FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Joan Coe,

 

Complainant,

 

against Docket #FIC 86-346

 

Police Department, Chief of Police, First Selectman, and Chairman of the Board of Police Commissioners of the Town of Simsbury,

 

Respondents March 25, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 3, 1987, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

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

 

1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By a letter to the respondent chief dated November 3, 1986, the complainant requested to inspect the file on the October 25, 1986 police agility test. The complainant also asked to see any memoranda or correspondence on the test procedures or results.

 

3. By letter dated November 4, 1986, the respondent chief denied this request.

 

4. By letter dated November 7, 1986, the complainant reiterated her request.

 

5. By letter dated November 12, 1986, the respondent chief provided the complainant with the number of people who passed the test and the fact that no Simsbury officers took it. The respondent chief specifically denied the request as to memoranda or correspondence.

 

6. By letter dated November 14, 1986, the complainant reiterated her request.

 

7. By letter dated November 20, 1986, the respondent chief provided the complainant with copies of the test announcement and

 

Docket #FIC 86-346 Page Two

 

format, and the list of people originally scheduled to take the test. The chief specifically refused to provide information on who passed or failed the test.

 

8. By letter of complaint dated and filed with the Commission on December 3, 1986, the complainant appealed to the Commission and asked that a civil penalty be imposed.

 

9. By letter dated December 17, 1986, the complainant again repeated her request to the respondent chief.

 

10. By a separate letter dated December 17, 1986, the complainant withdrew her complaint to the Commission.

 

11. By letter dated December 18, 1986, the respondent chief asked the complainant to clarify her position on the matter.

 

12. By letter of complaint dated and filed with the Commission on December 22, 1986, the complainant again appealed to the Commission and asked that a civil penalty be imposed.

 

13. It is found that the police agility test file contains at least the following records:

 

a. an announcement with instructions for candidates,

 

b. a description of the components of the test (the format),

 

c. a master list of those scheduled to take the test,

 

d. other documents stating who actually took the test, their results, and a summary of the results.

 

14. At the hearing, the respondents claimed the only information in the file they have not disclosed is the names of those who failed the test. The respondents further claimed that disclosing these names would constitute an invasion of personal privacy and that therefore they are exempt under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

15. It is found that disclosing the names of those who failed the test, which was a test for public employment, does not constitute an invasion of personal privacy.

 

16. It is concluded, therefore, that the names of those who failed are not exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S., and that the respondent chief violated 1-19(a), G.S., by denying the complainant's request to inspect the file on the agility test.

 

Docket #FIC 86-346 Page Three

 

17. At the hearing the respondent chief stated no memoranda or correspondence on the test procedures or results exist other than those in the file.

 

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

 

1. The respondents forthwith shall allow the complainant to inspect the file on the police agility test given on October 25, 1986, including the records described in paragraphs 13 and 14 of the findings above.

 

2. The respondents henceforth shall act in strict compliance with 1-19(b) and 1-19(c), G.S.

 

3. The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 25, 1987.

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission