FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|Ethan Book, Jr.,|
|against||Docket #FIC 1998-086|
|State of Connecticut,
of Revenue Services,
|Respondents||July 22, 1998|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 14, 1998, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of §1-18a(1), G.S.
2. The Commission takes administrative notice of the final decision in Docket # FIC1997-166, Ethan Book, Jr. against Legal Division, State of Connecticut, Department of Revenue Services; and State of Connecticut, Department of Revenue Services (FIC1997-166), which was mailed to the parties by the Commission on February 20, 1998. The Commission ordered the respondent to provide the complainant with a certain record, or, in the alternative, an affidavit. Specifically, the order stated:
The respondents shall forthwith provide the complainant with access to that portion of the requested record which identifies the state employee responsible for the decision to audit the complainants business. If compliance with the order is impossible due to the fact that no record exists which identifies such employee, the respondents shall provide the complainant with an affidavit, detailing the record search and examination conducted which resulted in the conclusion that no such record exists.
3. By letter mailed to the complainant March 4, 1998, the respondent provided the complainant with an affidavit, dated March 3, 1998, signed by David J. Lepri, a Tax Unit Manager of the respondents Audit Division.
4. By letter dated and filed with the Commission on March 31, 1998, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by failing to comply with the order described in paragraph 2, above.
5. Specifically, the complainant contends that the order described in paragraph 2, above, required that the respondent determine the identity of the state employee responsible for the decision to audit the complainants business and then provide any record in existence which contains the identity of such employee. It is concluded that such contention is without merit. The order described in paragraph 2, above, is clear in requiring disclosure of any portion of the requested record, if it exists, which identifies the state employee in question. It is found that the affidavit described in paragraph 3, above, attests to the fact that no such record or portion of record exists.
6. The complainant further contends that the affidavit described in paragraph 3, above, does not provide enough detail concerning the search conducted by the respondents pursuant to the order described in paragraph 2, above. It is found, however, that such affidavit is sufficient and wholly complies with such order.
7. In his post-hearing brief, the complainant contends that it has not been made clear that employees of the respondent do not know the identity of the state employee responsible for the decision to audit the complainants business. However, any such knowledge on the part of employees of the respondent would be a matter beyond the scope of this Commission. As stated in paragraph 18 of the final Decision in FIC1997- 166, the Freedom of information Act does not require public agencies to answer questions.
1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of July 22, 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:
Ethan Book, Jr. P.O. Box 1385 Fairfield, CT 06430
State of Connecticut, Department of Revenue Services c/o Atty. William J. Prensky 110 Sherman Street Hartford, CT 06105
c/o Atty. Donna F. Haghighat Tax Attorney, Legal Division 25 Sigourney Street Hartford, CT 06106
__________________________ Doris V. Luetjen Acting Clerk of the Commission