Disbursements to NAGE/SEIU 5000 inclusive of FY2011-2014

john sites filed this request with the Office of the State Treasurer of Massachusetts.
Tracking # SPR14:456
Status
Completed

Communications

From: john sites

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and agency fee disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union during FY 2011, FY 20112, FY 2013, and FY 2014.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

john sites

From: Robbins, Emily (TRE)

Dear Mr. Sites,

I am writing on behalf of the Department of the State Treasurer
("Treasury") in follow-up to your below public records request for the
"Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and
agency fee disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union
during FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014."

Upon due diligence by Treasury staff, the Treasury has confirmed that
it has no paper documents responsive to your request and also that it is
not the custodian of the Massachusetts Management Accounting and
Reporting System (MMARS) where such information may be electronically
maintained. As such, the Treasury has no records responsive to your
request and is not the proper Commonwealth department to respond to your
request.

Please know, however, that it may be possible for you to access such
payment information online at the Massachusetts Open Checkbook Website.
Hopefully you may be able to find the information you are seeking there.
http://opencheckbook.itd.state.ma.us/analytics/saw.dll?Dashboard.

Finally, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns
and certainly feel free to reach out to the Treasury again with any
future requests.

Sincerely,
Emily Robbins



Emily J. Robbins, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: (617) 367-3900, ext. 317
Fax: (617) 367-3645

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:
This email message and any attachments are confidential and may be
protected by the attorney-client privilege or attorney work product
doctrine. If you are not the intended recipient, you have received
this
email inadvertently. Please destroy and do not save this email, any
attachments and all copies thereof.
>>> john sites <requests@muckrock.com> 7/15/2014 11:11
AM >>>

July 15, 2014
Office of the State Treasurer
Emily Robbins
Treasurer's Office
One Ashburton Place, 12th floor
Boston, MA 02108

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I
hereby request the following records:

Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and
agency fee disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union
during FY 2011, FY 20112, FY 2013, and FY 2014.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this
request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by
the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public
free of charge as part of the public information service at
MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and
is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including
for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to
read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for
example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 10
calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

john sites

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

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 12472
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly
addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News)
requests might be returned by the USPS as undeliverable.

From: john sites

I hereby appeal the constructive denial of my public records request to the state Treasurer's office as outlined below:

On July 15, 2014 I requested of the state Treasurer's office the following Public Records:

Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and agency fees disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union during FY 2011, FY 20112, FY 2013, and FY 2014.

On July 25th I received a reply from:

Emily J. Robbins, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: (617) 367-3900, ext. 317
Fax: (617) 367-3645

Ms. Robbins' carefully parsed reply is provided below:

"Upon due diligence by Treasury staff, the Treasury has confirmed that
it has no paper documents responsive to your request and also that it is
not the custodian of the Massachusetts Management Accounting and
Reporting System (MMARS) where such information may be electronically
maintained. As such, the Treasury has no records responsive to your
request and is not the proper Commonwealth department to respond to your
request."

Here are some points in reply to Ms. Robbins denial of access to the requested records:

1) I did not limit my request to "paper documents."
According to the Supervisors Guide to Public records; "The statutory definition of public records does not distinguish between paper records and electronically stored information (ESI) Rather, the law provides that all information made or received by a public entity, regardless of the manner in which it exists, constitutes public records. A records custodian is obliged to furnish copies of non exempt portions of computerized information at the cost of reproduction, unless otherwise provided by law."

As such, the purported lack of "paper documents" is irrelevant.

2) In spite of Ms. Robbins claim that the State Treasurer is not the "custodian" of the requested records, my reading of M.G.L. Chapter 180 Sec. 17A convinces me that the Treasurer is most certainly the proper custodian of the records, because the Treasurer makes the payments to the Union(s); quoting the law in pertinent part:

"Chapter 180, Section 17A. Deductions on pay-roll schedules may be made from the salary of any state, county or municipal employee of any amount which such employee may specify in writing to any state, county or municipal officer, or the head of the state, county or municipal department, board or commission, by whom or which he is employed, for the payment of union dues to an association of state, county or municipal employees......

The state treasurer,.....shall deduct from the salary of such employee such amount of union dues......and transmit the sum so deducted to the treasurer of said association...."

When the Treasurer transmits the Union Dues to to the Union, whether it is by check or Electronic funds transfer, an electronically stored record of that disbursement/transmittal remittance is created...(by the Treasurer's action in approving and making the transmittal). ....absent any claimed exemption (none claimed) those records are public records.

Since the Treasurer makes those payments through MMARS (this is what Ms. Robins implies) then the Treasurer has access to those electronic records which it created.... as does any user of the MMARS system (have access to the records it creates.)

3) Ms. Robbins would refer me to the "custodian of MMARS" (Mass Accounting system) which I believe to be the state Comptroller. As it happens, I have already requested the same records from the Comptroller.... they also claim that no such records exist! Therefore I have moved on to the Treasurer who makes the actual remittance/disbursement to the unions (according to state law.)

4) Ms Robbins would also refer me to the Mass Open Checkbook web site (the Comptroller also referred me to Open Checkbook)....."where it may be possible for me to find such information"
As both the Treasurer and the Comptroller should well know (as Co-sponsors of Open checkbook,) the requested records do no exist in Open Checkbook because they have not been put there by the Sponsoring departments.

5) It strains credulity to think that neither the Comptroller, (responsible for keeping the Commonwealths books) nor the Treasurer, (with statutory responsibility for transmitting the dues to SEIU 5000/NAGE) somehow manages to transmit union dues totalling $20million + per year (by rough reckoning) to a Union without creating any public records of such transactions.....

Please let me know whether you take up my appeal.

Thanks very much for your attention to this matter.

John Sites

From: MuckRock

Supervisor of Records
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
McCormack Building, Room 1719
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108

August 7, 2014

I hereby appeal the constructive denial of my public records request to the state Treasurer's office as outlined below:

On July 15, 2014 I requested of the state Treasurer's office the following Public Records:

Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and agency fees disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union during FY 2011, FY 20112, FY 2013, and FY 2014.

On July 25th I received a reply from:

Emily J. Robbins, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: (617) 367-3900, ext. 317
Fax: (617) 367-3645

Ms. Robbins' carefully parsed reply is provided below:

"Upon due diligence by Treasury staff, the Treasury has confirmed that it has no paper documents responsive to your request and also that it is not the custodian of the Massachusetts Management Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS) where such information may be electronically maintained. As such, the Treasury has no records responsive to your request and is not the proper Commonwealth department to respond to your request."

Here are some points in reply to Ms. Robbins denial of access to the requested records:

1) I did not limit my request to "paper documents."
According to the Supervisors Guide to Public records; "The statutory definition of public records does not distinguish between paper records and electronically stored information (ESI) Rather, the law provides that all information made or received by a public entity, regardless of the manner in which it exists, constitutes public records. A records custodian is obliged to furnish copies of non exempt portions of computerized information at the cost of reproduction, unless otherwise provided by law."

As such, the purported lack of "paper documents" is irrelevant.

2) In spite of Ms. Robbins claim that the State Treasurer is not the "custodian" of the requested records, my reading of M.G.L. Chapter 180 Sec. 17A convinces me that the Treasurer is most certainly the proper custodian of the records, because the Treasurer makes the payments to the Union(s); quoting the law in pertinent part:

"Chapter 180, Section 17A. Deductions on pay-roll schedules may be made from the salary of any state, county or municipal employee of any amount which such employee may specify in writing to any state, county or municipal officer, or the head of the state, county or municipal department, board or commission, by whom or which he is employed, for the payment of union dues to an association of state, county or municipal employees......

The state treasurer,.....shall deduct from the salary of such employee such amount of union dues......and transmit the sum so deducted to the treasurer of said association...."

When the Treasurer transmits the Union Dues to to the Union, whether it is by check or Electronic funds transfer, an electronically stored record of that disbursement/transmittal remittance is created...(by the Treasurer's action in approving and making the transmittal). ....absent any claimed exemption (none claimed) those records are public records.

Since the Treasurer makes those payments through MMARS (this is what Ms. Robins implies) then the Treasurer has access to those electronic records which it created.... as does any user of the MMARS system (have access to the records it creates.)

3) Ms. Robbins would refer me to the "custodian of MMARS" (Mass Accounting system) which I believe to be the state Comptroller. As it happens, I have already requested the same records from the Comptroller.... they also claim that no such records exist! Therefore I have moved on to the Treasurer who makes the actual remittance/disbursement to the unions (according to state law.)

4) Ms Robbins would also refer me to the Mass Open Checkbook web site (the Comptroller also referred me to Open Checkbook)....."where it may be possible for me to find such information"
As both the Treasurer and the Comptroller should well know (as Co-sponsors of Open checkbook,) the requested records do no exist in Open Checkbook because they have not been put there by the Sponsoring departments.

5) It strains credulity to think that neither the Comptroller, (responsible for keeping the Commonwealths books) nor the Treasurer, (with statutory responsibility for transmitting the dues to SEIU 5000/NAGE) somehow manages to transmit union dues totalling $20million + per year (by rough reckoning) to a Union without creating any public records of such transactions.....

Please let me know whether you take up my appeal.

Thanks very much for your attention to this matter.

John Sites

From: Office of the State Treasurer

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Office of the State Treasurer

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

From: Robbins, Emily (TRE)

Dear Mr. Sites:

I am writing on behalf of the Department of the State Treasurer in connection with your July 15, 2014 public records request and in follow-up to our telephone conversation on August 12, 2014. During our discussion on August 12th, which also included Treasury General Counsel Cathy Judd-Stein and Treasury Chief Financial Officer Minot Powers, you were able to better define the parameters of your July 15, 2014 public records request.

Based on the Treasury's new understanding of your public records request, Treasury staff felt that the Treasury may indeed be able to provide you with responsive records. Treasury staff has been successful in this endeavor. Attached please find records responsive to your request. It is the Treasury's understanding that the code "TRC" stands for the Trial Court and that the code "SDB" stands for the Berkshire Sheriff's Department. Please be advised that no costs have been assessed in connection with your public records request because the time and costs associated with producing the attached document was minimal. Note however, that the Treasury reserves the right to assess costs in connection with any future public records requests.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at (617) 367-3900, ext. 317.

Sincerely,
Emily Robbins

Emily J. Robbins, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: (617) 367-3900, ext. 317
Fax: (617) 367-3645

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:
This email message and any attachments are confidential and may be
protected by the attorney-client privilege or attorney work product
doctrine. If you are not the intended recipient, you have received this
email inadvertently. Please destroy and do not save this email, any
attachments and all copies thereof.

From: Office of the State Treasurer

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on July 7, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #SPR14:456.

Thank you for your help.

From: Robbins, Emily (TRE)

Dear Mr. Sites,

It appears that you may not have received my earlier e-mail sent on August 27, 2014, with the information responsive to your public records request. I have re-attached that e-mail here.

Please confirm your receipt of this e-mail and certainly feel free to call me directly if for some reason the attachment does not make it to you or if you have any questions. My number is (617) 367-3900/9333 ext. 317.

Sincerely,
Emily Robbins

Emily J. Robbins, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: (617) 367-3900, ext. 317
Fax: (617) 367-3645

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:
This email message and any attachments are confidential and may be
protected by the attorney-client privilege or attorney work product
doctrine. If you are not the intended recipient, you have received this
email inadvertently. Please destroy and do not save this email, any
attachments and all copies thereof.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hi John,

I wanted to let you know that the Treasurer's Office is requesting that you confirm receipt of the materials related to this request: https://www.muckrock.com/foi/massachusetts-1/disbursements-to-nageseiu-5000-inclusive-of-fy2011-2014-12472/. Typically I could respond on your behalf, but I want to be sure that you are receiving the records you want.

Let me know if I can help!
Beryl

From: John Sites

OK, thanks.
I acknowledge that the Treasurer's Office response to my public records request is !00% responsive. I also acknowledge that the Treasurer did not charge me for the records, for which I am grateful. Though we had a brief misunderstanding of my request at first, on balance I found the Treasurer's office completely forthright, open and a pleasure to do business with.
Thanks very much.

From: Cathy Judd-Stein

Great. Thank you, John. And thank you for your thoughtful words.

Cathy

Cathy M. Judd-Stein
General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 367-9333, Ext. 233
cjudd-stein@tre.state.ma.us

From: Judd-Stein, Cathy (TRE)

Good Afternoon:

Our office responded to your request in August shortly after our conference call with you. I wonder if perhaps Emily Robbins' email did not make its way through your filter in your email account or if another technical mishap occurred.

Please see Ms. Robbins' email that she sent to you earlier today, after discussing with me.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to either Emily or me with any questions. Thank you.

Best wishes,
Cathy Judd-Stein

Cathy M. Judd-Stein
General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 367-9333, Ext. 233
cjudd-stein@tre.state.ma.us

>>> <requests@muckrock.com> 10/6/2014 5:00 AM >>>

October 6, 2014
Office of the State Treasurer
Emily Robbins
Treasurer's Office
One Ashburton Place, 12th floor
Boston, MA 02108
This is a follow up to request number SPR14:456:
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on July 7, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #SPR14:456.
Thank you for your help.
---
On Sept. 19, 2014:
A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.
---
On Aug. 27, 2014:
Dear Mr. Sites:

I am writing on behalf of the Department of the State Treasurer in connection with your July 15, 2014 public records request and in follow-up to our telephone conversation on August 12, 2014. During our discussion on August 12th, which also included Treasury General Counsel Cathy Judd-Stein and Treasury Chief Financial Officer Minot Powers, you were able to better define the parameters of your July 15, 2014 public records request.

Based on the Treasury's new understanding of your public records request, Treasury staff felt that the Treasury may indeed be able to provide you with responsive records. Treasury staff has been successful in this endeavor. Attached please find records responsive to your request. It is the Treasury's understanding that the code "TRC" stands for the Trial Court and that the code "SDB" stands for the Berkshire Sheriff's Department. Please be advised that no costs have b! een assessed in connection with your public records request because the time and costs associated with producing the attached document was minimal. Note however, that the Treasury reserves the right to assess costs in connection with any future public records requests.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at (617) 367-3900, ext. 317.
Sincerely,
Emily Robbins

Emily J. Robbins, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: (617) 367-3900, ext. 317
Fax: (617) 367-3645

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:
This email message and any attachments are confidential and may be
protected by the attorney-client privilege or attorney work product
doctrine. If you are not the intended recipient, you have received this
email inadvertently. Please destroy and do not save this email, any
attachments and all copies thereof.
---
On Aug. 26, 2014:
A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.
---
On Aug. 25, 2014:
A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.
---
On Aug. 7, 2014:
Supervisor of Records
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
McCormack Building, Room 1719
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
August 7, 2014
I hereby appeal the constructive denial of my public records request to the state Treasurer's office as outlined below:
On July 15, 2014 I requested of the state Treasurer's office the following Public Records:
Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and agency fees disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union during FY 2011, FY 20112, FY 2013, and FY 2014.
On July 25th I received a reply from:
Emily J. Robbins, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: (617) 367-3900, ext. 317
Fax: (617) 367-3645
Ms. Robbins' carefully parsed reply is provided below:
"Upon due diligence by Treasury staff, the Treasury has confirmed that it has no paper documents responsive to your request and also that it is not the custodian of the Massachusetts Management Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS) where such information may be electronically maintained. As such, the Treasury has no records responsive to your request and is not the proper Commonwealth department to respond to your request."
Here are some points in reply to Ms. Robbins denial of access to the requested records:
1) I did not limit my request to "paper documents."
According to the Supervisors Guide to Public records; "The statutory definition of public records does not distinguish between paper records and electronically stored information (ESI) Rather, the law provides that all information made or received by a public entity, regardless of the manner in which it exists, constitutes public records. A records custodian is obliged to furnish copies of non exempt portions of computerized information at the cost of reproduction, unless otherwise provided by law."
As such, the purported lack of "paper documents" is irrelevant.
2) In spite of Ms. Robbins claim that the State Treasurer is not the "custodian" of the requested records, my reading of M.G.L. Chapter 180 Sec. 17A convinces me that the Treasurer is most certainly the proper custodian of the records, because the Treasurer makes the payments to the Union(s); quoting the law in pertinent part:
"Chapter 180, Section 17A. Deductions on pay-roll schedules may be made from the salary of any state, county or municipal employee of any amount which such employee may specify in writing to any state, county or municipal officer, or the head of the state, county or municipal department, board or commission, by whom or which he is employed, for the payment of union dues to an association of state, county or municipal employees......
The state treasurer,.....shall deduct from the salary of such employee such amount of union dues......and transmit the sum so deducted to the treasurer of said association...."
When the Treasurer transmits the Union Dues to to the Union, whether it is by check or Electronic funds transfer, an electronically stored record of that disbursement/transmittal remittance is created...(by the Treasurer's action in approving and making the transmittal). ....absent any claimed exemption (none claimed) those records are public records.
Since the Treasurer makes those payments through MMARS (this is what Ms. Robins implies) then the Treasurer has access to those electronic records which it created.... as does any user of the MMARS system (have access to the records it creates.)
3) Ms. Robbins would refer me to the "custodian of MMARS" (Mass Accounting system) which I believe to be the state Comptroller. As it happens, I have already requested the same records from the Comptroller.... they also claim that no such records exist! Therefore I have moved on to the Treasurer who makes the actual remittance/disbursement to the unions (according to state law.)
4) Ms Robbins would also refer me to the Mass Open Checkbook web site (the Comptroller also referred me to Open Checkbook)....."where it may be possible for me to find such information"
As both the Treasurer and the Comptroller should well know (as Co-sponsors of Open checkbook,) the requested records do no exist in Open Checkbook because they have not been put there by the Sponsoring departments.
5) It strains credulity to think that neither the Comptroller, (responsible for keeping the Commonwealths books) nor the Treasurer, (with statutory responsibility for transmitting the dues to SEIU 5000/NAGE) somehow manages to transmit union dues totalling $20million + per year (by rough reckoning) to a Union without creating any public records of such transactions.....
Please let me know whether you take up my appeal.
Thanks very much for your attention to this matter.
John Sites
---
On Aug. 5, 2014:
I hereby appeal the constructive denial of my public records request to the state Treasurer's office as outlined below:
On July 15, 2014 I requested of the state Treasurer's office the following Public Records:
Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and agency fees disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union during FY 2011, FY 20112, FY 2013, and FY 2014.
On July 25th I received a reply from:
Emily J. Robbins, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: (617) 367-3900, ext. 317
Fax: (617) 367-3645
Ms. Robbins' carefully parsed reply is provided below:
"Upon due diligence by Treasury staff, the Treasury has confirmed that
it has no paper documents responsive to your request and also that it is
not the custodian of the Massachusetts Management Accounting and
Reporting System (MMARS) where such information may be electronically
maintained. As such, the Treasury has no records responsive to your
request and is not the proper Commonwealth department to respond to your
request."
Here are some points in reply to Ms. Robbins denial of access to the requested records:
1) I did not limit my request to "paper documents."
According to the Supervisors Guide to Public records; "The statutory definition of public records does not distinguish between paper records and electronically stored information (ESI) Rather, the law provides that all information made or received by a public entity, regardless of the manner in which it exists, constitutes public records. A records custodian is obliged to furnish copies of non exempt portions of computerized information at the cost of reproduction, unless otherwise provided by law."
As such, the purported lack of "paper documents" is irrelevant.
2) In spite of Ms. Robbins claim that the State Treasurer is not the "custodian" of the requested records, my reading of M.G.L. Chapter 180 Sec. 17A convinces me that the Treasurer is most certainly the proper custodian of the records, because the Treasurer makes the payments to the Union(s); quoting the law in pertinent part:
"Chapter 180, Section 17A. Deductions on pay-roll schedules may be made from the salary of any state, county or municipal employee of any amount which such employee may specify in writing to any state, county or municipal officer, or the head of the state, county or municipal department, board or commission, by whom or which he is employed, for the payment of union dues to an association of state, county or municipal employees......
The state treasurer,.....shall deduct from the salary of such employee such amount of union dues......and transmit the sum so deducted to the treasurer of said association...."
When the Treasurer transmits the Union Dues to to the Union, whether it is by check or Electronic funds transfer, an electronically stored record of that disbursement/transmittal remittance is created...(by the Treasurer's action in approving and making the transmittal). ....absent any claimed exemption (none claimed) those records are public records.
Since the Treasurer makes those payments through MMARS (this is what Ms. Robins implies) then the Treasurer has access to those electronic records which it created.... as does any user of the MMARS system (have access to the records it creates.)
3) Ms. Robbins would refer me to the "custodian of MMARS" (Mass Accounting system) which I believe to be the state Comptroller. As it happens, I have already requested the same records from the Comptroller.... they also claim that no such records exist! Therefore I have moved on to the Treasurer who makes the actual remittance/disbursement to the unions (according to state law.)
4) Ms Robbins would also refer me to the Mass Open Checkbook web site (the Comptroller also referred me to Open Checkbook)....."where it may be possible for me to find such information"
As both the Treasurer and the Comptroller should well know (as Co-sponsors of Open checkbook,) the requested records do no exist in Open Checkbook because they have not been put there by the Sponsoring departments.
5) It strains credulity to think that neither the Comptroller, (responsible for keeping the Commonwealths books) nor the Treasurer, (with statutory responsibility for transmitting the dues to SEIU 5000/NAGE) somehow manages to transmit union dues totalling $20million + per year (by rough reckoning) to a Union without creating any public records of such transactions.....
Please let me know whether you take up my appeal.
Thanks very much for your attention to this matter.
John Sites
---
On July 25, 2014:
Dear Mr. Sites,

I am writing on behalf of the Department of the State Treasurer
("Treasury") in follow-up to your below public records request for the
"Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and
agency fee disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union
during FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014."

Upon due diligence by Treasury staff, the Treasury has confirmed that
it has no paper documents responsive to your request and also that it is
not the custodian of the Massachusetts Management Accounting and
Reporting System (MMARS) where such information may be electronically
maintained. As such, the Treasury has no records responsive to your
request and is not the proper Commonwealth department to respond to your
request.

Please know, however, that it may be possible for you to access such
payment information online at th! e Massachusetts Open Checkbook Website.
Hopefully you may be able to find the information you are seeking there.
http://opencheckbook.itd.state.ma.us/analytics/saw.dll?Dashboard.

Finally, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns
and certainly feel free to reach out to the Treasury again with any
future requests.

Sincerely,
Emily Robbins

Emily J. Robbins, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Department of the State Treasurer
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: (617) 367-3900, ext. 317
Fax: (617) 367-3645

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>>> john sites <requests@muckrock.com> 7/15/2014 11:11
AM >>>
July 15, 2014
Office of the State Treasurer
Emily Robbins
Treasurer's Office
One Ashburton Place, 12th floor
Boston, MA 02108
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I
hereby request the following records:
Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and
agency fee disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union
during FY 2011, FY 20112, FY 2013, and FY 2014.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this
request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by
the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public
free of charge as part of the public information service at
MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and
is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.
I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including
for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to
read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for
example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 10
calendar days, as the statute requires.
Sincerely,
john sites
Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com
For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 12472
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819
PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly
addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News)
requests might be returned by the USPS as undeliverable.
---
On July 15, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:
Records and reports which include the Date and Amount of union dues and agency fee disbursed from the Commonwealth to the NAGE/SEIU 5000 union during FY 2011, FY 20112, FY 2013, and FY 2014.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.
I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.
Sincerely,
john sites
Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com
For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 12472
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819
PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News) requests might be returned by the USPS as undeliverable.

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