In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Beverly Popowich


Complainant Docket #FIC 86-32




Treasurer of the Borough of Colchester March 26, 1986




The above captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 20, 1986. By agreement of the parties, the hearing was continued to February 27, 1986, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony and argument on the complaint.


After consideration of the entire record the following facts are found:


1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


2. By letter dated January 6, 1986, the complainant requested of the respondent copies of the "treasurer's report" required by 12-147, G.S., for the months of July, 1985 through November, 1985.


3. By letter filed with the Commission on February 6, 1986, the complainant, claiming no response, appealed the denial of her request.


4. At the hearing the respondent informed the complainant that there was a misunderstanding regarding what records were being requested and showed the complainant copies of monthly reports submitted by tax collectors to the treasurer's office.


5. The complainant agreed that the tax collector reports were the records she was seeking.


Docket #FIC 86-32 Page 2


6. Also at the hearing, the respondent agreed to provide the complainant with the tax collector reports and to insert the name of the tax collector who prepared each report. It was agreed the requested records will be available on March 3, 1986, and thereafter.


7. It is found that the respondent was provided with enough information to enable her to respond to the complainant's request.


8. It is therefore concluded that due to the misunderstanding as to the type of records the complainant had requested, the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by not promptly providing the complainant with the requested records.


The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above captioned complaint:


1. The respondent shall provide the complainant with copies of the tax collector reports.


2. The respondent shall henceforth comply with 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by making reasonable attempts to determine exactly what records are being requested, to prevent any future misunderstandings or delays in providing copies of public records promptly.



Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission as amended at its regular meeting of March 26, 1986.



Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission