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FOIL Appeal Determination for 06-07-0A (Roland Ivers)

March 27, 2006

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Assistant Commissioner
Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 14th Floor
625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1010
Phone: (518) 402-8537 FAX: (518) 402-9037
Website: www.dec.state.ny.us

March 27, 2006

Mr. Roland Ivers
7930 Appleton Road
Cicero, NY 13039

Re: FOIL Requests 06-39 and 06-41
Vacancy Postings 05-380 and 05-510
FOIL Appeal No. 06-07-0A

Dear Mr. Ivers:

This office has completed its review of the records responsive to your Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") requests 06-39 and 06-41.

In response to your FOIL request 06-39, staff of the Department of Environmental Conservation ("Department" or "DEC") provided you with a redacted copy of a memorandum from Reginald Parker to Juan Abadia dated December 19, 2005 re Environmental Program Specialist 1 Position. We have found that the name of the chosen candidate should not have been redacted and under cover of this letter we are providing you with a copy of the entire memorandum (with no redactions).1 You have already received a copy of the job applicant log with only the item number and information concerning disabilities and veteran status redacted. This information was redacted by Department staff pursuant to POL § 87(2)(b) which allows for the withholding of records, or portions thereof, based upon personal privacy concerns.2 However, on this appeal, we have determined that the item number should not have been redacted and have, accordingly, enclosed a copy of the same job applicant log with the item number revealed. Because we find that disability and veteran's status to be exempt from disclosure pursuant to POL § 87(2)(b), this information shall continue to be redacted.

With respect to FOIL request 06-39 (and FOIL request 06-41), we determined that staff should have redacted the names and other information with respect to candidates who were not selected for the position from the job applicant log. However, because the records were already furnished to you with that information unredacted, this point is now academic.

Concerning your FOIL Request 06-41, enclosed please find a copy of the memorandum dated October 3, 2005 from Samuel J. Jackling to Mr. Abadia re: Environmental Program Specialist I, Bureau of Pesticides Management. We have restored the information staff previously redacted concerning the identity of the chosen candidate. However, we have maintained the redaction of the names of other individuals who were not chosen for this position pursuant to POL § 87(2)(b). In addition, we are re-sending a copy of the job applicant log with the item number revealed. Department staff has also provided us with copies of a letter from the Department of Civil Service to another individual who applied for this position, a transmittal letter and a resume from that individual to the Department, and a questions and answers document. Based upon our finding that the disclosure of the individual's resume and that individual's transmittal letter would result in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, we are withholding those two records pursuant to POL § 87(2)(b). However, the letter to that individual from the Department of Civil Service will be released with the identifying individual information redacted. The questions and answers document is being released to you in its entirety.

You also requested a demographic breakdown of the number of protected class individuals in the Syracuse Regional Office. However, this office has been advised that the Department does not maintain any such compilation.

The photocopying fee for the nine pages of records being forward to you under cover of this letter is being waived. With respect to two other personnel-related FOIL requests (06-93 and 06-94) that you have submitted to the Department, we have been advised by Department staff that a response has been mailed to you on both of those requests.

This letter is a final determination of the Department with respect to your appeal relating to FOIL requests 06-39 and 06-41. You have the right to seek review of this determination pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, and POL § 89(4)(b). In any future correspondence relating to this appeal, please refer to FOIL Appeal No. 06-07-0A.

Very truly yours,

Louis A. Alexander
Assistant Commissioner


cc: Ruth Earl, DEC Records Access Officer
Robert Freeman, Executive Director, Committee on Open Government

1Department staff also provided you with redacted copy of a one-page memorandum dated December 28, 2005 from Alan Illagan to Mr. Abadia regarding this position. This memorandum should have been withheld pursuant to section 87(2)(g) of the Public Officers Law ("POL") as intra-agency material which was not statistical or factual tabulations or data, instructions to staff that affect the public, final agency policy or determinations, or external audits. However, because the record was already furnished to you, albeit in redacted form, this point is academic.

2POL § 87(2)(b) reads, in pertinent part, as follows: "Each agency shall . . . make available for public inspection and copying all records, except that such agency may deny access to records or portions thereof that: . . . (b) if disclosed would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under the provisions of subdivision two of section eighty-nine of this article."

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