by Max Brantley
Remember the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission employee morale survey?
Remember the controversy over the redaction of names of Commission members and other employees in the open-ended comments from employees?
A new version of the report now reveals the names of commissioners targeted for comments from unnamed employees. As several readers have said previously, close watchers of the matter were able to identify them even though redacted.
The following has been edited from my original post when I indicated erroneously that the private management firm that did the survey had ever — in either its original or second report — passed along names of agency employees mentioned in open-ended comments by other employees. No names — either of people making the comments or of people they commented about — were sent to the Game and Fish agency's private law firm, with today's significant exception. Today, the new report DOES reveal names of commissioners singled out for comment by employees.
To get to this new version, the report first went to the state agency's private law firm, which took care to be sure that other employees referenced in survey comments could not be identified. It is the firm's opinion that comments about the work of other employees amount to personnel records protected under the Freedom of Information Act. The commissioners, however, are not considered employees and so the private survey firm was pressed to release those names, which happened this time.
Here's the new version. Have fun. I encourage some crowd-sourcing on juicy bits.
For the legal nerds, here's the letter to me from Game and Fish explaining the process by which this was released under my FOI request.