U Memo 15-4

Posted on Dec 29, 2014 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 15-4
December 29, 2014
Name of Private Investigator
Not in Agency Records

Requester had a case on appeal with the Labor and Industrial Relations Appeals Board (LIRAB), and attended a settlement conference on August 30, 2012, at 4:15 p.m. Requester believed a male private investigator (P.I.) was at the settlement conference. Requester made a request to LIRAB for the name of the P.I. LIRAB responded using the “Notice to Requester” form, and checked the boxes on the form indicating that it could not grant the record request because it does not maintain the record.

LIRAB explained that it does not maintain any records that would identify someone other than a party, or an interpreter, if one was used, who attended the settlement conference. Accordingly, LIRAB asserted that it has no records or other information as to whether a male P.I. as described by Requester attended the settlement conference, and has no records or other information that would identify the name of the P.I. Upon request by OIP, LIRAB searched documents in its file pertaining to the settlement conference. The search did not locate any records containing the name of the P.I.

When an agency claims a requested record does not exist, OIP looks at whether the agency’s search for a responsive record was reasonable; i.e., a search “reasonably calculated to uncover all relevant documents.” OIP Op. Ltr. No. 97-8 at 5 (citations omitted). Here, based on LIRAB’s assertions that it does not make notations of who attends settlement conferences other than parties, their attorneys, and interpreters, and its search of Requester’s appeal file, OIP finds that LIRAB’s search was reasonable.

OIP found the assertions by LIRAB that no responsive record exists were produced in good faith and further found that any additional search of LIRAB records is not likely to uncover relevant documents. Thus, OIP found that LIRAB properly resonded to Requester’s request for the name of the P.I.