The Public Disclosure Commission may suspend or modify the reporting requirements if it decides that the law works a "manifestly unreasonable hardship" on the filer and the modification "will not frustrate the purposes" of the disclosure law.  If you believe your situation meets these two statutory tests and you can provide convincing arguments to that effect, you have the option of requesting a reporting modification.

Usually, requests for modification come from people who are partners or owners of a business or who are officers, directors or trustees of an organization, association or union.  These types of filers often request modifications because they must report the names of business customers or governmental agencies that paid their businesses, organizations, associations, and the like of $12,000 or more during the reporting period.

To apply for a modification,

  • Complete the Reporting Modification Application Questionnaire;
  • Complete the Personal Financial Affairs Statement, except for the section covered by the reporting modification application, and
  • Send the completed application questionnaire and your Personal Financial Affairs Statement to the Commission.

Apply at least one month in advance of your filing deadline so that the Commission will have an opportunity to act on your request before the due date of the report.  A hearing will be scheduled to consider your request.  It's best if you attend the hearing, but your presence is not required.  By law, a modification may only be granted for one reporting period.  Another application must be made in following years if you still need the modification.

Due to the volume and similarity of F-1 reporting modification requests from certain professions, the Commission has developed standards that it applies for common reporting requests, lawyers and law firms, judges and judicial candidates, and motor vehicle dealers.  These standards can be found online at WAC 390-28-100.

Lawyers and Law Firms:

The identities of clients of law firms, ordinarily, the identity of a client does not fall within the purview of the information protected by the attorney-client privilege unless there is a “strong probability” that the disclosure would convey the substance of a confidential communication between client and attorney.  Splash Design, Inc. v. Lee, 104 Wn.App. 38, 14 P.3d 879 (2001) (describing Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6 and citing to Dietz v. Doe, 131 Wn.2d 835, 935 P.2d 611 (1997)); Tegland, Washington Practice, Vol. 5A, § 501.15 (1999); United States v. Hunton & Williams, 952 F.Supp. 843 (D.C. 1997)(under federal law, absent special circumstances, identity of a client of a lawyer or law firm is not protected by attorney-client privilege); C.K. Liew v. Breen, 640 F.2d 1046 (9th Cir. 1981) (citing to California law for same proposition, and to J. Wigmore, Evidence § 2313).  Lawyers who are judicial candidates but are not incumbent judges and who are seeking a modification request regarding client information should review WAC 390-28-100(1)(e)(i).  The Commission’s likely approach to judges and their former law firms is explained at WAC 390-28-100(1)(e)(ii)

Reportable Information of a Spouse or Registered Domestic Partner

WAC 390-28-100(1)(e)(iv) explains the Commission’s likely approach to modification requests concerning disclosure on the F-1 form of the reportable information of a  spouse or registered domestic partner.  Generally, the Commission will require disclosure of information of which the filer is aware