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PR 21-11 ProJo v. RICCA

The Complainant alleged the Authority violated the APRA by withholding certain payroll records related to employees of SMG, which is an entity hired by the Authority to perform work on its behalf. Based on the evidence in the record before us, we found the Authority did not maintain the requested records and on these particular facts, did not violate the APRA by not producing them. However, because SMG performs work on behalf of or in place of the Authority, as contemplated in the APRA's definition of "public body," SMG is a public body under the APRA. We also noted that public bodies are required to disclose payroll records they maintain in response to a public records request to the extent such records contain information set forth in the APRA as public. Accordingly, although SMG was not named as a party to the Complaint, we encouraged SMG to produce the requested employee records to Complainant within five (5) business days of the issuance of this finding to the extent such information is public pursuant to the APRA and the guidance provided in this finding. If SMG does not do so, we noted Complainant may wish to make a clearly framed APRA request for such records directly to SMG. If Complainant is dissatisfied with SMG's response, Complainant should notify this Office at which time this Office would open a complaint. We expect that such a complaint process would be greatly expedited based on the information that this Office has already reviewed in connection with the instant Complaint.