92-24Posted on Dec 2, 1992 in Formal Opinions
Opinion Letter No. 92-24
December 2, 1992
Certificates of Experience
In one of the OIP’s first opinions concerning the disclosure of personal records under part III of the UIPA, the OIP found that Certificates of Experience submitted to the Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors and Landscape Architects must generally be disclosed to the license applicant to whom they pertain. These certificates, submitted by persons the applicant selected, set forth opinions regarding the applicant’s integrity, competence, and character.
The OIP determined that these were “personal records” and that the only exemption in part III of the UIPA that would permit the withholding of the certificates is that which does not require an agency to disclose personal records that “would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the agency under an express or implied promise of confidentiality.” After examining court decisions under a similar exemption in the federal Privacy Act and given the absence of an express or implied promise of confidentiality, the OIP found that the exception did not apply.