FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Robert Waldron,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 86-189

 

State of Connecticut Department of Revenue Services,

 

Respondent November 12, 1986

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 31, 1986, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and presented testimony, exhibits 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 June 30, 1986 the complainant renewed a February 11, 1986 request made to the respondent's unit tax chief for all records concerning the complainant or the taxes allegedly owed by him, including all telephone messages or records of telephone calls or conversations, all memoranda, reports, collection notices or records and all correspondence.

 

3. The complainant further requested a list of the names and addresses of all other individuals who, from January 1, 1980 to the date of request, had been accused of not paying individual use taxes, including case numbers, the amount of tax allegedly owed, the amount of any penalty, the status of the case and, if settled, the amount of the settlement.

 

4. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on July 1, 1986 the complainant appealed the respondent's failure to provide the requested records.

 

5. With respect to the records referred to at paragraph 2, above, the respondent is willing to provide or has made available to the complainant all of the requested information to the extent that it relates to the complainant, with the exception of the identity of the informant who reported the complainant's alleged failure to pay taxes to the respondent. The individual providing such information is an employee of the respondent.

 

Docket #FIC 86-189 Page Two

 

 

6. The respondent is not willing to provide tax information regarding Frank Pindar & Son, Inc. an automobile dealership which leased vehicles to the complainant. The complainant indicated at hearing, however, that he was not seeking such information.

 

7. The respondent claims that the records referred to at paragraph 3, above, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 12-15, G.S.

 

8. It is found that the respondent failed to prove that the name of the employee who reported the complainant's alleged activities is exempted from disclosure by 1-19(b)(3)(A), G.S., as a record of a law enforcement agency not otherwise available to the public, compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime.

 

9. The respondent also failed to prove that the name of the employee is exempted from disclosure by any other provision of the Freedom of Information Act, other state statute or federal law.

 

10. Section 12-15, G.S., provides that state employees involved in the administration of state taxes under Title 12 "shall not make known in any manner any information obtained by an investigation of records or equipment of any person visited or examined in the discharge of official duty; or the amount or source of income, profits, losses, expenditures or any particulars thereof set forth or disclosed in any return, statement or report required to be filed with or submitted to the commissioner [of revenue services]; or permit any such return, statement, report or copy thereof or any book containing any abstract or particulars thereof to be seen or examined," except as provided.

 

11. It is found that the type of list requested by the complainant is not a document required to be filed with the commissioner of revenue services within the meaning of 12-15, G.S.

 

12. It is further found that 12-7a, G.S., provides that the annual report of the commissioner of revenue services, prepared pursuant to 4-60, G.S., shall include a statement containing the name and address of any person or corporation liable for payment of any taxes and the amount thereof, including any applicable interest or penalties, excluding certain uncollectible taxes, taxes on which an appeal is pending and taxes which have been abated pursuant to 12-39, G.S.

 

Docket #FIC 86-189 Page Three

 

13. Section 3-7, G.S., specifically provides for public disclosure of records of the cancellation or compromise of certain claims by or against any state agency.

 

14. It is concluded that 12-15, G.S. does not exempt from disclosure information relating to tax delinquencies as requested by the complainant.

 

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

 

1. The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the record which reflects the identity of the employee who provided information regarding the complainant's alleged nonpayment of individual use taxes.

 

2. The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with access to inspect the annual "accounts receivable listing of accounts," and any supplements, since January 1, 1980.

 

3. Nothing herein shall be construed as requiring the respondent to provide the complainant with access to any tax returns, statements or reports exempted from disclosure by 12-15, G.S.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of November 12, 1986.

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission