Regents discuss public records copy fees

FORREST HOLT, Evergreen news editor

The university’s highest governing body considered charging for copies of electronic public records at its meeting Friday.

Stacy Pearson, vice president for finance and administration, told the Board of Regents that WSU spends $235,000 a year handling public records requests.

The state government passed a law this year allowing it to charge for copies of electronic records.

The university already charges for physical copies, but Pearson said dollars earned from those transactions are not enough.

“To be honest, we don’t provide a lot of paper copies of records,” she said. “It is more electronic.”

Pearson told the regents much of the cost comes from the labor it takes to go through documents and redact appropriately.

According to Pearson’s proposal, WSU would charge 10 cents per page, 5 cents for every four electronic files attached and 10 cents per gigabyte. It would also bill a service charge of up to 10 percent of the request’s total cost.

Friday’s proposal was just the first step in what is generally a two-step process. The regents will officially vote on the matter at their next meeting in mid-November.

Reporting by Forrest Holt