be updated as the law evolves; we also welcome any comments that you may have on the guides (contact Flannary Collins at fcollins@mrsc.org).

About Flannary Collins

Flannary Collins is the Managing Attorney for MRSC. She first joined the organization as a legal consultant in August 2013 after working for ten years as the assistant city attorney for the city of Shoreline. At MRSC, Flannary enjoys providing legal guidance to municipalities through inquiry assistance and in-person trainings on municipal issues, with a heavy emphasis on the Public Records Act.

VIEW ALL POSTS BY Flannary Collins

Comments

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.

0 comments on New MRSC Webpage Showcasing OPMA and PRA Practice Tips

 more

Blog Archives

GO

Follow Our Blog