FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision

 

Fred Laberge and New Haven Register,

 

Complainants

 

against Docket #FIC 91-232

 

Acting Chief Administrative Officer, City of New Haven,

 

Respondent May 13, 1992

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 3, 1991, at which time the complainants 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 1, 1991 and filed August 5, 1991, the complainants appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent denied them access to public records.

 

3. It is found that by letter dated July 17, 1991, a reporter for the respondent New Haven Register (hereinafter "newspaper") requested from the respondent the names of the unsuccessful candidates who applied for the position of the Neighborhood Commercial Assistant with the City of New Haven (hereinafter "City") in 1988. In addition the reporter requested the names of the individuals who were invited to take the civil service test for the position of Commercial Revitalization Specialist in 1987.

 

4. By reply letter dated July 19, 1991, the respondent informed the complainant that based upon the advice of the City's Corporation Counsel, she would not release the requested information to the complainant.

 

Docket #FIC 91-232 Page 2

 

5. It is found that the respondent maintains records containing the names of the unsuccessful applicants for the two positions described in paragraph 3, above.

 

6. It is concluded that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

7. The respondent maintains that the names of unsuccessful applicants are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

8. Section 1-19(b)(2), G.S., permits the nondisclosure of "personnel, medical and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy."

 

9. The complainants maintain that the respondent has disclosed the names of applicants for City positions to the newspaper in the past and that it is unreasonable for applicants for City positions to expect that their names will remain confidential.

 

10. The respondent maintains that it is her practice to provide names of only those candidates who have successfully completed civil service examinations for City positions and whose names appear on lists that are ratified by the civil service board.

 

11. It is found that the Neighborhood Commercial Assistant position is not a civil service position for which there is a competitive examination and that the Commercial Revitalization Specialist position is a civil service position for which there is a cometitive examination.

 

12. The respondent further maintains that in this case, with respect to the civil service position, the only candidate who successfully completed the civil service examination was the candidate ultimately hired for the position and that therefore no other applicant names appear on a civil service list for that position.

 

13. It is concluded that the names of the unsuccessful applicants requested in this case are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

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

 

Docket #FIC 91-232 Page 3

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 13, 1992.

 

 

Karen J.Haggett

Clerk of the Commission

 

Docket #FIC91-232 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:

MR. FRED LABERGE

New Haven Register

40 Sargent Drive

New Haven, CT 06511-5918

 

AILEEN BELL, ESQ.

Office of the Corp. Counsel

770 Chapel Street

New Haven, CT 06510

 

 

Karen J.Haggett

Clerk of the Commission