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City of Kirkland recognized for excellence in Public Record Disclosure
At its recently held annual conference, the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) recognized the city of Kirkland with the Municipal Excellence award for the city's innovative approach to public record disclosure. City Council members Toby Nixon and Shelley Kloba and City Clerk Kathi Anderson accepted the award. The Kirkland City Council adopted new legislation in July 2013 to establish reasonable levels of city resources to be devoted to public disclosure response and to enhance transparency and certainty for the public. At the start of 2014, the city implemented new software to receive, track and manage the public records request inventory. With this easily accessible web portal, the public can be sure that it is receiving complete and accurate records in a reasonable time frame. Public records requests can be submitted online at www.kirklandwa.gov and search "Public Records Portal."
"Each year, the city responds to thousands of simple and complex requests for public records," Kirkland City Manager Kurt Triplett said. "Our new program helps us to better manage the requests by categorizing the requests and allocating the proper staff time. Also, the online portal allows all requests to be publicly displayed and tracked, enhancing our transparency."
This is the second major award for the city's new process. In September 2013, it received a Key Award from the Washington Coalition for Open Government.
The city's public disclosure process is governed by the State Public Records Act and the Public Records Act Rules first adopted by the City Council in 2007 and now updated with the passage of the new ordinance.
The web portal allows a requestor to submit a new request or access their account history to see the status of any open request. The requestor can also read any correspondence or notes about specific requests and download electronic records deliverables.
"The city's public records process will continue to evolve in an effort to best support city staff and the community in a transparent and cost-effective fashion," Triplett said.
AWC is a private, non-profit, non-partisan corporation that represents the cities of Washington before the state legislative and executive branches. The AWC Municipal Excellence Awards recognize innovative city programs and projects that benefit the community or municipal employees.