The Public Disclosure Commission wants to hear from the public and regulated community about Washington state’s personal financial affairs disclosure reporting requirements.

The PDC is conducting a survey about the public interests and privacy concerns associated with the information in financial affairs disclosure reports (F-1s).

Information from the survey – as well as other outreach with the public and regulated community -- will help inform Commission discussions about how to make F-1s more readily available to the public and about possible regulatory reform.

The survey, available here, takes only 5 minutes to complete. Please respond by June 24.

Some background that might be helpful 

State law requires F-1 disclosures by elected and appointed officials, candidates and certain professional staff.

The F-1 is the only report submitted to the PDC that is available only by public records request. The Commission, in keeping with its mandate to make public records widely and readily available, wants to make the information in F-1s more accessible. Many U.S. states make at least some financial affairs disclosure information accessible – and even searchable -- online.

The Commission also is interested in exploring whether the current F-1 disclosure requirements need to be updated to remove unnecessary obstacles to reporting or to allow the public to better gauge conflicts of interest.

The survey and other outreach are part of the work the Commission has been doing over the last year to make F-1 reporting manageable and meaningful:

  • Agency-request legislation passed in 2019 will update the dollar-code ranges used for reporting financial information in 2020 so that the information is more useful.
  • The PDC worked with the regulated community and the Legislature to streamline the process for F-1 filers who want to request exemptions from having to disclose sensitive information.
  • The agency also began work this month on building a new F-1 electronic filing system with the aim of developing a more user-friendly platform that helps filers get their reporting right. That project will include members of the public and regulated community as team members helping design the new system.

The state’s financial affairs disclosure requirements were originally established by Initiative 276, which received 72 percent of the vote in 1972. The initiative declared that “the public's right to know of the financing of political campaigns and lobbying and the financial affairs of elected officials and candidates far outweighs any right that these matters remain secret and private.”