In the Matter of a complaint by             FINAL DECISION


Kenneth D. Goldberg,




            against              Docket #FIC 88-137


Rocky Hill Town Manager,


                        Respondent                  August 24, 1988


            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 3, 1988, 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 April 4, 1988, the complainant requested to inspect and copy all documents related to the police division employee job satisfaction survey, including survey responses not used in the survey response summary.


            3.  By letter dated April 8, 1988, the complainant's request was in part denied.


            4.  By letter dated April 11, 1988, and filed with the Commission on April 13, 1988, the complainant appealed to the Commission.


            5.  At the hearing, the complainant requested that the Commission impose a civil penalty upon the respondent.


            6.  The respondent claims that he originally did not provide the records because legal counsel advised him they were exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S., but that once the Rocky Hill Town Council decided not to take action regarding this complaint he provided the complainant with copies of all requested records that exist.


            7.  It is found that the requested records include a job survey, anonymous responses to the survey, and a summary of the responses.


DOCKET #88-137                              Page Two


            8.  It is found that the respondent failed to prove that disclosure of the requested records would in any way invade the personal privacy of the subjects or authors of the records.


            9.  It is concluded, therefore, that the requested records are not exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.


            10.  It is found that the respondent did not provide the complainant with most of the requested records until May 27, 1988.


            11.  Thus it is concluded that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with copies of the records promptly upon written request.


            12.  The respondent claims that copies of two of the survey responses, those of the complainant and Lieutenant Herbst, do not exist.


            13.  It is found that the respondent has not been able to find these two responses.


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


            1.  The respondent henceforth shall act in strict compliance with 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.


            2.  The respondent forthwith shall conduct a diligent search for the records described in paragraphs 2 and 12 of the findings above and provide the complainant with copies of any such records he finds that he has not yet provided to the complainant.  If the respondent finds no such records, he shall provide the complainant and the Commission with a sworn affidavit stating so and describing his efforts to search for the records.


            3.  The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty upon the respondent.


            Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of August 24, 1988.



                                    Catherine H. Lynch

                                    Acting Clerk of the Commission