State Records Committee Appeal 03-11
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
JEFF IVERSON, Appellant, vs.
WEST BOUNTIFUL CITY, Appellee.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 03-11
By this appeal, Jeff Iverson seeks an order compelling that Appellee, West Bountiful City, provide certain payroll information concerning City Manager Wendell Wild. Mr. Iverson also sought other records, but during the hearing it became apparent that he had not exhausted his municipal remedies as required by the Government Records Access and Management Act. Some records that Mr. Iverson requested had not been retrieved from that the City. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the written materials submitted by the parties, and having heard testimony and argument on November 20, 2003, now issues the following Decision and Order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
1. The Government Records Access and Management Act specifies that "all records are public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute." Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(2). Records that are not public are designated as either "private," "protected," or "controlled." See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302, -303 and -304. In its response to Mr. Iverson's GRAMA request, the City redacted some payroll information on Mr. Wild's W-2 and paycheck stubs pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302 and -307.
2. The City maintained that the redacted information was properly classified as private under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302(2)(a). The Committee agrees that certain payroll information is statutorily classified as private. Specifically, Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302(1)(f) states that "employment records concerning a current . . . employee of . . . a governmental entity that would disclose that individual's home address, home telephone number, Social Security number, insurance coverage, marital status, or payroll deductions" are private. Id. (emphasis added).
3. In contrast, GRAMA provides that the gross compensation of a government employee is public, subject to certain exceptions not applicable here. See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-301(1)(b). Therefore, the Committee finds that the City is authorized by statute to redact all payroll deduction information in the records it provides to Mr. Iverson, including federal and state taxes, health benefits, insurance benefits, retirement and other savings plans authorized by law. Since vacation pay, sick pay and other income is part of an individual's gross compensation, the City is not authorized to redact those amounts.
WHEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT Appellant's appeal is denied in part and granted in part as set forth above.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to the district court. The petition for review must be filed no later than thirty (30) days after the date of this order. The petition for judicial review must be a complaint. The complaint and the appeals process are governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure and by Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404. The court is required to make its decision de novo. In order to protect its rights on appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.
Entered this 25th day of November, 2003.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Betsy Ross, Chairperson
State Records Committee