FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Michael J. Lefebvre,

 

Complainant,

 

against Docket #FIC 87-229

 

Director of Personnel of the Town of East Hartford,

 

Respondent November 12, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 8, 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By letter dated July 21, 1987, the complainant requested that the respondent provide:

 

a. a copy of George F. Dayton's employment application,

 

b. copies of scores on all promotional examinations George F. Dayton took during his employment in the East Hartford Police Department,

 

c. and an explanation of how each score was earned, including the percentages of each final score attributable to the written and oral portions of an examination and the seniority credits given.

 

3. By letter dated July 23, 1987, the respondent denied the complainant's request.

 

4. By letter dated August 7, 1987, and filed with the Commission on August 11, 1987, the complainant appealed to the Commission.

 

5. The respondent claims that the records described in paragraphs 2a and b, above, are exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

Docket #FIC 87-229 Page Two

 

6. The respondent also claims that the Freedom of Information Act does not require him to fulfill the request described in paragraph 2c, above, as it is not a request for a record. The respondent claims that any such recorded explanation would be exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(6), G.S., as other data used to administer an employment examination.

 

7. The respondent further claims that after a good faith effort to research prior Commission decisions he found the law unclear and seeks the Commission's guidance.

 

8. At the hearing, the complainant clarified that his request described in paragraph 2c, above, was for any existing document that explains the components of each score.

 

9. It is found that all the requested records are public records, as defined by 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.

 

10. It is found that the records described in paragraphs 2a and b, above, document the qualifications and abilities of a public employee.

 

11. It is also found that the qualifications and ability of someone who works for the public and is paid by public funds is a matter of legitimate public interest.

 

12. It is concluded that the records described in paragraphs 2a and b, above, are not exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

13. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by not providing the complainant with copies of the records described in paragraphs 2a and b, above.

 

14. It is found that a record such as that described in paragraphs 2c and 6, above, does exist for some of the positions in the East Hartford Police Department.

 

15. It is found that any such record breaks down a total score into its component parts.

 

16. It is concluded that any such record is not exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(6), G.S.

 

17. It is also concluded that if such a record exists for any of George F. Dayton's examinations, the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by not providing the complainant with copies.

 

Docket #FIC 87-229 Page Three

 

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

 

1. The respondent forthwith shall provide the complainant with copies of the records described in paragraphs 2a and b, above. When copying the record described in paragraph 2a, the respondent may mask any personal information that does not relate to George F. Dayton's public employment.

 

2. The respondent shall make a diligent search for the record described in paragraphs 2c and 6, above. If the respondent finds any such record, he forthwith shall provide the complainant with a copy. If the respondent finds no such record, he shall provide the complainant with a signed written statement describing his attempts to locate any.

 

3. In response to the respondent's request for guidance, the Commission suggests the respondent schedule a workshop for his staff with a Commission staff attorney.

 

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