FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
H. Maria Cone and City of Hartford Office of Corporation Counsel,
against Docket #FIC 89-332
Connecticut Board of Mediation and Arbitration,
Respondent May 9, 1990
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 25, 1990, 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 and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
2. By letter dated August 4, 1989, the complainant requested of the respondent "all records relating to all requests for postponements of hearings since July, 1988, including the type of case, the individual requesting said postponement, the race and sex of the requester, the affiliation of the requester (whether in labor or management), the reason for said postponement, and the name of the panel chair denying or granting said postponement.
3. On August 15, 1989, the respondent verbally denied this request, followed by a letter of denial dated September 25, 1989.
4. The complainant appealed the verbal denial of this request by letter filed with this Commission on September 5, 1989.
5. The respondent claims that the information requested is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 31-100, G.S. as information submitted to the respondent.
6. The complainant claims that the requested information consists of administrative notations of the respondent pertaining to prehearing procedural matters rather than of substantive information submitted by a party before the respondent.
Docket #FIC 89-332 Page 2
7. It is found that documents existing at the offices of the respondent that relate to the complainants request include staff notes relating to telephone calls concerning requests for postponements along with notations stating whether such request was made by a grievant or a respondent.
8. It is also found that the respondent has letters granting postponements, although the respondent does not have letters of denial.
9. It is found that the notes identified in paragraph 7, above, often include the reason for the postponement request, but that no separate notation concerning the requester's race or sex is included in these notes, although such information may be discernible by the name of the requester.
10. It is also found that the respondent keeps a calendar with daily case listings containing notations as to parties to a case, the case number, and the names of the panel members scheduled to hear a case as well as notations concerning postponements or withdrawals of cases.
11. At hearing, the complainant amended her original request to seek the name of the individual requesting the postponement and whether that person is a union or management representative, whether the request was denied or granted, and the name of the board panel chairman.
12. It is concluded that notations written by the respondent or its staff concerning administrative matters such as union or management personnel requests for postponements along with notations concerning the granting or denial of such administrative requests and the name of the panel chairman assigned by the respondent to chair any given case are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to 31-100, G.S.
13. It is found that the respondent violated 1-19(a), G.S. by failing to provide the complainant with the information requested and more fully identified in paragraphs 7, 8, 10 and 11, above.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
1. The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with access to the records at issue described herein at paragraphs 7, 8, 10 and 11, above.
2. The respondent may mask or redact any portion of the
Docket #FIC 89-332 Page 3
requested records that relate to substantive case information submitted by a party in a case before the respondent other than prehearing procedural matters or general information concerning the respondent's internal administration.
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 9, 1990.
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 89-332 Page 4
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
H. MARIA CONE AND CITY OF HARTFORD OFFICE OF CORPORATION COUNSEL
550 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
CONNECTICUT BOARD OF MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION
c/o Beth Z. Margulies
Assistant Attorney General
55 Elm Street
P.O. Box 120
Hartford, CT 06101
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission