State Records Committee Appeal 07-11
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
STEVEN ONYSKO, Petitioner, vs.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 07-11
By this appeal, Mr. Onysko seeks access to records of the Utah Department of Human Resource Management ("DHRM") specifically the raw candidate interview scores for a State Engineer 4 position. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on July 26, 2007, now issues the following Decision and Order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
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). Records that are not public are designated as either "private," "protected," or "controlled." See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302, -303 and -304.
The Department of Human Resource Management denied access to the records on the grounds that they were classified as "protected" pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(5) and (25).
The Committee is persuaded that the records were correctly classified as "protected" pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(25). The Committee is convinced that Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(5) is not applicable to these records. The Committee is convinced that with regard to Mr. Onysko's own scores, the public interest favoring access outweighs the interest favoring restriction of access pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(11)(b). The committee is also persuaded that disclosure of the scores of others and the identity of the particular interview panel is an unwarranted invasion of privacy. Panelists may not be forthcoming if they know their information will be public. However, the petitioner has demonstrated a compelling interest in obtaining his own raw data scores contained in the records. All other information would be an unwarranted invasion of privacy per Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(25) and shall be redacted.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Steven Onysko is granted in part. The Utah Department of Human Resources Management shall release to Mr. Onysko only his own scores, redacted to prevent identification of the particular interviewers.
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.
Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(14)(d), the government entity herein shall comply with the order of the Committee and, if records are ordered to be produced, file (i) a notice of compliance with the records committee upon production of the records; or (ii) a notice of intent to appeal. If the government entity fails to file a notice of compliance or a notice of intent to appeal, the Committee may do either or both of the following: (a) impose a civil penalty of up to $500 for each day of continuing noncompliance; or (b) send written notice of the entity's noncompliance to the Governor for executive branch entities, to the Legislative Management Committee for legislative branch entities, and to the Judicial Council for judicial branch agencies entities.
Entered this 2nd day of August, 2007.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
CARL ALBRECHT, Chairperson
State Records Committee