FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Rickey Reed,

 

 

Complainants

 

 

against

 

Docket #FIC 1997-168

Affirmative Action Officer, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation; Personnel Department, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation; and Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation,

 

 

Respondents

February 25, 1998

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 22, 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 memorandum dated January 31, 1997, the complainant requested that the respondent Department of Transportation ("DOT") Affirmative Action Program Manager provide him with a copy of the Report of Competitive Position Interviews, completed for the position of Director of Contract Compliance, filled on January 31, 1997 (hereinafter "requested record").

        3. It is found that by memorandum dated February 5, 1997, the respondent DOT’s Affirmative Action Office denied the request claiming that the requested record was confidential.

        4. It is found that by letter dated April 1, 1997, the complainant then requested that the respondent Commissioner provide him with a copy of the requested record.

        5. It is found that by letter dated April 4, 1997, the respondent Commissioner provided the complainant with the portion of the requested record containing information about the complainant but not the portion with information concerning the other candidates who had applied for the position of Director of Contract Compliance. The respondent Commissioner indicated that he would contact the Attorney General’s Office to determine whether he could disclose the redacted information and would notify the complainant as soon as he received a response.

        6. It is found that by letter dated May 2, 1997 the complainant again wrote to the respondent Commissioner regarding his April 1, 1997 request and the Attorney General’s opinion.

        7. Having failed to receive a response to his May 2, 1997 letter, the complainant, by letter dated June 2, 1997 and filed on June 3, 1997, alleged that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act by denying him a copy of the requested record.

        8. It is found that the respondents maintain the requested record and such record is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(5), G.S., ( 1-18a(d), G.S., prior to Oct. 1, 1997) and 1-19(a), G.S.

        9. It is found that on or about August 29, 1997, the Attorney General’s office provided the complainant with a copy of the requested record in connection with Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities case number 9710701.

        10. Section 1-19(a), G.S., in relevant part, provides:

Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours or to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-15. Any agency rule or regulation, or part thereof, that conflicts with the provisions of this subsection or diminishes or curtails in any way the rights granted by this subsection shall be void.

        11. It is found that the respondents failed to prove that any federal law or state statute permitted their nondisclosure of the requested record to the complainant prior to August 29, 1997.

        12 It is therefore found that the respondents failed to provide the complainant with a copy of the requested record promptly within the meaning of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.

        13. It is concluded that the respondents violated 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.

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

        1. Henceforth, the respondents shall strictly comply with the promptness provision of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.

        Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of February 25, 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:
Rickey Reed
81-D Fairway Drive
Wethersfield, CT 06109

Affirmative Action Officer, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation; Personnel Department, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation; and Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation
c/o Atty. Charles H. Walsh
P.O. Box 120
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1997-168/FD/tcg/02251998