21:0529(71)CA - DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HEADQUARTERS, AIR FORCE LOGISTICS COMMAND, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO; AND DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, OGDEN AIR LOGISTICS CENTER, HILL AIR FORCE BASE, UTAH and AFGE, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1592 -- 1986 FLRAdec CA



[ v21 p529 ]
21:0529(71)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 21 FLRA NO. 71



   DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HEADQUARTERS, AIR FORCE LOGISTICS
COMMAND, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO;  AND DEPARTMENT OF THE
AIR FORCE, OGDEN AIR LOGISTICS CENTER, HILL AIR FORCE BASE, UTAH

   Respondents

                     and                   Case No. 7-CA-40682

   AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1592

   Charging Party

                           DECISION AND ORDER

                        I.  Statement of the Case

   This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority because the
General Counsel filed exceptions to the Decision of the Administrative
Law Judge which dismissed the complaint.  The Respondent filed an
opposition.  The case arose as a result of the Respondents' refusal to
supply the Charging Party with certain documents relating to employee
misuse of time clocks, which the Union had requested in connection with
the processing of a grievance.  The request for information was made
under the provisions of section 7114(b)(4) of the Federal Service
Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute).  The refusal is
alleged to have violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute.
 The issue is whether, in the facts of this case, the information
requested was normally maintained, reasonably available, and necessary
to enable the exclusive representative to fulfill its representational
obligations.

                               II.  Facts

   The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1592
(Union) is an affiliate member of AFGE Council 214, the exclusive
representative of a nationwide bargaining unit of nonsupervisory and
nonprofessional employees of the Air Force Logistics Command which
encompasses employees located at Hill Air Force Base.

   The grievance which gave rise to the information request in this case
arose as the result of a one-day suspension given to a unit employee for
punching in his supervisor's time card on several occasions while the
supervisor was parking a car used by them in a car pool.  On June 5,
1984, the Union requested from Respondent Hill Air Force Base "(a) copy
of any and all records, from bargaining unit members and managers,
throughout AFLC, in regards to misuse of time clocks and the
disciplinary action proposed as a result of such." It was noted that the
records sought would be used for the purpose of "Grievance processing or
other representational activity."

   Three or four days after receipt of the June 5 request, the
Respondent called the Union seeking to clarify the nature of the
information sought.  As found by the Judge, the Union repeated its
request for the records of all AFLC disciplinary actions and decisions
relating to the misuse of time clocks in order to process the grievance
in question, making it clear that the Union was seeking records of all
AFLC disciplinary actions relating to the misuse of time clocks.  The
Judge found that the Union did not otherwise limit its request.
Although the Union testified that it needed the disciplinary records to
ascertain whether or not the penalty imposed on the unit employee
conformed to the parties' negotiated agreement and relevant portions of
Air Force Regulation 40-750, entitled "Discipline and Adverse Actions,"
its request was phrased in broad language "(t)o obtain all the records,
not just the ones that management wanted to send up," and the Union
conceded that "misuse of time clocks" could refer to a number of
possible violations other than the one involved in the grievance at
issue.

   The information sought by the Union is located throughout the Air
Force Logistics Command which consists of seven separate field
activities.  Each of the field activities has a Central Civilian
Personnel Office which maintains records of proposed and final
disciplinary actions for a three-year period.  The Judge noted in detail
the facts concerning records requested and the amount of time and staff
work which would be necessary to produce the information.  In addition,
the facts, as found by the Judge, show that files maintained on unit
employees by over 6,000 supervisors contain certain kinds of discipline
for time clock misuse, and found that the Union's request contemplated
the production of these files.  Respondent Hill Air Force Base denied
the information request, stating that it did not maintain the
information sought and that the request did not "meet the criteria of 5
USC 7114(b)(4)."

                III.  Administrative Law Judge's Decision

   The Judge concluded that the General Counsel did not sustain the
burden of proving that the data sought was reasonably available and
necessary within the meaning of section 7114(b)(4)(B) of the Statute for
the purpose of processing a grievance.  Therefore, he recommended
dismissal of the complaint.  In reaching this result, he found that the
Union's request for information included all disciplinary records from
all elements of the Air Force Logistics Command relating in any way to
the misuse of time clocks, a request so broad that it encompassed
circumstances and violations far different from the specific one
involved in the grievance in this case.  In addition, the Judge found
that as the Air Force regulations for penalties do not require
"mathematical rigidity," in his opinion a comparison of penalties would
not be relevant and necessary to processing the grievance, despite the
guiding principle of "like penalties for like offenses in like
circumstances." He also determined that the information was not
reasonably available because it would require a search of the "hundreds
of disciplinary files" in seven different locations and the individual
files maintained by more than 6,000 first level supervisors.

                 IV.  Exceptions to the Judge's Decision

   The General Counsel excepted to a number of the Judge's findings of
fact which led to disagreement with his findings and conclusions.

