Written on: December 1st, 2015 in 10002(a) Agenda, 10002(l) (1) Exemptions - Personnel, 10004(b)(1) Executive Session Job Qualifications, 10004(b)(9) Executive Session Personnel Matters, 10004(c) Requirements to Meet in Executive Session
The petitioner alleged that the Christina School District (“CSB”) violated FOIA by discussing the superintendent’s competency and abilities in executive session; by holding a vote in executive session; and by not making public a copy of the superintendent contract more than 6 hours before meeting to vote on it. Held: The CSB did not violate FOIA when it discussed the district superintendent’s competency and abilities in executive session at the August 2015 board meeting. The CSB did violate FOIA when it held a vote in executive session at the August meeting. However, we find that the executive session vote did not affect substantial public rights because no law requires executive sessions to be audio recorded. Therefore, no remediation is required. Finally, we conclude that the CSB did not violate FOIA’s meeting notice requirements when it circulated a copy of the superintendent’s contract less than six hours prior to the September 2015 board meeting.
Written on: August 27th, 2014 in 10001 Declaration of Policy, 10002(l) (1) Exemptions - Personnel, 10002(l) (6) Exemptions - Records Exempted Per Statute or Common Law
The Complainant alleged the Delaware Department of Education (“DDOE”) provided an incomplete response to his request for documents. DDOE admitted it had withheld certain documents pursuant to applicable privacy statutes and regulations. Held: applicable State and federal statutes and regulations prohibit the release of records that could be identified to an individual student. Applying the standards set by the U.S. Department of Education, the requested documents are not “public records,” so DDOE cannot produce them.
Written on: July 18th, 2014 in 10001 Declaration of Policy, 10002(l) (1) Exemptions - Personnel, 10002(l) (2) Exemptions - Trade Secrets, 10002(l) (3) Exemptions - Investigatory Files, 10002(l) (4) Exemptions - Criminal Files and Criminal Records, 10002(l) (6) Exemptions - Records Exempted Per Statute or Common Law, 10002(l) (9) Exemptions - Pending or Potential Litigation
The Complainant alleged the Department of Technology and Information (“DTI”) improperly withheld information regarding assessments for the Delaware Broadband Fund (the “Fund”). DTI withheld the assessments of three carriers at their request because the carriers alleged the assessments constituted “trade secrets” or “commercial financial information” that would constitute a threat to their respective competitive positions. Held: information withheld should have been produced. There was no apparent threat of competitive harm, given the voluntary release of assessment information to the Complainant by dozens of competitors.
The Complainant alleged the Delaware Transit Corporation (“DTC”) improperly refused to provide copies of contracts between Gateway Outdoor Advertising (“Gateway”) and various entities that purchased advertising space on DTC buses. Gateway contracts with DTC to sell bus advertising. Held: DTC’s rights and powers under its contract with Gateway were not sufficient to make the contracts with advertisers “public records.”
Written on: November 20th, 2013 in 10001 Declaration of Policy, 10002(l) (1) Exemptions - Personnel, 10002(l) (6) Exemptions - Records Exempted Per Statute or Common Law
The Complainant alleged New Castle County violated the “open records” provision of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by refusing to release audio recordings of 911 calls made from the residence of Vice President Biden. Held: privacy interests under the U.S. Constitution and Delaware law outweighed whatever interest the public might have in disclosure of the recordings.
The Complainant alleged the City of Wilmington (the “City”) violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by redacting from certain documents the names of persons who applied for, or were assigned to, the Mayor’s security detail. Held: the privacy rights of the security detail members and applicants outweighed an interest the public may have in their identities.
Written on: April 1st, 2011 in 10002(l) (1) Exemptions - Personnel
Reporter requested attendance records and badge entry records for a specific merit employee with Dept. of Labor. Held that (a) under the merit rules, the attendance records were confidential; and (b) the disclosure of card swipe/access records would violate the security provision of FOIA because it must be applied uniformly, without regard to the identity of the requester. As a result, the Dept. of Labor was correct in not releasing any records.
Written on: September 2nd, 2010 in 10002(l) (1) Exemptions - Personnel
Complainant asserts that DelDot violated FOIA open records requirements when it redacted names/addresses from individuals who made public comments related to the US 113 North-South Study. DelDot argued the names/addresses were redacted for reasons of personal privacy. HELD: DelDOT must release the names/addresses. Delaware has not created a per se right to privacy in one’s name/address. There is no federal or Delaware statute that applies to names/addresses of individuals who voluntarily make comments to a public agency.
Written on: February 5th, 2009 in 10002(l) (1) Exemptions - Personnel
Senator Ennis asked whether the training records for courses taken at the Delaware State Fire School are public records subject to FOIA. HELD: Yes. The State Fire School is a public body subject to FOIA. The records do not constitute personnel or pupil records exempt from FOIA nor do they contain information which, if released, would result in invasion of privacy. However, personal information such as home addresses and social security numbers may be redacted.
Del. Op. Atty. Gen. 06-IB14 (Del.A.G.), 2006 WL 2355968 Office of the Attorney General State of Delaware Opinion No. 06–IB14 July 12, 2006 Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Town of Middletown *1 Mr. Jeff Bruette 116 Sleepy Hollow Drive, Suite C Middletown, DE 19709 Dear Mr. Bruette: Our Office received your complaint dated […]