State Records Committee Appeal 2008-01
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
STEVEN J. ONYSKO, Petitioner, vs.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 08-01
By this appeal, Steven J. Onysko, seeks that the State Records Committee overturn the denial from the Department of Environmental Quality to give him access to all documents held by the Department of Environmental Quality with his name on it or that pertain to him and the decision regarding his reassignment from Division of Drinking Water Engineering Section Manager.
The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, the documents in question, and having heard oral argument and testimony on January 10, 2008, 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). Records that are not public are designated as either "private", "protected," or "controlled". See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302, -303 and -304.
2. Because Mr. Onysko does not challenge the classification of the documents, the committee need not address the issue of classification, but recognizes the Department of Environmental Quality has classified the requested data at issue as Protected pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(9)(a) and (d), and 63-2-304(25).
3. Therefore, in deciding whether the Department of Environmental Quality should disclose the requested data at issue herein, the committee finds pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(11)(b) that the public interest favoring access outweighs the interest favoring restriction of access.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Steven J. Onysko is granted. The Committee finds in accordance with Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(11)(b), that the public interest favoring access outweighs the interest favoring restriction of access and orders that the records be released by the Department of Environmental Quality to Mr. Onysko.
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. This notice is required by Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(12)(d).
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 17th day of January, 2008.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
CARL ALBRECHT, Chairperson
State Records Committee