FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Robert L. Silvestri and AFSCME Local No. 387,

 

Complainants

 

against Docket #FIC 87-28

 

Administrative Services Officer of the Connecticut Correctional Center at Cheshire,

 

Respondent April 22, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 12, 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. On or about January 20, 1987 the complainant Silvestri made a request of the respondent for the quantity of "gallons of paint, paint brushes, roller handles, sleeves for handles, paint mitts, paint pans and tint ordered and received for each of the years 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986."

 

3. On or about January 20, 1987 the respondent replied by stating that the complainants would have to prepay a cost of $1,150.10 for the requested information.

 

4. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on February 9, 1987, the complainants appealed the denial of their request.

 

5. It is found that there are approximately 5,000 invoices filed each year and that these invoices are filed alphabetically, by vendor and by date and are not segregated based on the type of item(s) ordered.

 

Docket #FIC 87-28 Page 2

 

6. It is further found that to retrieve the information requested, the respondent would have to search approximately 30,000 documents, extracting those invoices that reflected an order for the items referred to at paragraph 2, above.

 

7. It is found that the complainants' request is not solely a request for public records, but is also a request for research. However, the research that is necessary to comply with the request in not required by any provision under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

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

 

9. The Commission notes that pursuant to 1-15, G.S., payment for copies of public records cannot exceed $0.25 per page and that any fee charged by the respondent would have to be in accordance with this statutory provision.

 

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 case was dismissed solely on the ground that the Freedom of Information Act does not require a public agency to do research in order to comply with a request and should not be interpreted as meaning that the records being sought by the complainants are not public records as defined by 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 22, 1987.

 

Catherine I. Hostetter

Acting Clerk of the Commission