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 1998-163
Director, 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 1998-162, 
Lawrence A. Butts v. Chairperson, 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 June 4, 1998 the complainant visited the respondent 
director’s office to review examination records concerning the Environmental Protection 
Park and Recreation Supervisor 1 promotional examination number 638-0000.
	3.  It is found that the respondent director requested that the complainant, prior to 
reviewing the examination records, read Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies 5-
225-1 and sign an examination review log agreeing that he would not copy any of the 
examination records being provided to him.  The complainant refused to sign the log, and 
the respondent director terminated the review process.
	4.  By letter dated and filed on June 8, 1998, the complainant appealed to the 
Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act by 
denying him access to and copies of the examination records.
	5.  Following the hearing on this matter, the respondents provided the Commission 
with the records at issue and an in camera inspection was conducted.  The in camera 
records have been marked IC #1998-163-1 through 1998-163-60 for identification 
purpose.
	6.  It is concluded that the in camera records are public records within the meaning 
of 1-18a(5) and 1-19(a), G.S.
	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.  The respondents contend that IC #1998-163-1 through IC #1998-163-3, 
inclusive, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S., 1-19(b)(6), G.S., 5-
225, G.S., and Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies 5-225-1; that IC #1998-163-4 
through IC #1998-163-6, inclusive, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(6), 
G.S., 5-225, G.S., and Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies 5-225-1; and that the 
application numbers and social security numbers contained in IC #1998-163-7 through IC 
#1998-163-60, inclusive, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
	9.  Section 5-225, G.S., provides, that:
all persons competing in any examination shall be given 
written notice of their earned ratings and, except in the case 
of an examination administered in accordance with the 
provisions of subsection (b) of section 5-216, shall be given 
written notice of their relative standing upon the eligible 
lists or of their failure to attain the required minimum 
passing score.  The papers, markings, background profiles 
and other items used in determining the final earned ratings, 
other than examination questions and other materials 
constituting the examination, shall be open to inspection by 
the person, subject to such regulations as may be issued by 
the commissioner of administrative services.  [Emphasis 
added.]
	10.  With respect to IC #1998-163-1 through IC #1998-163-6, inclusive, it is 
concluded that such records constitute “papers, markings, background profiles and other 
items used in determining the final earned ratings” within the meaning of 5-225, G.S.  
Accordingly, IC #1998-163-1 through IC #1998-163-6, inclusive, are only open to 
inspection by the candidate pursuant to Personnel Director v. FOIC, 214 Conn. 312 
(1990).  In light of this conclusion, it is not necessary to address the respondents’ further 
claims of exemption regarding IC #1998-163-1 through IC #1998-163-6.
	11.  With respect to the application numbers contained in IC #1998-163-7 through 
IC #1998-163-9, inclusive, and IC #1998-163-38 through IC #1998-163-60, inclusive, the 
respondents contend that such 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.
	12.  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.
	13.  It is found that the application numbers do not constitute personnel or medical 
and similar files.
	14.  It is also found that the application numbers pertain to legitimate matters of 
public concern.
	15.  Further, it is found that disclosure of the application numbers would not be 
highly offensive to a reasonable person.
	16.  It is therefore, concluded that the application numbers are not exempt from 
disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
	17.  It is also found that other than the respondents speculation, they failed to 
provide any evidence that disclosure of the application number could lead to disclosure 
of an applicant’s social security number.
	18.  With respect to social security numbers in general, the Commission has 
historically declined to order the disclosure of such numbers.  In contested case FIC 89-
76, Eric Garrison v. Supervisor, Unclaimed Property Division, State of Connecticut, 
Office of the Treasurer, the Commission found that:
…social security numbers are used by both the public and 
private sector for a wide range of personal identification 
purposes including but not limited to use of this number for 
state and federal taxpayer identification.
It is found that disclosure of social security numbers would 
allow persons with knowledge of such numbers to access a 
wealth of data, including personal, financial, and tax data 
concerning the individual assigned that number.
	19.  Therefore, in keeping with the Commission’s precedent, the Commission, 
declines to order the disclosure of the social security numbers contained in IC #1998-
163-10 through IC #1998-163-60, inclusive.
	20.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), 
G.S., when they failed to provide the complainant with a copy of IC #1998-163-1 through 
IC #1998-163-6, inclusive, and the social security numbers contained in IC #1998-163-10 
through IC #1998-163-60, inclusive.
	21.  However, it is further concluded that the respondents violated  1-15(a) and 
1-19(a), G.S., when they failed to promptly provide the complainant with 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 free of charge.  In complying with this order, the respondents may 
redact the candidates’ social security numbers.
	2.  With respect to the application numbers, 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
Director, 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
FIC1998-163FD/mrb12141998