In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Gayle Penn and AFSCME Local 1303-101,




against Docket #FIC 88-16


The Metropolitan District,


Respondent August 10, 1988


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 3, 1988, at which time the parties appeared and presented evidence and argument on the complaint. Thereafter, the matter was continued for April 7, 1988, at which time the parties appeared and presented additional evidence and argument.


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 21, 1987, the complainants requested copies of "any information written or otherwise, such as correspondence, memos, data drafts, preliminary or complete reports of the wage and classification study being prepared by Bugaeff-Cogswell Associates, Inc., or any other firm which is in possession of the District Manager, any officer, employee, Commissioner, committee or any function of the Metropolitan District."


3. On December 23, 1987, copies of some records concerning the study were provided by the respondent.


4. By letter of complaint filed with this Commission on January 14, 1988, the complainants alleged that the respondent had not fully complied with the request for copies of records which they made on December 21, 1987.


5. It is found that the respondent provided the complainants with copies of all the records it had which were within the scope of the complainants request of December 21, 1987.


6. The complainants claim that the consultant firm Bugaeff-Cogswell Associates, Inc. is an agent of the respondent and that any records it has which pertain to the wage and classification study are public records subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.


Docket #FIC 88-16 page two


7. It is found that Bugaeff-Cogswell Associates, Inc., is not a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S., and that it does not become a public agency by virtue of its contract with the respondent to do a wage and classification study.


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.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of August 10, 1988.


Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission