State Records Committee Appeal 04-08
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
LISA OLSEN, Petitioner, vs.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 04-08
By this appeal, Lisa Olsen seeks access to the Division of Child and Family Services ("DCFS") "Qualitative Case Review on [her son] Jesse Olsen." The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on August 19, 2004, now issues the following Decision and Order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
1. The Government Records Access and Management Act ("GRAMA") specifies that "all records are public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute." Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(2). GRAMA also provides that records properly classified as "protected" are not public. Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(3)(a).
2. DCFS denied Ms. Olsen access to the Qualitative Case Review ("QCR") on the basis that they were protected under the Government Records Access and Management Act. Specifically, DCFS asserts the requested records are properly classified as protected under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(9), (10), (11) and (25).
3. DCFS maintains that the QCR is an agency audit record created as a result of interviews with many individuals. DCFS further asserts that it is a monitoring tool developed to determine the adequacy of the performance of DCFS in providing services. The QCR was specifically developed for court monitors pursuant to a settlement agreement in the class action lawsuit of David C. v. Leavitt, No. 93-C-206W (D. Utah filed Feb. 25, 1993).
4. After considering the evidence, the Committee finds that QCRs maintained by DCFS are properly classified as protected under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(9) and (25). The disclosure of QCRs would interfere with administrative investigations or audits and could reasonably be expected to disclose investigative techniques or audit techniques. See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(9). Furthermore, these records contain "personal recommendation[s] concerning an individual," which if disclosed, "would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" and disclosure is not in the public interest under these circumstances.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the Petitioner's appeal is denied. The Department of Human Services' determination regarding the classification of these records as protected is affirmed.
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 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 24th day of August, 2004.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Patricia Smith-Mansfield, Chairperson
State Records Committee