Open Government Training

Training Requirements

The Washington State Open Government Training Act (ESB 5964) requires records officers and many public officials to receive open government training within 90 days of assuming office.

The City of Olympia requires the same training for all appointed members of advisory committees, commissions, and boards and the staff who serve as liaisons to those groups. The training covers public meetings, public records, and records retention.

According to the Open Government Training Act, every member of the governing body of a public agency must complete training no later than 90 days after the date the member:

  • Takes the oath of office, if required to take an oath, or
  • Otherwise assumes his/her duties as a public official.

In addition, every member of the governing body must complete training every four years.

Training may be completed at an in-person session or remotely with technology, including internet-based training.

Related State Laws:

The City Council's General Government Committee amended the Rules of Procedure for Olympia's appointed committee, commission, and board members to apply the training requirements to all members of those groups.

All staff liaisons to the appointed groups and Council Committees are required to receive the training per administrative action of the City Manager.


RCW 42.30 defines "public agency" and "governing body" as follows:

(1) "Public agency" means:

(a) Any state board, commission, committee, department, educational institution, or other state agency which is created by or pursuant to statute, other than courts and the legislature;

(b) Any county, city, school district, special purpose district, or other municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state of Washington;

(c) Any subagency of a public agency which is created by or pursuant to statute, ordinance, or other legislative act, including but not limited to planning commissions, library or park boards, commissions, and agencies;

(d) Any policy group whose membership includes representatives of publicly owned utilities formed by or pursuant to the laws of this state when meeting together as or on behalf of participants who have contracted for the output of generating plants being planned or built by an operating agency.

(2) "Governing body" means the multimember board, commission, committee, council, or other policy or rule-making body of a public agency, or any committee thereof when the committee acts on behalf of the governing body, conducts hearings, or takes testimony or public comment.

Training Resources

Open Public Meetings Act Training

Public Records Act Training

You can find additional information on the Washington State Attorney General's Office Open Government Training Web Page


For general information about Olympia's advisory committees, contact Strategic Communication Director Kellie Purce Braseth at 360.753.8361 or

For information about a specific committee, please contact that committee's staff liaison.