On June 30, the Public Disclosure Commission released a new online reporting system for lobbyists and their employers. The new system is a component of the PDC's phased plan to modernize its online presence and provide timelier and more robust public access to information about who lobbies state government, what issues are lobbied, and how much is spent on those efforts.
The new system replaces legacy software that was costly to maintain and difficult to support. Many efilers had simply given up using the old system an reverted to manually filing reports. The new system was developed by PDC staff and incorporates suggestions offered by people who file reports. Additionally, the PDC assembled a group of volunteers who, for the last six months, have met every two weeks to review the development team's progress and help design the application. The PDC believes this input will be critical to the success of the new system. Lobbyists are not required to efile disclosure reports, but the PDC encourages efiling because it means more timely access to the information.
The Public Disclosure Commission was created and empowered by voter-approved Initiative 276 to provide timely and meaningful public access to accurate information about the financing of political campaigns, lobbyist expenditures, and the financial affairs of public officials and candidates and to ensure compliance with and equitable enforcement of Washington's disclosure and campaign finance laws.