FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
New Haven Firefighters Local 825,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-084

Department of Human Resources,

City of New Haven,

 
  Respondent February 9, 2005
       

 

            The above-captioned matter was consolidated for hearing with Patrick J. Egan and New Haven Firefighters Local 825 v. Mayor, City of New Haven, Docket #FIC 2004-182.  Both cases were heard as contested cases on September 23, 2004, at which time the complainant and the respondent herein appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  By stipulation of the parties in Frank Ricci v. Tina F. Burgett, Director of Human Resources, City of New Haven, Docket #FIC 2004-070, the evidence received at the September 23, 2004 hearing in the above-captioned matter and Docket #FIC 2004-182, was also administratively noticed as evidence in Docket #FIC 2004-070. 

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

                       

1.  The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1)(A), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that, by a series of letters dated January 15, 23 and 26, 2004, as well as several additional letters dated February 2, 2004, the complainant requested a wide variety of records concerning the most recent examinations for promotion to lieutenant and to captain in the New Haven Department of Fire Services. The requested records included all communications relating to the examinations, the examination papers, the score records showing the ranking by score of individually identified passing candidates (this last item only being the “scoring record”), all records concerning validation studies, and finally, the minutes of the January 22, 2004 meeting of the New Haven Civil Service Commission (all records requested in the six letters being together the “requested records”).

 

3.  By letter dated February 4, 2004, the respondent denied the complainant’s requests for the requested records. 

 

4.  By letter dated February 16, 2004 and filed with the Commission on February 19, 2004, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent’s failure to provide the requested records violated the Freedom of Information [hereinafter “FOI”] Act.

 

5.  At the hearing, the complainant stated that certain of the requested records had been provided to it and then narrowed its remaining request to only the requested scoring record. Accordingly, all the previously requested records, except for the requested scoring record, are no longer at issue in this case.

 

6.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

“[e]xcept 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 (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.” 

 

7.  Section 1-212, G.S., provides in relevant part:  “[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.…” 

 

8.  It is found that the respondent contracted with a corporation, IO Solutions, to administer the relevant civil service examinations in the New Haven Department of Fire Services and that IO Solutions created a record consisting of preliminary scores of all applicants, identifying individuals by social security number and not by name.  It is also found that IO Solutions e-mailed such record without redaction to the respondent, who therefore has the preliminary scores of all applicants, individually identified by social security number, in her custody and control.   It is further found that such record is the scoring record at issue herein and that such record is a public record within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S.

 

9.  It is further found that, on or about January 24, 2004, the New Haven Civil Service Commission voted 2-2 on a motion to certify the results of the two examinations, thus by tie vote, declining to so certify. At this meeting, copies of the scoring record were publicly distributed, with the social security numbers redacted in order not to identify individuals.   It is further found that such record is a public record as Exhibit C in Frank Ricci v. Tina F. Burgett, Director of Human Resources, City of New Haven, Docket #FIC 2004-070.  

 

10.  Social security numbers are exempt from disclosure under various provisions of federal law, state statute, and in previous decisions of the Commission.    

 

11.  In light of paragraphs 8 through 10, above, it is therefore concluded that the issue of the provision of the scoring record is resolved, and that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act in its provision of the scoring record to the complainant.  Accordingly, the Commission need not address such issue any further.   

 

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 regular meeting of February 9, 2005.

 

________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

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:

 

New Haven Firefighters Local 825

c/o Patricia Cofrancesco, Esq.

89 Kimberly Avenue

East Haven, CT 06512

 

Department of Human Resources

City of New Haven

200 Orange Street, Room 102

New Haven, CT 06510

 

 

 

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-084FD/paj/2/9/2005