In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Douglas M. Dingee and Greenwich Firefighters Association, Local No. 1042,




against Docket #FIC 86-358


Chief, East Porchester Fire Department


Respondent March 11, 1987


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 5, 1987, at which time the complainants and the respondent 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


2. By letter dated December 12, 1986, the complainants requested the respondent provide them with copies of records of each individual line officer's training and qualifications. The complainants also requested that if no such records existed they receive a letter saying so.


3. By letter of complaint dated December 26, 1986, and filed with the Commission on December 29, 1986, the complainants appealed to the Commission, alleging they received no response to their request.


4. At the hearing on this matter, the respondent provided an affidavit stating the requested records do not exist.


5. It is found that the respondent never responded to the complainants' request before providing the affidavit at the hearing.


6. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent violated 1-21i, G.S., by not responding to the complainants' request within four business days.


Docket #FIC 86-358 Page Two


7. It is further concluded that the respondent does not have the records in question.


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


1. The respondent henceforth shall act in strict compliance with 1-21i, G.S.


2. In addition, the Commission cautions the respondent that failing to keep records of line officers' training and qualifications prevents full public accountability, may compromise his ability to provide for the public's safety, and may leave him open to allegations of shortcomings in his fire company's performance.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 11, 1987.


Catherine I. Hostetter

Acting Clerk of the Commission