FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Antonio J. Luppino,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 88-182

 

Deputy Chief State's Attorney Robert J. Sabo of the State of Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice, Office of the Chief State's Attorney,

 

Respondent September 28, 1988

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 1, 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. Section 51-286, G.S. provides that the chief state's attorney shall appoint four chief inspectors to make and assist in investigations concerning criminal offenses and to assist in procuring evidence for the state in any criminal matter.

 

2. As the result of a chief inspector's retirement, the chief state's attorney requested that the respondent post a notice of opening for the position, which notice was posted in the field offices of the chief state's attorney on or about March 15, 1988.

 

3. The chief state's attorney designated the respondent to serve as chairman of a committee whose function it would be to screen applicants and make a non-binding selection of finalists.

 

4. The committee interviewed 17 applicants, all of whom were employees of the Division of Criminal Justice, and submitted the names of two finalists for consideration by the chief state's attorney.

 

5.     By letter dated May 16, 1988, the complainant, who had applied unsuccessfully for the chief inspector position, made a request of the respondent for certain information regarding the filling of the position, including the names and ages of all applicants and the names of all finalists.

 

Docket #FIC 88-182 Page Two

 

6. By letter dated May 17, 1988, the respondent provided certain of the requested information but declined to name the unsuccessful applicants or disclose their ages, or the age of the successful candidate, Bruce Pigott.

 

7. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on May 19, 1988, the complainant appealed the respondent's failure to name the applicants or disclose their ages.

 

8. The respondent claims that the selection of a chief inspector is not an administrative function and that, with respect to the records requested, he is not a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

9. It is found that the screening, by the respondent's committee, of applicants for the position of chief inspector was an administrative function, separate from the business of investigating and prosecuting criminal activity.

 

10. It is concluded, pursuant to 1-19c, G.S., that with respect to the screening of applicants for the position of chief inspector, the respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

11. It is found that applicants for the position of chief inspector were asked to submit a "letter of interest" rather than a resume. A few applicants also submitted resumes.

 

12. It is found that the letters of interest and resumes submitted by the applicants are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

13. It is also found that the letters of interest and resumes submitted by the applicants are personnel or similar files within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

14. It is further found that the identities of unsuccessful applicants for the position of chief inspector is information the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

15. It is concluded that the respondent's refusal to provide the complainant with the names of the unsuccessful applicants did not violate 1-15 or 1-19(a), G.S.

 

16. It is found that neither the letters of interest nor the resumes submitted by applicants contained the applicants' ages or dates of birth.

 

Docket #FIC 88-182 Page Three

 

17. It is concluded that the ages of the applicants are not contained in any record submitted to the respondent in connection with the filling of the position of chief inspector.

 

18. It is found, however, that the date of birth of each applicant is contained in the Division of Criminal Justice's general personnel files, to which the respondent has access.

 

19. It is found that disclosure of the birth dates of unidentified, unsuccessful applicants for the position of chief inspector would not constitute an invasion of personal privacy within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

20. It is further found that disclosure of the birth date of the successful applicant, Bruce Pigott, would not constitute an invasion of personal privacy within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

21. The respondent failed to prove that the birth dates of the unidentified, unsuccessful applicants or of Mr. Pigott are exempted from disclosure by any other provision of the Freedom of Information Act, other state statute or federal law.

 

22. It is concluded that the birth dates of the unidentified, unsuccessful applicants and of Bruce Pigott are subject to disclosure pursuant to 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.

 

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

 

1. With respect to the applicants for the position of chief inspector referred to at paragraph 4 of the findings, above, the respondent forthwith shall provide the complainant with access to that portion of each applicant-employee's personnel file which reflects his or her birth date.

 

2. Based upon the limited scope of the complainant's request, the respondent may, in complying with paragraph 1 of the Order, above, mask or delete all information other than the unsuccessful applicants' dates of birth. With respect to Bruce Pigott, the respondent may mask or delete all information other than his name and date of birth.

 

3. Although the respondent is not required by the Freedom of Information Act to create a record or otherwise compile data,

 

Docket #FIC 88-182 Page Four

 

the Commission suggests that, in this case, a compilation of the requested information may be a less burdensome alternative to the remedy described at paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Order, above.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of September 28, 1988.

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission