Pend Oreille Country is located in North Eastern Washington, on the boarder of Northern Idaho and Canada, with Newport, Washington being the County seat. We are just miles from major cities such as Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We offer rural living, fantastic recreational opportunities, and beautiful scenery! In short, Pend Oreille County is a great place to live, work, and play.

Public Records Officer Job Description

Wage: $4,339.94 – $4,874.75 per Month DOE plus benefits.

JOB SUMMARY:

This position serves as the county Public Records Officer.  The primary function of this position is to respond to public records request following Washington State Public Records Laws, and requires an in-depth understanding of computer search tools and methods.  This position oversees a comprehensive public records management program and provides guidance for the effective and appropriate disclosure and retention of public records.  As Public Records Officer this position serves a central role in providing public records management consultation and program services for departments of county government which includes: serving as point of contact for members of the public; overseeing compliance and developing comprehensive records disclosure and retention policies.  This position is the principle public records management position in county government and is looked to for professional consultation and advice in these functional areas intended to cover county offices and departments, including law and justice, public works, social services, healthcare, personnel and general government services.  This is an extremely confidential position.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES:

Supervision is not a routine responsibility of this position.  Work is performed independently under the direction of the Information Technology Services Director.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: 

  • Develop, maintain, and administer the Public Records Policy for all County Employees.
  • Develop Public Records Training and deploy to all county employees.
  • Serves as primary contact for processing requests for public records and requests for discovery.
  • Administers the function of public records disclosure, assisting the public in accessing records and information and ensures compliance with the Public Records Act and county policy.
  • Maintains logs and results of public records requests as directed by law and/or Technology Services Director.
  • Assists county offices and departments in providing timely and appropriate disclosure of public records.
  • Review responsive records for exempt information and apply redaction prior to release.  Prepare and maintain appropriate redaction and exemption logs.
  • Presents possible solutions and alternatives regarding public records issues to the Technology Services Department Director.
  • Monitors public records activities in other departments to assist when necessary.
  • Reviews internal policy for public disclosure and records retention including developing and providing training to county offices and departments; develops communication templates and other materials to assist in the public records disclosure process.
  • Responsible for developing and managing a countywide records retention policy and schedule that complies with federal and state laws and archiving standards.
  • Administers the county’s record and information management policies and proposes changes as needed to reflect changing technology and county systems; researches, evaluates, and makes recommendations for public records management policy that complies with federal and state regulations and that meets best practices for public records management.
  • Maintaining strict confidentiality of any and all viewed records is essential.
  • May be required to appear in court as a witness to public records activities for work performed on behalf of Pend Oreille County or as summoned by a court.
  • Investigate and follow up on any public records policy infractions with County employees.

EXAMPLE OF DUTIES:

  • Performs records management duties.
  • Proficient operation of the county computer equipment and related peripheral equipment, and its software.
  • Work contacts include elected officials, department heads, consultants, contractors and other professionals in the community, county employees and the general public including attorneys and media.
  • Documents, supports and trains for all public record applications and procedures created on behalf of Pend Oreille County.
  • Reviews completed public records requests responses when submitted for review for adherence to policy standards and county compliance.
  • Coordinates with Prosecutor’s Office, Risk Management, office/department records providers, as necessary, for legal advice, processing and documenting public disclosure request activities.
  • Works closely with departments to determine best business process for the systematic preservation of records using both manual and automated methods as required.
  • Develops, maintains, and updates, databases or spreadsheets, for tracking and reporting public records requests received and responses, including exemptions.
  • Educates and trains all levels of county staff on policies, processes and procedures for records management and public records disclosure.
  • Acts as liaison between state and local offices in matters of county records management and the Public Records Act.
  • Establishes and maintains effective working relations as necessitated by work assignment.
  • Train new employees on basics of public records.
  • Assist departments with records retention.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Information Technology Services Director.

KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES:

    • Working knowledge of searching and analytical processes, in a windows environment.
    • Must have superior computer skills to navigate and search a complex file storage system.
    • Must have strong analytical skills to determine public records requests accurately.
    • Must have strong records management skills.
    • Must be able to document processes used in locating, processing, releasing and storing public records.
    • Must be able to apply exemptions to potentially responsive records as outlined in Washington State Public Records Laws.
    • Must be a team player who can work effectively under time constraints and multiple demands.
    • Must be willing to learn new skills pertaining to searches as technology evolves.
    • Requires experience in exercising independent judgment in developing and applying guidelines to work situations.
    • Must be customer service oriented.
    • Ability to learn to create customized query code for document searches.
    • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
    • Specialized knowledge of records management systems and public records processes.
    • General knowledge of current office procedures, practices and equipment.
    • Ability to learn the functions, procedures, organization, laws, and regulations pertaining to this position or duties assigned.
    • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative, effective and productive working relationships with state and local elected officials, other agencies, county personnel, and the public including attorneys and media.
    • Ability to manage time and tasks efficiently and effectively and complete projects within deadlines.
    • Ability to be organized and meet both internal and external deadlines in a consistent manner.
    • Requires the ability to obtain in-depth knowledge of database queries and query functions to perform electronic searches of county systems for public records.
    • Ability to research, analyze and evaluate records management methods, procedures and techniques; analyze problems, identify solutions and consequences in records systems.
    • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
    • Must have the ability to work effectively with a diverse group of individuals.
    • Confidentiality and attention to detail is crucial.

     EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:  College-level course work in records/information management, library science, business or related field plus a minimum of three (3) years’ work experience coordinating or administrating public disclosure activities or records management systems OR a combination of education, training and practical experience which provides an equivalent background required to perform the work of the position.  Certificates in Records Management and paralegal studies preferred.

     LICENSES AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:

    • Become Certified Public Records Officer within six (12) months of hire.
    • Complete local Public Records Act training within eight(8) weeks of being hired.
    • Pass security background check (CJIS requirement), and submit to fingerprinting.
    • Sign a non-disclosure agreement with Pend Oreille County
    • Maintain current driver’s license and vehicle insurance.
    • Access to a vehicle during work hours.

     WORKING ENVIRONMENT / PHYSICAL ABILITIES:  Work is performed in an office setting.  Must be able to routinely lift up to twenty (20) pounds and sit for extended periods of time.  Physical abilities required for this position are ones typically related to office operations; manual dexterity and visual acuity to operate personal computers and other office equipment; accessing file cabinets; and sufficient hearing and speech ability to communicate verbally and in writing.   May be required to travel to conferences and/or trainings.