FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Michael Grondahl,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 86-232

 

Chairman, Board of Parole, State of Connecticut,

 

Respondent January 14, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 15, 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. On or about June 25, 1986 the complainant made a request of the respondent for copies of "any public record on file with the Board of Parole that discloses the name of any inmate in the custody of the Department of Correction who has appeared before said board for parole consideration between June 1, 1976 and June 1, 1986; including the length of said inmate's sentence, the crime or crimes for which he/she was sentenced, and, if parole was denied, the reason(s) for said denial."

 

3. By letter of complaint filed on or about July 9, 1986 the complainant appealed the denial of his request for records.

 

4. It is found that to retrieve the records requested, the respondent would have to search the minutes of the board of parole's meetings to create a list of the over 18,000 individuals considered for parole in the 10-year period in question.

 

5. The respondent would then have to match the names of the 8,000 inmates currently in the custody of the Department of Corrections against the 18,000 whose parole requests were considered to identify those persons in whom the complainant is interested. Only after conducting such a procedure could the respondent begin to compile the records requested by the complainant.

 

Docket #FIC 86-232 Page Two

 

6. It is found that the complainant's request is not merely for records, it is also a request for research. However, the research necessary to comply with the complainant's request is not required by any provision of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

7. It is concluded that the respondent's failure to comply with the complainant's request did not violate 1-15 or 1-19(a), G.S.

 

8. The Commission, therefore, does not need to address the respondent's claim that the information requested by the complainant is exempted from disclosure or that compliance would be impermissibly burdensome.

 

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

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

2. The Commission notes that the above-captioned complaint was dismissed solely on the ground that the Freedom of Information Act does not require a public agency to conduct research. Such dismissal shall not be construed as an indication that the requested information is exempt from disclosure or that the number of records involved is excessive.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 14, 1987

 

Catherine I. Hostetter

Acting Clerk of the Commission