FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Lawrence A. Butts,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-162
Chairperson, State of Connecticut,
Department of Environmental Protection,
Human Resources Division; and State of
Connecticut, Department of Environmental
Protection, Human Resources Division,
Respondents December 9, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 25, 1998 at 
which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and 
presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  Docket #FIC 1998-163, 
Lawrence A. Butts v. Director, State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental 
Protection, Human Resources Division; and State of Connecticut, Department of 
Environmental Protection, Human Resources Division, was consolidated with the above-
captioned matter for purpose of hearing.
	
	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 on May 19, 1998, the complainant requested that the 
respondent chairperson provide him with a certified copy of the examination certification 
list for the Environmental Protection Park and Recreation Supervisor 1 promotional 
examination number 638-0000.
	3.  Having failed to receive the requested list, the complainant, by letter dated and 
filed on June 3, 1998, appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated 
the Freedom of Information Act by denying him a certified copy of such list.
	4.  Following the hearing on this matter, the respondents provided the Commission 
with the list that is at issue and an in camera inspection was conducted.  That list has been 
marked IC #1998-162-7 for identification purpose.
	5.  Section 1-15(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:
Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly 
upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.
	6.  Section 1-18a(5), G.S., provides that:
"Public records or files" means any recorded data or 
information relating to the conduct of the public's business 
prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public 
agency, whether such data or information be handwritten, 
typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or 
recorded by any other method.
	7.  Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:
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.
	8.  It is found that the respondents maintain the requested list and such list is a 
public record within the meaning of 1-18a(5) and 1-19(a), G.S.
	9.  It is found that on June 4, 1998 the respondents provided the complainant with 
a redacted copy of the list, with the application number, social security number and the 
address of each candidate redacted.
	10.  It is also found that on or about August 21, 1998 the respondents provided 
the complainant with the candidates’ addresses.
	11.  The complainant is seeking the application numbers as contained on the list.
	12.  The respondents contend that the application numbers are exempt from 
disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.  They further contend that because the 
application number is the same as the last six digits of a candidate’s social security 
number, disclosure of the application number could possibly lead to disclosure of the 
social security number.
	13.  Section 1-19(b)(2), G.S., permits the nondisclosure of “[p]ersonnel or medical 
files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal 
privacy.”
	14.  Perkins v. Freedom of Information Commission, 228 Conn. 158 (1993) sets 
forth the appropriate test to determine whether public records may be withheld from 
disclosure pursuant to a 1-19(b)(2), G.S., claim of exemption.  Perkins requires that first 
the information sought must constitute “personnel or medical files and similar files” and 
second, that two elements be met: the information sought does not pertain to legitimate 
matters of public concern, and that such information is highly offensive to a reasonable 
person.
	15.  It is found that the application numbers do not constitute personnel or medical 
and similar files.
	16.  It is also found that the application numbers pertain to legitimate matters of 
public concern.
	17.  Further, it is found that disclosure of the application numbers would not be 
highly offensive to a reasonable person.
	18.  It is therefore, concluded that the application numbers are not exempt from 
disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
	19.  It is also found that other than the respondents speculation, they failed to 
provide any evidence that disclosure of the application numbers could lead to disclosure 
of applicant’s social security number.  Consequently, the Commission’s concerns 
regarding disclosure of social security numbers, as set forth in contested case FIC 89-76, 
Eric Garrison v. Supervisor, Unclaimed Property Division, State of Connecticut, Office 
of the Treasurer, are not present in this case.
	20.  It is therefore, concluded that the respondents violated 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), 
G.S., when they failed to promptly provide the complainant with a certified copy of the 
list, containing the application numbers.
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of 
the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
	1.  Forthwith, the respondents shall provide the complainant with a certified copy 
of the examination list containing the application numbers free of charge.
	2.  Henceforth, the respondents shall strictly comply with the requirements of 1-
15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.
 
 
 
 
	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of 
December 9, 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:
Lawrence A. Butts 
584 West Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Chairperson, State of 
Connecticut, Department 
of Environmental Protection,
Human Resources Division;
and State of Connecticut, 
Department of Environmental
Protection, Human Resources 
Division
c/o Atty. Robert B. Teitelman
Assistant Attorney General 
55 Elm Street, PO Box 120
Hartford, CT 06141-0120
__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

FIC1998-162FD/mrb12141998