Freedom of Information Commission
of the State of Connecticut
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
against Docket #FIC 1995-311
Dean of Personnel Administration,
Western Connecticut State University,
Respondent August 14, 1996
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 26, 1996, 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 2, 1995, the complainant requested that the respondent provide him with copies of, or answers to, the following items concerning the new position of Director of Alumni and University Events (hereinafter “subject position”):
“a) full job description and the name of its author;
b) the names of the search committee members and the chairman. And, who
appointed the committee and its chairman;
c) affirmative action goal and who determined it; and on what basis was this goal
set. Please submit this justification in the writing of the person who determined
this goal and how this person may be contacted;
d) the affirmative action data sheet;
e) resumes of all candidates and applicants, including that of the chosen candidate
f) the names of those interviewed and the date of that interview. Who was present
at these interviews. Were the expenses of any candidates paid for by the
University (ie: flights and hotel stays?);
g) the written recommendation made by the search committee to President Roach
concerning this position and any correspondence to or from President Roach
regarding the chosen candidate;
h) what is the salary of this position; and
i) where was this job posted and advertised. Please include copies of the ad in
3. It is found that to the extent there are records responsive to the complainant’s request, such records are public records within the meaning of §1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.
4. By letter dated August 17, 1995, and attachments, the respondent stated that no record existed as requested in paragraph 2g, above, and provided the complainant with the following records:
a) the job description for the subject position;
b) a copy of the affirmative action data chart; and
c) copies of all resumes submitted by applicants for the subject position, with
names and other identifying information redacted.
5. By letter dated August 29, 1995, the complainant informed the respondent that he was incorrectly provided with the affirmative action data chart instead of the requested affirmative action data sheet; and objected to the redaction of the names of the unsuccessful candidates, as well as the respondent’s failure to respond to the question and records request identified in paragraph 2i, above.
6. By letter filed August 30, 1995, supplemented by letter filed September 13, 1995, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to fully respond to his request.
7. It is found that in his August 17, 1995 letter to the complainant, the respondent answered the complainant’s questions identified in paragraphs 2a, b, c, f, h and i, above, although nothing in the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act requires a public agency to respond to questions.
8. It is found that after receiving the complainant’s August 29, 1995 follow-up letter, by letter dated August 31, 1995, the respondent provided the complainant with the affirmative action data sheet, with the candidates’ names redacted.
9. The complainant maintains that candidate names should be disclosed, consistent with the university’s prior practice, because the names of all applicants for positions with the university during 1994 are available in the university library in an affirmative action manual.
10. The complainant also maintains that unredacted copies of the resumes and affirmative action data sheet should have been provided to him pursuant to certain regulations of the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, where the complainant has a pending complaint.
11. It is concluded, however, that the Commission lacks jurisdiction to enforce the regulations of another state agency.
12. The respondent maintains that the names of the unsuccessful applicants for the subject position were appropriately redacted from the resumes and affirmative action data sheet provided to the complainant pursuant to §1-19b(b)(2), G.S.
13. Section 1-19b(b)(2), G.S., provides:
Nothing in [the FOI Act] shall be deemed in any manner to require disclosure of any record of a personnel search committee which, because of name or other identifying information, would reveal the identity of an executive level employment candidate without the consent of such candidate.
14. It is found that a personnel search committee was established to conduct a search to fill the Director of Alumni and University Events position, and that such position is an executive level position within the meaning of §1-19b(b)(2), G.S.
15. It is therefore concluded that in the absence of any evidence of their consent, the names of the candidates who applied for the Director of Alumni and University Events position are exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1-19b(b)(2), G.S.
16. It is concluded that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act by redacting the names of candidates for the subject position from the resumes or affirmative action data sheet provided to the complainant.
17. It is found that the respondent did not respond to the complainant’s records request identified in paragraph 2i, above, for a copy of the job advertisement.
18. It is concluded that by failing to provide the complainant with a copy of the requested job advertisement, the respondent violated the provisions of §1-15(a), G.S.
19. At the hearing on this matter, the complainant alleged that the respondent violated the FOI Act by failing to respond to his February 7, 1996 request for letters of application sent to the respondent for the subject position.
20. It is found that the complainant’s February request for letters of application is a separate request that is not within the scope of the complaint in this matter.
21. It is therefore concluded that the Commission lacks jurisdiction to address the complainant’s allegations concerning his February 7, 1996 request letter described in paragraph 19, 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 a copy of the requested job advertisement for the subject position, free of charge.
2. Henceforth, the respondent shall strictly comply with the provisions of §1-15(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of .
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting 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:
P.O. Box 3671
Danbury, CT 06813
Dean of Personnel Administration
Western Connecticut State University
Danbury, CT 06810
Ralph E. Urban, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105-2294
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission