In the Matter of a Complaint by                        FINAL DECISION


Beverly Roberts




            against              Docket #FIC 87-166


Willington Superintendent of Schools; Chairman, Willington Board of Education and Willington Board of Education


                        Respondents                 October 28, 1987


            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 15, 1987, at which time the complainant 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 respondents are public agencies  within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


            2.  By letter of complaint filed June 8, 1987, the complainant alleged the denial of her right of access to the personnel file of the respondent superintendent.


            3.  The complainant and a friend made an appointment to view the personnel file of the respondent superintendent May 14, 1987, at which time they were informed that they could view his evaluations but not the rest of the file.


            4.  After checking with this Commission to confirm that they had a right to view the entire file, the complainant and her friend made an appointment to see the file on June 2, 1987.


            5.  On June 2, 1987, the complainant was informed that she could not view the file with her friend, but rather they would have to make separate appointments.


            6.  It is found that 1-19(a), G.S. provides that any person may inspect a public record promptly.


Docket #FIC 87-166                                     Page 2


            7.  It is found that the personnel file of the respondent superintendent is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.


            8.  It is found that the respondents did not prove that the personnel file, or any portion of it, is exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.


            9.  It is found that the requirement that the complainant and her friend make separate appointments to view the personnel file is an impermissible limitation upon access to public records.


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


            1.  The respondents shall henceforth comply with the access requirements of 1-19(a), G.S.


            2.  This decision shall be posted for one month in the office of the respondent board of education.


            3.  The Commission recommends that the respondents and their staff attend a workshop on the Freedom of Information Act within the next six months.


            Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 28, 1987.



                                    Catherine H. Lynch

                                    Acting Clerk of the Commission