FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Edward Tamas, Sr,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 1997-277

 

Superintendent, Milford Public Schools,

and Board of Education, Town of Milford

 

Respondents February 11, 1998

 

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 20, 1997 at which time the complainant and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(1), G.S., (1-18a(a),G.S., prior to Oct. 1, 1997).

 

2. It is found that by letter dated August 6, 1997, the complainant requested that the respondent superintendent provide him with an itemized list (hereinafter "requested record") of items purchased with the extra $396, 331 spent over the budgeted amounts during 1995/96 and 1996/97 for accounts 7310 (replacement equipment), 7320 (new equipment) 7350 (computers) and 6902 (computer software), and where those items are located in the school system.

 

3. It is found that by letter dated August 11, 1997, the assistant superintendent, informed the complainant that no such list exists, however, "we will review our records to see what information can be provided and will get back to you by August 22nd."

 

4. Having failed to receive the requested record, the complainant appealed to the Commission by letter dated and filed on September 4, 1997 alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act by denying him access to the requested records.

 

5. It is found that the respondents do not maintain a list that is responsive to the complainant's request, as described in paragraph 2 of the findings, above.

 

6. However, it is found that the respondents compiled a list responsive to the complainant's request and provided the complainant with such list by letter dated September 24, 1997.

 

7. Nothing in the FOI Act required that the respondent create the list described in paragraph 6 of the findings, above.

 

8. The FOI Act does not require that a public agency create or compile a document that does not already exist, in order to satisfy a requester's request for information in a particular format.

 

9. Under the facts of this case, it is found that the respondents went beyond what was required of them in order to facilitate the complainant's request giving him a very detailed breakdown of specific items purchased. Unfortunately, one item could not clearly be identified as computer equipment purchased, which was the information sought, as it read "computer lab - addition". The complainant misinterpreted the item "computer lab - addition" as being a building addition.

 

10. It is therefore, concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-l9(a), G.S.

 

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

 

1. The complaint is dismissed.

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of February 11, 1998.

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________

Doris V. Luetjen

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:

 

Edward Tamas, Sr.,

14 Wayland Court

Milford, CT 06460

 

 

Superintendent, Milford Public Schools,

and Board of Education, Town of Milford

c/o Warren L. Holcomb

Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C.

75 Broad Street

Milford, CT 06460

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________

Doris V. Luetjen

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIC1997-277/FD/tcg/02111998