The Public Disclosure Commission has temporarily suspended online access to Financial Affairs Disclosure (F-1) reports until June 26.
After officials from Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech) and members of the Legislature raised concerns about whether the records could be a source of information for fraudulent unemployment claims, Chair David Ammons authorized PDC staff to remove the reports from the PDC website on May 24. Two days later, WaTech requested the PDC maintain the suspension until more was known.
PDC staff did an initial analysis of traffic to the data to see if it could identify suspicious activity and did not find anything extraordinary.
The Commission, in its regular monthly meeting May 28, voted 4-1 to restore access to the records June 26 to allow PDC staff time to consult with state security experts and review whether access restrictions should be in place. Ammons was the dissenting vote, citing concerns that a month might not be long enough.
The Commission next meets June 25. At that time, it will hear staff findings and recommendations.
In 2019, the Public Disclosure Commission decided to move forward with making F-1s more readily accessible in recognition of the agency’s voter-approved mandate to provide full access to information that assures people that public officials are acting in the public’s interest and not for personal gain.
State law requires candidates, elected officials, state board and commission members, state agency directors, and legislative and gubernatorial professional staff to disclose personal financial information through the F-1.
Online accessibility began in January 2020 and extended to any report filed in 2020. Before May 24, approximately 4,900 F-1 reports had been made available to the public via the PDC website.