Snoqualmie is looking for new public records requests software and is expected to authroize a request for proposals (RFP) at its Oct. 28 city council meeting.
According to a city clerk staff report that was part of the Oct. 14 council meeting, an agenda bill will approve advertising for a RFP for public records software providers.
RCW 39.04.270 allows all local governments in Washington to use a competitive negotiation process when purchasing telecommunications and electronic data processing (computer) equipment or software, instead of traditional competitive bidding.
In this method the law requires the request for proposals be published in a newspaper at least 13 days out from the submission deadline, be submitted to enough qualified sources to permit reasonable competition, and identify significant evaluation factors including price and importance.
The agency must also provide reasonable procedures for evaluating the proposals, identifying qualified sources and selecting which bidder to award the contract. The bidder selected must have submitted the most advantageous proposal, but the city could deny all proposals and ask for new ones.
City staff has been working on obtaining new software for processing public records requests and has received demos from Gov QA, NextRequest and CloudPWR. They have also been observing the procedures of other jurisdictions.
Additionally, a request was previously submitted for additional staff training through a free state program that helps local governments establish best practices regarding records requests.
As of Oct. 14 there had been 113 public records requests (excluding police requests) so far in 2019, city clerk Jodi Warren said.
This is the newest of several recent public record updates as the city has been amending its policies and procedures.
After a spike in the amount of public records requests prompted by an ethics violation, new policies were enacted by the city that limit the amount of staff time that can be spent on public records requests, ban personal electronic devices in record viewing areas, and place new fees for some requests. The new rules were adopted to the Snoqualmie Municipal Code in July.
This has since been a much debated topic, including in discussions between candidates for city council.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of one of the companies the city of Snoqualmie receved software demos from. The company is CloudPWR.