PoliticsPress Release

Summary of Opinions Released: January 25, 2022

Opinion Number: 2022-005 Requestor:  Cantrell, Jane A

Is the decision of the custodian of records to release records containing the name, year of compensation, hire date, base salary amount, bonus amount, overtime amount, gross annual wages, and position title of all the employees of the City of Fort Smith for the year 2021, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, consistent with provisions of the FOIA?  RESPONSE:  Because I have not seen any records that would be responsive to your FOIA request, I cannot opine about the releasability of any specific document or the need to redact any specific piece of information from an otherwise releasable document. I can state generally, however, that the type of information requested (salary/compensation, hire date, position titles, and employee names) is subject to inspection and copying under the FOIA. Additionally, the custodian has correctly decided that sensitive personal information is not releasable.

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Opinion Number: 2022-006 Requestor:  Carpenter, Thomas M Esq.

Little Rock city attorney states that the City has received several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for numerous records relating to the police chief. The city attorney states that some of the records are subject to disclosure, but that other records are exempt or partially exempt, either because the records constitute exempt employee-evaluation records of the chief or because of an ongoing criminal investigation by the Arkansas State Police and the local prosecuting attorney. The city attorney asks whether the city’s decisions with respect to the records are consistent with the FOIA.  RESPONSE:  The custodian’s decision is mostly consistent with the FOIA. See the opinion for discussion.

Opinion Number: 2022-007 Requestor:  McGary, Meredith L

Is the decision of the custodian of records to release records containing the name, year of compensation, hire date, base salary amount, bonus amount, overtime amount, gross annual wages, and position title of all the employees of the City of Fort Smith for the year 2021, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, consistent with provisions of the FOIA?  RESPONSE:  Because I have not seen any records that would be responsive to your FOIA request, I cannot opine about the releasability of any specific document or the need to redact any specific piece of information from an otherwise releasable document. I can state generally, however, that the type of information requested (employee names, salary/compensation, hire date, and position titles) is subject to inspection and copying under the FOIA. Additionally, the custodian has correctly decided that sensitive personal information is not releasable. I have attached a previous opinion of this office that explains the legal standards that must be applied to determine whether the employee-related records in question must be disclosed pursuant to the FOIA.

Opinion Number: 2022-008 Requestor:  Koleszar-Burbee, Tracy

Is the decision of the custodian of records to release records containing the name, year of compensation, hire date, base salary amount, bonus amount, overtime amount, gross annual wages, and position title of all the employees of the City of Fort Smith for the year 2021, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, consistent with provisions of the FOIA?  RESPONSE:  Because I have not seen any records that would be responsive to your FOIA request, I cannot opine about the releasability of any specific document or the need to redact any specific piece of information from an otherwise releasable document. I can state generally, however, that the type of information requested (employee names, salary/compensation, hire date, and position titles) is subject to inspection and copying under the FOIA. It is my opinion that the custodian appears to have properly applied the appropriate legal standards in deciding to release the records at issue while withholding “sensitive personal information.” Finally, the objection you have raised is not a legally sufficient reason under the FOIA to withhold the records.

Opinion Number: 2022-009 Requestor:  Fisher, Christi

Is the decision of the custodian of records to release records containing the name, year of compensation, hire date, base salary amount, bonus amount, overtime amount, gross annual wages, and position title of all the employees of the City of Fort Smith for the year 2021, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, consistent with provisions of the FOIA?  RESPONSE:  Because I have not seen any records that would be responsive to your FOIA request, I cannot opine about the releasability of any specific document or the need to redact any specific piece of information from an otherwise releasable document. I can state generally, however, that the type of information requested (employee names, salary/compensation, hire date, and position titles) is subject to inspection and copying under the FOIA. It is my opinion that the custodian appears to have properly applied the appropriate legal standards in deciding to release the records at issue while withholding “sensitive personal information.” Finally, the objection you have raised is not a legally sufficient reason under the FOIA to withhold the records.

For a full-text version of this or other Attorney General Opinions, visit www.ArkansasAG.gov/opinions

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