FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Richard R. Olson

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 86-218

 

Norwalk State Technical College Presidential Search Committee of the Board of Trustees for Technical Colleges

 

Respondent October 22, 1986

 

The above captioned matter was scheduled for hearing September 2, 1986 at which time the parties appeared and presented evidence 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. On July 29, 1986, the complainant requested copies of the videotapes of interviews of the candidates for president of Norwalk State Technical College.

 

3. On August 7, 1986, the complainant filed his complaint with the Commission.

 

4. The respondent claimed that the videotaped interviews were exempt because they would reveal test questions exempt from disclosure at 1-19(b)(6), G.S., and because disclosure would constitute an invasion of privacy under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

5. The respondent argues that 1-21g, which permits non-disclosure of the names of job applicants who are interviewed in executive session, evidences a legislative intent to exempt the videotapes from disclosure.

 

6. The respondent asked each of the finalists whose interview was recorded on videotape the same 14 questions.

 

Docket # FIC 86-218 page two

 

7. The respondent claims that the questions asked are test questions.

 

8. It is found that the questions are not test questions but are rather interview questions and that, despite some analogy between the interview process and a test, the interview questions are not exempt under 1-19(b)(6), G.S.

 

9. It is found that the public interest in the videotape interviews of the unsuccessful candidates does not outweigh the potential for embarrassment or humiliation of the candidates if the videotapes are disclosed.

 

10. It is concluded that the videotape interviews of the unsuccessful candidates are exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

11. It is further found that the public interest in the videotape interview of the successful candidate does outweigh any humiliation or embarassment which might be experienced by him as a result of the disclosure of the videotape.

 

12. It is concluded that the videotaped interview of the person who was offered the appointment as president is not exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

13. It is found that 1-21g does not create an exemption for the requested videotapes.

 

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 a copy of the videotaped interview of the successful candidate within two weeks of the date this decision is final.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 22, 1986.

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission