FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Richard D. Goldman,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 87-204

 

David Ogle, Executive Director, and James Tracy, Personnel Administrator, Office of Joint Committee on Legislative Management,

 

Respondents November 12, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 17, 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 letter dated June 24, 1987, the complainant requested copies of the following records:

 

a. The names, titles and annual salaries of the permanent state legislative employees from January 1986 to the present.

 

b. The names and salaries of the state legislative field constituent workers.

 

c. The names and educational backgrounds of those state legislative employees who received a higher salary because they claimed to have had a college education in lieu of work experience.

 

d. The names of those state legislative employees who were informed a request had been made for a record of their salary or the salaries of those they supervise.

 

Docket #FIC 87-204 Page 2

 

3. By letter dated July 9, 1987, the respondent personnel administrator informed the complainant that the Speaker of the House of Representatives wanted to discuss his request with him and would be returning to the Capitol on July 13, 1987.

 

4. On July 13, 1987, the complainant met with the Speaker, at which time the Speaker agreed the records described in paragraphs 2a, above, were public records. The House Speaker was unaware of the records described in paragraphs 2b, 2c and 2d, above, and asked the complainant to furnish him with additional information concerning the records described in paragraph 2c, above.

 

5. By letter of complaint dated and filed with the Commission on July 21, 1987, the complainant alleged the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act in their failure to release the records requested and to respond in writing to his request within four business days.

 

6. The complainant also requested the Commission consider the imposition of a civil penalty.

 

7. At the hearing, the respondents admitted they failed to respond in writing to the complainant's request within four business days. They claimed, however, to have complied promptly with the complainant's request given their regular workload, the volume of information requested, and the time needed to convert certain information into the format designated by the complainant.

 

8. It is found the records described in paragraphs 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d, above, are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

9. It also is found the respondents failed to respond in writing to the complainant's request within four business days, in violation of 1-21i(a), G.S.

 

10. It further is found copies of the records described in paragraphs 2a and 2d, above, were sent to the complainant on July 29, 1987.

 

11. At the hearing, the respondents stated they would provide the complainant with any additional records described in paragraph 2a, above, generated after he made his request.

 

12. It also is found the respondents maintain salary records on a bi-weekly basis and converted the salaries of 256 permanent employees to an annual level to produce the records described in paragraph 2a, above.

 

Docket #FIC 87-204 Page 3

 

13. It also is found the respondents do not maintain job title records for 90 permanent employees who work in the 4 partisan legislative offices. The respondents contacted the administrative heads of each office to obtain these records, but their efforts to obtain them were hindered because one of the administrative heads was on vacation at the time of the complainant's request.

 

14. It further is found at the time of the complainant's request, the respondents were preparing regular bi-weekly payrolls for approximately 515 employees, with some employees receiving an annual cost-of-living increase adjustment, processing the hiring of 22 new permanent employees and conducting previously scheduled interviews with candidates for several new or vacant positions.

 

15. It further is found that on July 29, 1987, the respondents provided the complainant with copies of a portion of the records described in paragraph 2b, above. The respondents, however, failed to provide the complainant with copies of the records concerning temporary employees because they misunderstood the scope of his request.

 

16. Subsequent to the hearing, the respondents stated they would provide the complainant with copies of the records described in paragraph 2b, above, concerning temporary employees.

 

17. It is found the respondents were unable to comply with the complainant's request for the records described in paragraph 2c, above, because the complainant had failed to furnish them with additional information as requested.

 

18. The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty against the respondents.

 

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

 

1. The respondents shall forthwith provide the complainant with copies of the records described in paragraphs 11 and 16 of the findings, above.

 

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of November 12, 1987.

 

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission