WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Commerce)

Emily Corwin filed this request with the Department of Commerce of Kansas.

It is a clone of this request.

Multi Request WOTC database 08/04/21
Est. Completion Sept. 24, 2021
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Emily Corwin

Attention: Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Unit

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the The Kansas Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

1) All reports regarding Work Opportunity Tax Credits certified in 2019 and 2020 provided to the US Department of Labor, including forms 9058.
2) Any database tracking Work Opportunity Tax Credit certifications which is created or maintained by your department or by any third party vendor under contract with your department, preferably in .csv or .xlsx format. If it is easier, the database can be limited to the calendar or fiscal years ending in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
3) The most recent of any contracts with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications.

My goal is to ascertain which businesses and industries are applying for and/or receiving Work Opportunity Tax Credits, for which categories of employees and which occupations. If a conversation could help narrow or expedite the completion of this request, I am available at 802 233 4992 and emily_corwin@harvard.edu.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Emily Corwin

From: Department of Commerce

Ms. Corwin,

The Kansas Department of Commerce (Commerce) has received your first request for records pursuant to the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) dated August 31, 2021. Specifically, the records mentioned in your request include: All reports regarding Work Opportunity Tax Credits certified in 2019 and 2020 provided to the US Department of Labor, including forms 9058, any database tracking Work Opportunity Tax Credit certifications which is created or maintained by your department or by any third party vendor under contract with your department, and the most recent of any contracts with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications. Per statute, Commerce is required to act on KORA request within three business days after the day it was received. See K.S.A. 45-218(d). Please consider this message as notification of Commerce acting on your request for open records.

Due to the fact that we are currently working to identify and review any records which may be responsive to your request, Commerce needs additional time to respond to your request in full. While not all of your requested records may be available, we are committed to responding to your request as quickly as possible. The earliest date that records may be provided to you is September 20, 2021.

Amber Cabrera
Attorney
Kansas Department of Commerce
1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66612-1354
Phone: 785.296.1913
Fax: 785.296.6809

This e-mail, along with any documents, files, or attachments is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. It may contain information that is privileged, confidential, attorney work product, or otherwise protected from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or use of this information contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

From: Department of Commerce

To whom it may concern,

Unfortunately, the Kansas Department of Commerce is still currently working to identify and review any records which may be responsive to your request, Commerce needs additional time to respond to your request in full. While not all of your requested records may be available, we are committed to responding to your request as quickly as possible. The earliest date that records may be provided to you is September 24, 2021.

Amber

From: Emily Corwin

Hello,

I just wanted to follow up on this request and provide some additional context which may assist you in meeting your statutory requirements to disclose nonexempt responsive records.

For item 1, please note: the USDOL’s performance reports do not contain the level of state-level detail regarding occupational and wage data I seek, and are not an adequate substitute for these reports. View samples of responsive records from other states here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nm11juhxwes8a9m/AAA7K5aB-wVGqhLFKb40_J-Qa?dl=0

For item 2: The database I am seeking is likely what is used to populate forms 9058, mentioned in item 1. In particular, I am seeking the following fields for 2018-2020, in .csv or .xlsx formats.

Business name | Target group | Starting wage | Job position | Approved/denied | Application date

View samples of responsive records from other states here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nm11juhxwes8a9m/AAA7K5aB-wVGqhLFKb40_J-Qa?dl=0

For item 3: This request can be disregarded if records responsive to item #2 are provided as described above.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I can be reached at 802 233 4992.

Many thanks,
Emily Corwin

From: Department of Commerce

Good morning,

The Kansas Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) has finished processing your request for records pursuant to the Kansas Open Records Act (“KORA”). Your request included the following:

1. All reports regarding Work Opportunity Tax Credits certified in 2019 and 2020 provided to the US Department of Labor
2. Any database tracking Work Opportunity Tax Credit Certification which is created or maintained by your department or by any third party vendor under contract with your department
3. The most recent of any contract with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications

Commerce has gathered and reviewed the records subject to KORA that are responsive to your request. In order to receive your requested documents, you will be required to pay the balance of the actual costs of gathering and processing those documents. An invoice detailing the processing costs is attached to this message. After the payment of $158.00 has been received, the documents will be provided to you.

In regards to your request regarding any database tracking WOTC certification, Commerce directs you to Home Page - Kansas CertLink (kansaswotc.com). Unfortunately, Commerce is not in possession of “the most recent of any contract with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications.”

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you,

Amber Cabrera
Attorney
Kansas Department of Commerce
1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66612-1354
Phone: 785.296.1913
Fax: 785.296.6809

This e-mail, along with any documents, files, or attachments is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. It may contain information that is privileged, confidential, attorney work product, or otherwise protected from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or use of this information contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

From: Emily Corwin

Hi Amber,

Thank you for this. I have two questions for you.

First, does the invoiced payment pertain to records responsive to #1, #2, or both?

Second, your email says the amount due is $158, but the attachment says it is $98. Please advise.

Many thanks,
Emily

From: Department of Commerce

Hello Emily,

The invoiced payment pertains to records responsive to #1. The amount due is $98 as noted in the invoice. Apologies for the inconsistency. Thank you.

Amber

From: Emily Corwin

Many thanks, Amber.

Given that the invoice only pertains to item 1, can you provide me with an update on item #2? If this is being denied; on what basis (legal citations appreciated), etc. Please also note the email I sent on 9/24 just before you followed up with the invoice with additional details regarding item 2.

Many thanks.
Emily

From: Department of Commerce

K.S.A. 45-218(a) provides that all public records shall be open for inspection by any person and suitable facilities shall be made available by each public agency for this purpose. Records pertaining to Item #2 are open for inspection upon logging into the website that was previously provided. Moreover, the Kansas Department of Commerce is not obligated to reformat data to comply with a request. See A.G. Opinion No. 94-104.

Amber Cabrera
Attorney
Kansas Department of Commerce
1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66612-1354
Phone: 785.296.1913
Fax: 785.296.6809

This e-mail, along with any documents, files, or attachments is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. It may contain information that is privileged, confidential, attorney work product, or otherwise protected from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or use of this information contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

From: Emily Corwin

Hi Amber,

My apologies, I had not understood what that link was the first time you sent it.

I have logged in, selected a 1-year time frame and the "approved" status, but I get no results. It seems to take a very long time to load, but doesn't end up loading anything. Do I need some additional level of access? Or do you have any tech support people I might chat with?

As for the cost for item #1 -- please let me sit on this for a few days while I assess how this fits into my public records budget. I'm currently getting a lot of estimates in for different requests and need to stay inside my reporting budget.

Many thanks,
Emily

From: Department of Commerce

On October 4, 2021, The Kansas Department of Commerce (Commerce) spoke with a representative with your agency regarding the KORA request referenced in this email chain. Essentially your agency clarified that it was seeking a list in .csv or .xlsx format regarding data used to populate forms 9058, mentioned in item 1, for which your agency has received an invoice.

Commerce is not in possession of a database in the format you requested and is unable to grant your request for item 2. The amount of time and resources required to collect the information you requested and compile it in the format you requested would place an unreasonable burden on Commerce. Commerce would have to pull every application and type that information into a document. This process would involve reviewing over 1,000 documents and would likely require Commerce to hire a temporary worker to accomplish the task in order for Commerce staff to focus on accomplishing their general duties and responsibilities. Due to the overly burdensome nature of your request, Commerce is within its authority to refuse to provide you with access to its public records. See, K.S.A. $ 45-218(e). Moreover, the Kansas Department of Commerce is not obligated to reformat data to comply with a request. See A.G. Opinion No. 94-104. Despite this refusal, Commerce remains committed to enabling the open inspection of its records and encourages you to contact us for information on how to make more reasonable requests in the future.

Amber Cabrera
Attorney
Kansas Department of Commerce
1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66612-1354
Phone: 785.296.1913
Fax: 785.296.6809

This e-mail, along with any documents, files, or attachments is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. It may contain information that is privileged, confidential, attorney work product, or otherwise protected from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or use of this information contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

From: Amber Cabrera [KDC]
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2021 3:41 PM
To: requests@muckrock.com
Subject: RE: The Kansas Open Records Act Request: WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Commerce)

K.S.A. 45-218(a) provides that all public records shall be open for inspection by any person and suitable facilities shall be made available by each public agency for this purpose. Records pertaining to Item #2 are open for inspection upon logging into the website that was previously provided. Moreover, the Kansas Department of Commerce is not obligated to reformat data to comply with a request. See A.G. Opinion No. 94-104.

