FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

FINAL DECISION
Docket #FIC 1996-475
June 25, 1997

In the Matter of a Complaint by Anthony T. Straka and Connecticut Employees Union Independent, SEIU, Local 511, AFL-CIO, CLC, Complainants
against
Personnel Director, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation; Assistant Personnel Administrator, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation; and State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation, Respondent

The above-captioned matters was heard as a contested case on March 6, 1997, at which time the complainants and respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts, and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The same complaint was assigned two different docket numbers (FIC 1996-475 and FIC 1996-532). In addition, the case caption in Docket #FIC 1996-475 was amended to include the Assistant Personnel Administrator, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation; and the State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation, as respondents.

After consideration of the entire record the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

2. By letter to the respondent personnel director dated September 27, 1996, the complainants requested a copy of "all relevant paperwork" pertaining to the filling of four specified positions of the respondent Department of Transportation ("DOT") after June 30, 1996, from any source, including:

a) hiring from the reemployment list;

b) appointments resulting from the Placement and Training Fund process; and

c) hiring from outside of the DOT and/or state employment.

Docket #FIC1996-475 Page 2

3. By letter to the complainants dated October 2, 1996, the respondent assistant personnel administrator informed the complainants that the requested information was already in the possession of the respondent Connecticut Employees Union Independent ("CEUI") in the form of DOT’s agency turnover reports which are generated and provided to the CEUI on a bi-weekly basis. The letter also stated that the complainants should contact the DOT’s records supervisor if they were missing any of the turnover reports.

4. By letter dated and faxed to the Commission on October 11, 1996, and filed on October 15, 1996, the complainants appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents’ letter of October 2, 1996 was non-responsive to their records request.

5. At the hearing on this matter the complainants indicated that they were only seeking records pertaining to the date of hire, the position or job title of the person hired, and the hiring source, as described in paragraph 2, above.

6. It is found that the requested records, to the extent they exist, are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.

7. The respondents contend: that they do not maintain records of appointments or new hires from the placement and training fund; that the only responsive records are the turnover reports which have been provided to the CEUI; and that other than the turnover reports, the only way for the DOT to provide the requested information would be to research numerous individual files, which the provisions of the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act do not require.

8. The respondents also contend that they never denied the complainants’ records request, rather, the complainants have failed to identify any turnover reports which have not been provided to the CEUI so that the DOT could promptly provide them.

9. It is found that the records requested in paragraph 2b), above, are not maintained or kept on file by the respondents in the form or manner requested by the complainants and that compliance with the complainants’ records request as identified in paragraphs 2b), above, would require research through numerous individual files.

10. It is concluded that nothing in the FOI Act requires the respondents to perform the research described in paragraph 9, above, and it is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate any provisions of the FOI Act with respect to their failure to provide the records described in paragraph 2b), above, in the form or manner requested by the complainants.

Docket #FIC1996-475 Page 3

11. With respect to the requested records described in paragraphs 2a) and 2c), above, it is found that the DOT’s turnover reports are responsive to the complainants’ request.

12. It is also found that the complainants did not identify any turnover reports that had not been provided to them when asked to do so by the respondents.

13. It is therefore found that the respondents’ October 2, 1996 letter did not constitute a denial of the complainants’ records request as described in paragraph 2, above, and accordingly the respondents did not violate the FOI Act with respect to any of the allegations contained in the complainants’ appeal dated October 11, 1996.

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

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 25, 1997.
__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission

Docket #FIC1996-475 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:
Anthony T. Straka and Connecticut Employees Union Independent, SEIU, Local 511, AFL-CIO, CLC
PO Box 1268
Middletown, CT 06457

Personnel Director, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation; Assistant Personnel Administrator, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation; and State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation
c/o Charles H. Walsh, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC 1996-475/FD/eal/06301997