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Official Duties State & County Officials

Following are the general duties for the various ELECTED offices as defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) courtesy of Washington Sen. Jim Honeyford. All such officials listed here must comply with Washington's Public Records laws.

RCW 43.07.030
General duties.
The Secretary of State shall:
(1) Keep a register of and attest the official acts of the governor;
(2) Affix the state seal, with his attestation, to commissions,
pardons, and other public instruments to which the signature of the governor
is required, and also attestations and authentications of certificates and
other documents properly issued by the secretary;
(3) Record all articles of incorporation, deeds, or other papers filed
in the secretary of state's office;
(4) Receive and file all the official bonds of officers required to be
filed with the secretary of state;
(5) Take and file in the secretary of state's office receipts for all
books distributed by him;
(6) Certify to the legislature the election returns for all officers
required by the Constitution to be so certified, and certify to the governor
the names of all other persons who have received at any election the highest
number of votes for any office the incumbent of which is to be commissioned
by the governor;
(7) Furnish, on demand, to any person paying the fees therefor, a
certified copy of all or any part of any law, record, or other instrument
filed, deposited, or recorded in the secretary of state's office;
(8) Present to the speaker of the house of representatives, at the
beginning of each regular session of the legislature during an odd-numbered
year, a full account of all purchases made and expenses incurred by the
secretary of state on account of the state;
(9) File in his office an impression of each and every seal in use by
any state officer;
[(10)] Keep a record of all fees charged or received by the secretary
of state.

RCW 43.08.010
General duties.
The State Treasurer shall:
(1) Receive and keep all moneys of the state in the manner provided in
RCW 43.88.160, as now or hereafter amended;
(2) Disburse the public moneys only upon warrants or checks drawn upon
the treasurer in the manner provided by law;
(3) Account for moneys in the manner provided by law;
(4) Render accounts in the manner provided by law;
(5) Indorse on each warrant when required by law, the date of payment,
the amount of the principal, and the interest due on that date;
(6) Report annually to the legislature a detailed statement of the
condition of the treasury, and of its operations for the preceding fiscal
(7) Give information, in writing, to either house of the legislature,
whenever required, upon any subject connected with the treasury, or touching
any duty of his office;
(8) Account for and pay over all moneys on hand to his successor in
office, and deliver all books, vouchers, and effects of office to him, who
shall receipt therefor;
(9) Upon payment of any warrant, or check, take upon the back thereof
the indorsement of the person to whom it is paid.

RCW 43.09.050
General duties of auditor.
The Auditor shall:
(1) Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, audit the
accounts of all collectors of the revenue and other holders of public money
required by law to pay the same into the treasury;
(2) In his or her discretion, inspect the books of any person charged
with the receipt, safekeeping, and disbursement of public moneys;
(3) Investigate improper governmental activity under chapter 42.40 RCW;
(4) Inform the attorney general in writing of the necessity for the
attorney general to direct prosecutions in the name of the state for all
official delinquencies in relation to the assessment, collection, and
payment of the revenue, against all persons who, by any means, become
possessed of public money or property, and fail to pay over or deliver the
same, and against all debtors of the state;
(5) Give information in writing to the legislature, whenever required,
upon any subject relating to the financial affairs of the state, or touching
any duties of his or her office;
(6) Report to the director of financial management in writing the names
of all persons who have received any moneys belonging to the state, and have
not accounted therefor;
(7) Authenticate with his or her official seal papers issued from his
or her office;
(8) Make his or her official report annually on or before the 31st of

RCW 43.10.030
General powers and duties.
The Attorney General shall:
(1) Appear for and represent the state before the supreme court or the
court of appeals in all cases in which the state is interested;
(2) Institute and prosecute all actions and proceedings for, or for the
use of the state, which may be necessary in the execution of the duties of
any state officer;
(3) Defend all actions and proceedings against any state officer or
employee acting in his official capacity, in any of the courts of this state
or the United States;
(4) Consult with and advise the several prosecuting attorneys in
matters relating to the duties of their office, and when the interests of
the state require, he shall attend the trial of any person accused of a
crime, and assist in the prosecution;
(5) Consult with and advise the governor, members of the legislature,
and other state officers, and when requested, give written opinions upon all
constitutional or legal questions relating to the duties of such officers;
(6) Prepare proper drafts of contracts and other instruments relating
to subjects in which the state is interested;
(7) Give written opinions, when requested by either branch of the
legislature, or any committee thereof, upon constitutional or legal
(8) Enforce the proper application of funds appropriated for the public
institutions of the state, and prosecute corporations for failure or refusal
to make the reports required by law;
(9) Keep in proper books a record of all cases prosecuted or defended
by him, on behalf of the state or its officers, and of all proceedings had
in relation thereto, and deliver the same to his successor in office;
(10) Keep books in which he shall record all the official opinions
given by him during his term of office, and deliver the same to his
successor in office;
(11) Pay into the state treasury all moneys received by him for the use
of the state.

RCW 48.02.060
General powers and duties.
(1) The Insurance Commissioner shall have the authority expressly conferred upon him
by or reasonably implied from the provisions of this code.
(2) The commissioner shall execute his duties and shall enforce the
provisions of this code.
(3) The commissioner may:
(a) Make reasonable rules and regulations for effectuating any
provision of this code, except those relating to his election,
qualifications, or compensation. No such rules and regulations shall be
effective prior to their being filed for public inspection in the
commissioner's office.
(b) Conduct investigations to determine whether any person has violated
any provision of this code.
(c) Conduct examinations, investigations, hearings, in addition to
those specifically provided for, useful and proper for the efficient
administration of any provision of this code.

RCW 43.12.010
Powers and duties -- Generally.
The Commissioner of Public Lands shall exercise such powers and perform such
duties as are prescribed by law.
RCW 43.30.130
Department to exercise certain powers and duties -- Commissioner of public
The department [of Natural Resources] shall exercise all of the powers,
duties and functions now vested in the commissioner of public lands and such
powers, duties and functions are hereby transferred to the department:
PROVIDED, That nothing herein contained shall effect his ex officio
membership on any committee provided by law.

RCW 28A.300.040
Powers and duties.
In addition to any other powers and duties as provided by law, the powers
and duties of the superintendent of public instruction shall be:
(1) To have supervision over all matters pertaining to the public schools of
the state;
(2) To report to the governor and the legislature such information and data
as may be required for the management and improvement of the schools;
(3) To prepare and have printed such forms, registers, courses of study,
rules for the government of the common schools, and such other material and
books as may be necessary for the discharge of the duties of teachers and
officials charged with the administration of the laws relating to the common
schools, and to distribute the same to educational service district
(4) To travel, without neglecting his or her other official duties as
superintendent of public instruction, for the purpose of attending
educational meetings or conventions, of visiting schools, of consulting
educational service district superintendents or other school officials;
(5) To prepare and from time to time to revise a manual of the Washington
state common school code, copies of which shall be provided in such numbers
as determined by the superintendent of public instruction at no cost to
those public agencies within the common school system and which shall be
sold at approximate actual cost of publication and distribution per volume
to all other public and nonpublic agencies or individuals, said manual to
contain Titles 28A and28C RCW, rules related to the common schools, and such
other matter as the state superintendent or the state board of education
shall determine. Proceeds of the sale of such code shall be transmitted to
the public printer who shall credit the state superintendent's account
within the state printing plant revolving fund by a like amount;
(6) To act as ex officio member and the chief executive officer of the state
board of education;
(7) To file all papers, reports and public documents transmitted to the
superintendent by the school officials of the several counties or districts
of the state, each year separately. Copies of all papers filed in the
superintendent's office, and the superintendent's official acts, may, or
upon request, shall be certified by the superintendent and attested by the
superintendent's official seal, and when so certified shall be evidence of
the papers or acts so certified to;
(8) To require annually, on or before the 15th day of August, of the
president, manager, or principal of every educational institution in this
state, a report as required by the superintendent of public instruction; and
it is the duty of every president, manager or principal, to complete and
return such forms within such time as the superintendent of public
instruction shall direct;
(9) To keep in the superintendent's office a record of all teachers
receiving certificates to teach in the common schools of this state;
(10) To issue certificates as provided by law;
(11) To keep in the superintendent's office at the capital of the state, all
books and papers pertaining to the business of the superintendent's office,
and to keep and preserve in the superintendent's office a complete record of
statistics, as well as a record of the meetings of the state board of
(12) With the assistance of the office of the attorney general, to decide
all points of law which may be submitted to the superintendent in writing by
any educational service district superintendent, or that may be submitted to
the superintendent by any other person, upon appeal from the decision of any
educational service district superintendent; and the superintendent shall
publish his or her rulings and decisions from time to time for the
information of school officials and teachers; and the superintendent's
decision shall be final unless set aside by a court of competent
(13) To administer oaths and affirmations in the discharge of the
superintendent's official duties;
(14) To deliver to his or her successor, at the expiration of the
superintendent's term of office, all records, books, maps, documents and
papers of whatever kind belonging to the superintendent's office or which
may have been received by the superintendent's for the use of the
superintendent's office;
(15) To administer family services and programs to promote the state's
policy as provided in RCW 74.14A.025;
(16) To perform such other duties as may be required by law.

RCW 84.38.110
Duties of county assessor.
The County Assessor shall:
(1) Immediately transmit one copy of each declaration to defer to the
department of revenue. The department may audit any declaration and shall
notify the assessor as soon as possible of any claim where any factor
appears to disqualify the claimant for the deferral sought.
(2) Transmit one copy of each declaration to defer a special assessment to
the local improvement district which imposed such assessment.
(3) Compute the dollar tax rate for the county as if any deferrals provided
by this chapter did not exist.
(4) As soon as possible notify the department of revenue and the county
treasurer of the amount of real property taxes deferred for that year and
notify the department of revenue and the respective treasurers of municipal
corporations of the amount of special assessments deferred for each local
improvement district within such unit.

RCW 36.22.010
Duties of auditor.
The County Auditor:
(1) Shall be recorder of deeds and other instruments in writing which
by law are to be filed and recorded in and for the county for which he or
she is elected;
(2) Shall keep an account current with the county treasurer, charge all
money received as shown by receipts issued and credit all disbursements paid
out according to the record of settlement of the treasurer with the
legislative authority;
(3) Shall make out and transmit to the state auditor a complete
statement of the state fund account with the county for the past fiscal year
certified by his or her certificate and seal, immediately after the
completion of the annual settlement of the county treasurer with the
legislative authority. The statement must be available to the public;
(4) Shall make available a complete exhibit of the prior-year finances
of the county including, but not limited to, a statement of financial
condition and financial operation in accordance with standards developed by
the state auditor. This exhibit shall be made available after the financial
records are closed for the prior year;
(5) Shall make out a register of all warrants legally authorized and
directed to be issued by the legislative body at any regular or special
meeting. The auditor shall make the data available to the county treasurer.
The auditor shall retain the original of the register of warrants for future
(6) As clerk of the board of county commissioners, shall:
Record all of the proceedings of the legislative authority;
Make full entries of all of their resolutions and decisions on all
questions concerning the raising of money for and the allowance of accounts
against the county;
Record the vote of each member on any question upon which there is a
division or at the request of any member present;
Sign all orders made and warrants issued by order of the legislative
authority for the payment of money;
Record the reports of the county treasurer of the receipts and
disbursements of the county;
Preserve and file all accounts acted upon by the legislative authority;
Preserve and file all petitions and applications for franchises and
record the action of the legislative authority thereon;
Record all orders levying taxes;
Perform all other duties required by any rule or order of the
legislative authority.

RCW 36.29.010
General duties.
The county treasurer:
(1) Shall receive all money due the county and disburse it on warrants
issued and attested by the county auditor and electronic funds transfer
under RCW 39.58.750 as attested by the county auditor;
(2) Shall issue a receipt in duplicate for all money received other
than taxes; the treasurer shall deliver immediately to the person making the
payment the original receipt and the duplicate shall be retained by the
(3) Shall affix on the face of all paid warrants the date of redemption
or, in the case of proper contract between the treasurer and a qualified
public depositary, the treasurer may consider the date affixed by the
financial institution as the date of redemption;
(4) Shall endorse, before the date of issue by the county or by any
taxing district for whom the county treasurer acts as treasurer, on the face
of all warrants for which there are not sufficient funds for payment,
"interest bearing warrant." When there are funds to redeem outstanding
warrants, the county treasurer shall give notice:
(a) By publication in a legal newspaper published or circulated in the
county; or
(b) By posting at three public places in the county if there is no such
newspaper; or
(c) By notification to the financial institution holding the warrant;
(5) Shall pay interest on all interest-bearing warrants from the date
of issue to the date of notification;
(6) Shall maintain financial records reflecting receipts and
disbursement by fund in accordance with generally accepted accounting
(7) Shall account for and pay all bonded indebtedness for the county
and all special districts for which the county treasurer acts as treasurer;
(8) Shall invest all funds of the county or any special district in the
treasurer's custody, not needed for immediate expenditure, in a manner
consistent with appropriate statutes. If cash is needed to redeem warrants
issued from any fund in the custody of the treasurer, the treasurer shall
liquidate investments in an amount sufficient to cover such warrant
redemptions; and
(9) May provide certain collection services for county departments.
The treasurer, at the expiration of the term of office, shall make a
complete settlement with the county legislative authority, and shall deliver
to the successor all public money, books, and papers in the treasurer's
Money received by all entities for whom the county treasurer serves as
treasurer must be deposited within twenty-four hours unless a waiver is
granted by the county treasurer in accordance with RCW 43.09.240.

The powers and duties of County Clerks and Coroners are not concisely
defined in a single section of the RCW as the other offices listed above.
The county courthouse is a better resource for these job descriptions.