State funding now available to help local governments and agencies improve their records management

OLYMPIA — Up to $1 million in state funding is now available to local governments through the Local Records Grant Program.

Administered by Washington State Archives, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, the Local Records Grant Program helps local-government agencies and entities upgrade the technological resources needed to improve their records management and retention, as well as processes for responding to public-records requests.

The Local Records Grant Program demonstrates Washington’s ongoing commitment to helping resource-strapped local governments preserve their irreplaceable records. Since its inception, the program has awarded over $3 million to hundreds of agencies and entities statewide including towns and counties; fire, school, hospital, port, and public-utility districts; transit authorities; and more.

Qualified agencies and entities can apply online. The application deadline is Friday, May 20.

“The Local Records Grant Program enables local governments and agencies to preserve and protect their vital public records,” said Acting State Archivist Terry Badger. “Records management can be painstakingly challenging work, but what our local governments have achieved with the help of these grants is amazing. We are grateful for the opportunity to support their efforts to better manage their records.”

During the summer an Archives Oversight Committee composed of state, county, and city officials and association representatives will review the applications and send its recommendations to the Office of the Secretary of State. The grant recipients will be announced in mid-August.

Washington State Archives will host webinars May 4, 9, and 16 to help local-government agencies and entities prepare their grant applications. A recorded version of the webinar and a presentation are also available. Visit Washington State Archives online for more information, including eligibility requirements and previous grant recipients.

Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.