Amber Cabrera
Attorney
Kansas Department of Commerce
1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66612-1354
Phone: 785.296.1913
Fax: 785.296.6809

This e-mail, along with any documents, files, or attachments is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. It may contain information that is privileged, confidential, attorney work product, or otherwise protected from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or use of this information contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

From: requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com> <requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>>
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2021 1:55 PM
To: Amber Cabrera [KDC] <Amber.Cabrera@ks.gov<mailto:Amber.Cabrera@ks.gov>>
Subject: RE: The Kansas Open Records Act Request: WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Commerce)

EXTERNAL: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click any links or open any attachments unless you trust the sender and know the content is safe.

Department of Commerce
ORA Office
Suite 100
1000 Southwest Jackson Street
Topeka, KS 66612-1354

September 27, 2021

This is a follow up to a previous request:

Many thanks, Amber.

Given that the invoice only pertains to item 1, can you provide me with an update on item #2? If this is being denied; on what basis (legal citations appreciated), etc. Please also note the email I sent on 9/24 just before you followed up with the invoice with additional details regarding item 2.

Many thanks.
Emily

View request history, upload responsive documents, and report problems here:
https://www.muckrock.com/

Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 117173
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.

---

On Sept. 24, 2021:
Subject: RE: The Kansas Open Records Act Request: WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Commerce)
Hello Emily,

The invoiced payment pertains to records responsive to #1. The amount due is $98 as noted in the invoice. Apologies for the inconsistency. Thank you.

Amber
---

On Sept. 24, 2021:
Subject: RE: The Kansas Open Records Act Request: WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Commerce)
Hi Amber,

Thank you for this. I have two questions for you.

First, does the invoiced payment pertain to records responsive to #1, #2, or both?

Second, your email says the amount due is $158, but the attachment says it is $98. Please advise.

Many thanks,
Emily
---

On Sept. 24, 2021:
Subject: RE: The Kansas Open Records Act Request: WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Commerce)
Good morning,

The Kansas Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) has finished processing your request for records pursuant to the Kansas Open Records Act (“KORA”). Your request included the following:

1. All reports regarding Work Opportunity Tax Credits certified in 2019 and 2020 provided to the US Department of Labor
2. Any database tracking Work Opportunity Tax Credit Certification which is created or maintained by your department or by any third party vendor under contract with your department
3. The most recent of any contract with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications

Commerce has gathered and reviewed the records subject to KORA that are responsive to your request. In order to receive your requested documents, you will be required to pay the balance of the actual costs of gathering and processing those documents. An invoice detailing the processing costs is attached to this message. After the payment of $158.00 has been received, the documents will be provided to you.

In regards to your request regarding any database tracking WOTC certification, Commerce directs you to Home Page - Kansas CertLink (kansaswotc.com). Unfortunately, Commerce is not in possession of “the most recent of any contract with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications.”

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you,

Amber Cabrera
Attorney
Kansas Department of Commerce
1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66612-1354
Phone: 785.296.1913
Fax: 785.296.6809

This e-mail, along with any documents, files, or attachments is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. It may contain information that is privileged, confidential, attorney work product, or otherwise protected from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or use of this information contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

---

On Sept. 24, 2021:
Subject: RE: The Kansas Open Records Act Request: WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Commerce)
Hello,

I just wanted to follow up on this request and provide some additional context which may assist you in meeting your statutory requirements to disclose nonexempt responsive records.

For item 1, please note: the USDOL’s performance reports do not contain the level of state-level detail regarding occupational and wage data I seek, and are not an adequate substitute for these reports. View samples of responsive records from other states here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nm11juhxwes8a9m/AAA7K5aB-wVGqhLFKb40_J-Qa?dl=0

For item 2: The database I am seeking is likely what is used to populate forms 9058, mentioned in item 1. In particular, I am seeking the following fields for 2018-2020, in .csv or .xlsx formats.

Business name | Target group | Starting wage | Job position | Approved/denied | Application date

View samples of responsive records from other states here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nm11juhxwes8a9m/AAA7K5aB-wVGqhLFKb40_J-Qa?dl=0

For item 3: This request can be disregarded if records responsive to item #2 are provided as described above.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I can be reached at 802 233 4992.

Many thanks,
Emily Corwin
---

On Sept. 20, 2021:
Subject: RE: The Kansas Open Records Act Request: WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Commerce)
To whom it may concern,

Unfortunately, the Kansas Department of Commerce is still currently working to identify and review any records which may be responsive to your request, Commerce needs additional time to respond to your request in full. While not all of your requested records may be available, we are committed to responding to your request as quickly as possible. The earliest date that records may be provided to you is September 24, 2021.

Amber
---

On Aug. 4, 2021:
Subject: The Kansas Open Records Act Request: WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Commerce)
Attention: Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Unit

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the The Kansas Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

1) All reports regarding Work Opportunity Tax Credits certified in 2019 and 2020 provided to the US Department of Labor, including forms 9058.
2) Any database tracking Work Opportunity Tax Credit certifications which is created or maintained by your department or by any third party vendor under contract with your department, preferably in .csv or .xlsx format. If it is easier, the database can be limited to the calendar or fiscal years ending in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
3) The most recent of any contracts with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications.

My goal is to ascertain which businesses and industries are applying for and/or receiving Work Opportunity Tax Credits, for which categories of employees and which occupations. If a conversation could help narrow or expedite the completion of this request, I am available at 802 233 4992 and emily_corwin@harvard.edu<mailto:emily_corwin@harvard.edu>.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Emily Corwin

View request history, upload responsive documents, and report problems here:
https://www.muckrock.com/

Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 117173
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
[http://email.requests.muckrock.com/o/eJwNyksOwiAQANDTyJIwA1NgwYKaeA3Dr0qQkFLr-e3uLV52RAsrPdTPs2YHEi0oy95O0yIvxk1kILJhSxFAK4WIhFgUqw4FgrCowZAiyYEbrxHlYyW7etRmvSkxy36W43vwfqY2R2o8jc6m8z2Wye8hzjLD9drBX-P3B4nuKFA]

From: Emily Corwin

Hi Amber,

Thank you for this email. I have to admit I'm entirely baffled by it. You've shared with me a link to the database interface your department uses to track WOTC applications. It clearly allows individuals with permissions to use the search to view the following fields, and has a button to "download Excel file." (An Excel file is the same as an .xlsx):

Action| Employee Name | Certificate No | Status Change Date | Status | Employer Name | Target Group | Wage

As we discussed on our phone call, I am seeking the following fields from those listed above:

Status | Employer Name | Target Group | Wage

If available, I am also interested in the following fields:

Job position | Application date

Given that your department clearly maintains a database with the fields I am seeking and the functionality to download an .xlsx file, can you explain how you have concluded "Commerce is not in possession of a database in the format you requested and is unable to grant your request for item 2" ?

Many thanks,
Emily Corwin

From: Department of Commerce

Ms. Corwin,

Thank you for contacting the Kansas Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) concerning your Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), K.S.A. 45-215 et seq., request. We are writing in response to your June 13, 2022, communication requesting an update on your August 6, 2021, KORA request. In that request, you requested the following:

1. All reports regarding Work Opportunity Tax Credits certified in 2019 and 2020 provided to the US Department of Labor
2. Any database tracking Work Opportunity Tax Credit Certification which is created or maintained by your department or by any third party vendor under contract with your department
3. The most recent of any contract with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications

In a response sent to you on September 24, 2021, Commerce indicated that it had completed processing your request and found responsive records. For Item 1 of your KORA request, Commerce is charging a fee of $98, pursuant to K.S.A. 45-219(c). Upon receipt of payment, Commerce will provide you with records responsive to Item 1 of your KORA request. See K.S.A. 45-218(f).

For Item 2 of your KORA request, Commerce located responsive records that are publicly available at kansaswotc.com. All you need to do is create an account using the “Register” link located in the middle of the webpage. Follow the step by step instructions to create an account and you will have access to records responsive to Item 2 of your KORA request. It appears your have already done that and are able to review the responsive records. On October 4, 2021, Commerce spoke with a representative of your agency concerning the data format for records responsive to Item 1 of your KORA request. Unfortunately, Commerce does not maintain a responsive record that only includes the fields you detailed in your October 8, 2021, email. Commerce is not denying this portion of your KORA request; however, Commerce will not modify the record to only reflect the specific fields that you requested because modification would cause an undue burden on Commerce pursuant to K.S.A. 45-218(e). See also Kansas Attorney General Opinion 1994-104.

Unfortunately, Commerce does not have any records responsive to Item 3 of your request and is therefore unable to provide you with any responsive records to this portion of your KORA request.

In order to receive the records responsive to Item 1 of your KORA request, please remit payment in the amount of $98 to the Kansas Department of Commerce at 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66612-1354. If you do not remit payment by Tuesday, June 28, 2022, we will consider your KORA request closed.

We hope this provided some clarification. Thank you for contacting the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Thank you,

Sam

Samuel C. Blasi

Kansas Department of Commerce

Staff Attorney

sam.blasi@ks.gov

From: Emily Corwin

Hi Sam,

Thanks for this email. I no longer need item 1 so will not be sending payment for item 1. I do still need help with item 2.

Unfortunately, I have never had success using the website you have provided. As I mentioned in an email to Amber Cabrera on 9/27/21, I was previously able to login but could not view any search results upon logging in. Today I am entirely unable to log in whatsoever. I have reset my password, and am still consistently faced with an "Invalid login attempt" error when I try to login. I am using the login emilycorwin@gmail.com. See screenshots, attached.

Perhaps you can provide me with a login and password you have confirmed are both functional and have appropriate permissions to view the data requested.

Many thanks,
Emily Corwin
emilycorwin@gmail.com
802 233 4992

From: Department of Commerce

Ms. Corwin,

Thank you for contacting the Kansas Department of Commerce. We appreciate the follow up concerning your August 4, 2021, Kansas Open Records Act (“KORA”), 45-215 et seq., request. In your June 14, 2022, email, you indicated that you are no longer pursuing Item 1 of your request. Therefore, no fees are needed.

We apologize for any inconvenience you have had utilizing the website portal. I will contact our IT department to make sure there are no issues with your login information. I will provide an update to you no later than Friday, June 17, 2022. I will notify you in advance if that date will change for any reason.

Thank you for your patience as we work to fulfill your KORA request.
Thanks,
Sam

Samuel C. Blasi
Kansas Department of Commerce
Staff Attorney
sam.blasi@ks.gov

From: Department of Commerce

Ms. Corwin,

I am writing to provide you with an update concerning your August 4, 2021, Kansas Open Records Act (“KORA”) request. Our information technology department is currently looking into the issue you described concerning your ability to access the website. Please be patient with us as we continue working to complete your request. I will provide another update no later than Friday, June 24, 2022. I will notify you in advance if that date will change for any reason.

Thank you for your patience.
Thanks,
Sam

Samuel C. Blasi
Kansas Department of Commerce
Staff Attorney
sam.blasi@ks.gov<mailto:sam.blasi@ks.gov>
785-213-2296

From: Emily Corwin

Hi Sam,

I'm looking forward to hearing back about this today. Thanks!

Emily

From: Emily Corwin

Hi Sam,

I'm still hoping to get access to these records. Perhaps you can put me in touch with IT directly?

Many thanks,
Emily

802 233 4992

From: Department of Commerce

Ms. Corwin,

Apologies for the delay. I am writing to provide you with an update concerning your KORA request. IT has seemingly resolved the issue with your log in; however, in the course of resolving the issue we discovered that using the web portal would not give you access to the records you requested. Rather, it would grant you access to data, information, and records that you had uploaded to the portal. We are currently working to find a way to get you the records you requested. Our current approach is developing a manual report and then subsequent legal review. We are still checking the viability of this process (time, burden, and requestor fees). We will provide an update and hopefully an estimation of fees by July 5, 2022.

Again, we apologize for this delay. We appreciate your patience as we work diligently to fulfill your request if possible.

Thank you,
Sam

Samuel C. Blasi
Kansas Department of Commerce
Staff Attorney
sam.blasi@ks.gov<mailto:sam.blasi@ks.gov>
785-213-2296

From: Emily Corwin

Thanks, Sam.

Given the incredible delay, mistaken guidance and lack of communication on your end over the last 11 months -- and the fact that my deadline is now very imminent, I kindly ask that you waive fees and provide the requested data ASAP.

If a manual report is being created, I'd like to update the specific fields I am seeking: I am now seeking *only approved* WOTC applications certified in 2018, 2019 and 2020, with the following fields

Certificate No | Employer Name | Target Group | Wage | Certification date (If unavailable, then: Status Change Date )| Status (if both denials and approvals are included | Job position

Many thanks,
Emily
802 233 4992

From: Emily Corwin

Hi Sam,

Just checking in on this. When do you think the data will be ready?

Best,
Emily

From: Department of Commerce

Ms. Corwin,

Thank you for your various requests and follow-ups with the Kansas Department of Commerce (“Commerce”). Given the number of contacts, it seems appropriate to summarize our communications.

On August 31, 2021, you made a formal Kansas Open Records Act (“KORA”), K.S.A. 45-215 et seq., request for the following records:

All reports regarding Work Opportunity Tax Credits certified in 2019 and 2020 provided to the US Department of Labor, including forms 9058.
Any database tracking Work Opportunity Tax Credit certifications which is created or maintained by your department or by any third party vendor under contract with your department, preferably in .csv or .xlsx format. If it is easier, the database can be limited to the calendar or fiscal years ending in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The most recent of any contracts with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications.
On September 3, 2021, Commerce attorney Amber Cabrera responded to your request clarifying what records you requested and informing you that Commerce needed additional time to identify and review any records which may be responsive to your request.

On September 20, 2021, after receiving a status update email from you, Ms. Cabrera informed you that additional time was still needed. Further, she informed you that not all records may be available but that the earliest date Commerce could provide responsive records would be September 24, 2021.

On September 24, 2021, you provided a follow up email to further explain what information you were seeking. In addition, you clarified that the third portion of your request concerning “most recent of any contracts with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications” could be disregarded if responsive records would be duplicative to other items in your request. That same day, as you requested, Ms. Cabrera responded to your request indicating that records responsive to Item 1 would incur a fee of $98.00. She made it clear that payment of fees must proceed Commerce providing responsive records to you. Concerning Item 2 of your request, Ms. Cabrera directed you to kansaswotc.com where she believed you would have the ability to track WOTC certification. Commerce did not have any responsive records concerning Item 3 of your request.

On September 27, 2021, you responded to Ms. Cabrera asking for an update concerning item 2 of your request. Ms. Cabrera responded the same day and stated that records responsive to that portion of your request were available through the web portal, but also reminded you that Commerce is not obligated to reformat data to fulfill a request. In response, you indicated that you had trouble accessing the records online and that you needed time to decide if you wanted to pay the fee associated with Item 1 of your request.

On October 4, 2021, Ms. Cabrera sent a follow up email reiterating the email that she sent on September 24, 2021. Also on October 4, 2021, Ms. Cabrera spoke with a representative of your agency concerning your KORA request and followed up on October 7, 2021, with an email documenting that conversation. In that October 8, 2021, email, she again confirmed that Commerce was waiting to receive payment of the fee associated with Item 1 of your KORA request. She then confirmed that the amount of time and resources required to fulfill Item 2 of your KORA request would impose an unreasonable burden on Commerce and the agency would therefore be unable to fulfill the request pursuant to K.S.A. 45-218(e).

On October 8, 2021, despite having received Ms. Cabrera’s email closing Items 2 and 3 of your KORA request and approximately every two (2) weeks thereafter, you sent an email requesting a status update of your KORA request referencing the September 24, 2021 email.

Despite the fact that you had received responses after the September 24, 2022, email, and going above and beyond what KORA requires, on June 13, 2022, I responded to the most recent of your status update requests and provided you with another status update. Namely, Commerce was waiting to receive payment for responsive records to Item 1, that we could only offer you records for Item 2 that were available through the web portal of kansaswotc.com, and that we had no responsive records to Item 3 of your KORA request.

On June 14, 2022, you responded to my email indicating that you were no longer interested in Item 1 of your KORA request and stating that you were having issues logging into kansaswotc.com. After looking further into the login issue you mentioned, I discovered that even a successful login attempt would not yield the records that were responsive to Item 2 of your KORA request.

On June 29, 2022, I provided a status update concerning the login issue. I explained that the web portal would not yield the expected results. Beyond Commerce’s obligations under the KORA, I indicated that Commerce was considering an alternative to try and fulfill Item 2 of your request instead of referring your request to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration as other states have done. However, I made it clear that it may not be possible due to the burden placed on Commerce which would require committing significant time and resources to the project, all of which was consistent with the correspondence you had with Ms. Cabrera last year.

On June 30, 2022, you responded to my June 29, 2022, email requesting waiver of fees and a more customized record to be created to fulfill Item 2 of your KORA request. After reviewing the functionality of the database and the amount of time and resources Commerce would need to dedicate to fulfill Item 2 of your KORA request, Commerce must respectfully deny Item 2 of your KORA request pursuant to K.S.A. 45-218(e). Because Item 2 was the only remaining portion of your August 4, 2021, KORA request, Commerce will consider this matter closed.

Thank you,

Samuel C. Blasi

Kansas Department of Commerce

Attorney

sam.blasi@ks.gov

785-213-2296

Files

pages

Close