FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Thomas J. Bartunek,
against Docket #FIC 94-87
Personnel Director, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation,
Respondent September 14, 1994
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 8, 1994, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. This case was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 94-180, Thomas J. Bartunek against Personnel Director, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation.
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 of complaint filed March 24, 1994, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that his collective bargaining representative had requested certain records on his behalf and been denied.
3. It is found that the complainant was a candidate, but was not selected, for a certain promotional opportunity.
4. It is found that the complainant's collective bargaining unit filed a grievance on his behalf over his failure to be promoted.
5. It is found that the collective bargaining representative requested copies of the service ratings of the complainant and the employee who was selected for the promotional opportunity by letter dated December 14, 1993.
6. It is found that the respondent replied by letter dated December 20, 1993, saying that he would provide copies of the service ratings upon receipt of their written authorization to release the information.
Docket #FIC 94-87 Page 2
7. At the hearing, the respondent provided to the complainant copies of two years of the complainant's service ratings, and indicated his willingness to provide other years' ratings upon request by the complainant.
8. It is also found that the complainant wrote to the respondent on March 22, 1994, the same date of his complaint, referencing the respondent's failure to provide the service ratings.
9. It is found that, even if the letter referenced in paragraph 7, above, were considered a request for records, it was not denied by the respondent before the complaint in this matter was filed.
10. It is also found that neither the collective bargaining unit nor the complainant requested or were denied the service ratings between December 20, 1993 and the date this complaint was filed.
11. Section 1-21i(b)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part:
Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-19 or wrongfully denied the right to attend any meeting of a public agency or denied any other right conferred by sections 1-15, 1-18a, 1-19 to 1-19b, inclusive, 1-20a and 1-21 to 1-21k, inclusive, may appeal therefrom to the freedom of information commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission. A notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days after such denial .... [Emphasis added.]
12. It is found that the complainant did not file his complaint, or notice of appeal, within thirty days after he or his collective bargaining representative were denied copies of any records.
13. It is therefore concluded that the Commission lacks jurisdiction pursuant to 1-21i(b)(1), G.S., over this complaint.
14. The Commission regrets that the jurisdictional problem with this complaint was not addressed much earlier in the Commission's process of docketing and ombudsmaning complaints. The Commission notes that, should the complainant wish to pursue the issue of his access to the other employee's service ratings, the complainant may re-request those records and, if denied them, file another complaint within 30 days of any denial. If the complainant does so, the Commission will attempt to expedite his complaint.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
Docket #FIC 94-87 Page 3
1. The complaint is dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 14, 1994.
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission
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:
THOMAS J. BARTUNEK
3 Ponds Farm
East Haddam, CT 06423
PERSONNEL DIRECTOR, STATE OF CONNECTICUT, DEPARTMENT OF
c/o Frederick J. Sanders
P.O. Box 317546
Newington, CT 06131-7546
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission