FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|Mohamed A. Antar,|
|against||Docket #FIC 1998-115|
|Mary Jo Kramer,
Public Schools; Francine M. Farber,
Director of Educational Services, Board of
Education, Milford Public Schools; and Jan
Fugal, Chairman, Board of Education, Milford
|Respondents||November 18, 1998|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 30, 1998, 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.
2. It is found that by letter dated March 18, 1998, the complainant requested from the respondent superintendent the following information regarding a Dr. Gary Racusin, a Dr. Dorothy Stubbe, a Dr. George Krause, a Dr. Jan Fugal and any other medical doctors and psychologists employed by the Milford School System from 1995 to the present:
a. the total sum paid from public funds to each doctor for each academic year; b. the type of service provided by each doctor; c. the number of teachers referred to the above named doctor and the purpose for each referral; d. a copy of the contract for each doctor; e. and an explanation of how the contracts to each doctor were awarded; The complainant also requested the number of teachers who have been suspended without pay between 1995 and the present, the length of the suspension and the reason for the suspension.
3. It is found that by letter dated March 24, 1998, the respondents provided the complainant with the information described in paragraph 2a, above, only.
4. It is found that by letter dated March 27, 1998, the complainant requested the remaining information requested in his March 18, 1998, letter to the respondents and access to the records which contained the information he requested.
5. It is found that by letter dated April 3, 1998, the respondent director informed the complainant that the board of education did not maintain the information in the form that he requested, that to compile the information for the complainant she would have to search through varies records and that she was not required to compile the information for the complainant since the information did not exist in the form he requested.
6. By letter dated April 16, 1998, and filed on April 21, 1998, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by failing to provide the requested information. The complainant requested that the Commission impose the maximum fine against the respondents.
7. Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
Except as otherwise provide by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency . . . shall be a public record 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 this subsection.
8. Section 1-15(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.
9. With respect to the complainants request described in paragraph 2b, above, it is found that the respondents do not maintain a document responsive to the complainants question but at the hearing on this matter the respondents testified that one of the doctors is a psychologist and that the other is a psychiatrist and that each provides services related to their field.
10. With respect to the complainants request in paragraph 2c, and the last sentence of paragraph 2, above, it is found that the complainant did not make a request for records but instead made a request for information.
11. It is concluded that while the FOI Act requires a public agency to provide copies of public records and/or access to public records thereby giving any requester the ability to extract from those records any information contained therein, it does not require a public agency to create a new document by extracting the information sought from the records and compile that information into another document, and provide that new document to the requester.
12. With respect to the complainants request in paragraph 2d and 2e, above, it is found that the respondents did not enter into any contracts with any of the doctors and therefore the respondents do not maintain documents which would reflect any contractual agreements. It is further found that the FOI Act does not require an agency to answer questions.
13. It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate §§1-19(a) and 1- 15(a), G.S., by failing to comply with the complainants request more fully described in paragraph 2, above.
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 special meeting of November 18, 1998.
_________________________ Melanie R. Balfour 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:
Mohamed A. Antar 152 Lebanon Road Bethany, CT 06524-3009
Mary Jo Kramer, Superintendent, Milford Public Schools; Francine M. Farber, Director of Educational Services, Board of Education, Milford Public Schools; and Jan Fugal, Chairman, Board of Education, Milford Public Schools c/o Atty. Warren L. Holcomb Berchem, Moses & Devlin, PC 75 Broad Street Milford, CT 06460
__________________________ Melanie R. Balfour Acting Clerk of the Commission