                              V.  Analysis

   The Authority finds, in agreement with the Judge's conclusion, that
the information request by the Union was too broad because it sought
data which was neither reasonably available nor necessary for the
processing of the grievance involved in this case.  While management
requested clarification of the information sought, the Union
nevertheless did not limit its request for all disciplinary records
relating to the misuse of time clocks.  This request could have included
information contained in personnel files maintained by over 6,000 first
level supervisors, as well as hundreds of disciplinary files from the
various civilian personnel offices.  Moreover, because the request was
so general, it sought data about proposed and imposed disciplinary
actions for offenses other than the one involved in the grievance.
Thus, the Authority agrees with the Judge that the request was so broad
that much of the data sought was unnecessary to the processing of the
grievance, /1/ and additionally was not reasonably available.  It should
be emphasized, however, that a narrowly framed request for information
about proposed and actual disciplinary actions in like circumstances
might have been deemed to be necessary, and that a request for necessary
data separately maintained in the Personnel Offices of the various
facilities where unit employees are located might have been deemed
reasonably available.  See Department of Defense Dependents Schools,
Washington, D.C. and Department of Defense Dependents Schools, Germany
Region, 19 FLRA No. 96 (1985), petition for review filed sub nom. North
Germany Area Council, Overseas Education Association v. FLRA, No.
85-1595 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 20, 1985).

                             VI.  Conclusion

   Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
and section 7118 of the Statute, the Authority has reviewed the rulings
made by the Judge at the hearing, finds that no prejudicial error was
committed, and thus affirms the rulings.  The Authority has considered
the Judge's Decision and the entire record, including the parties'
contentions, and, except as noted, adopts the Judge's findings,
conclusions and recommended Order.  Therefore, we shall dismiss the
complaint.

                                  ORDER

   IT IS ORDERED that the complaint in Case No. 7-CA-40682 be, and it
hereby is, dismissed.

   Issued, Washington, D.C., April 29, 1986.
                                      /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                      /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                      FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY


FOOTNOTE 21 FLRA NO. 71 -- Authority's Decision

   (1) The Authority does not agree with the Judge's finding that "the
comparison of penalties imposed by a diverse group of AFLC management
officials in different environments would not be relevant and necessary
to the processing of the . . . grievance." Rather, given the general
mandate of "like penalties for like offenses in like circumstances," the
Authority would find such data necessary for the Union to fulfill its
representational duties if the information related to discipline of unit
employees for similar offenses.



--------------------------------------- 
--------------------------------------- 
--------------------------------------- 
--------------------------------------- 
--------------------------------------- 


   DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, HEADQUARTERS, AIR FORCE LOGISTICS
COMMAND, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO;  AND DEPARTMENT OF THE
AIR FORCE, OGDEN AIR LOGISTICS CENTER, HILL AIR FORCE BASE, UTAH

   Respondents

                   and                     Case No. 7-CA-40682

   AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1592

   Charging Party




   Clare A. Jones, Esquire
   For the Respondents

   Joseph Swerdzewski, Esquire
   Michael Farley, Esquire
   For the General Counsel

   William Harper, Esquire
   For the Charging Party

   Before:  LOUIS SCALZO
   Administrative Law Judge

                                DECISION

                          Statement of the Case

   This case arose as an unfair labor practice proceeding under the
provisions of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, 92
Stat. 1191, 5 U.S.C. Section 7101, et seq. (hereinafter referred to as
"the Statute"), and the Rules and Regulations issued thereunder.

   The complaint alleged that on or about June 12, 1984, and thereafter,
the Department of the Air Force, Headquarters, Air Force Logistics
Command, (AFLC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio;  and Department
of the Air Force, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah
(Respondents), have refused to supply the American Federation of
Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1592 (Charging Party or Union),
with certain documents relating to employee misuse of time clocks.  It
was further alleged that the request was appropriately made under the
provisions of Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute, and that such refusal
constituted violations of Sections 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the
Statute.

   Counsel representing the Respondents contends that the General
Counsel failed to establish a violation of Section 7114(b)(4), and
argues that the record does not reflect by a preponderance of the
evidence that the information sought was necessary for the performance
of Union representational responsibilities;  or that it was reasonably
available.  Lastly, the Respondents contend that any obligation to
provide the Union with the information was satisfied by the furnishing
of certain documents after the filing of the charge.  /1/

   The parties were represented by counsel during the hearing and were
afforded full opportunity to be heard, adduce relevant evidence, and
examine and cross-examine witnesses.  Based upon the entire record
herein, including exhibits, and other relevant evidence adduced at the
hearing, and briefs filed by the parties, I make the following findings
of fact, conclusions and recommendations.  /2/

                            Findings of Fact

     Information Request Relating to Employee Misuse of Time Clocks

   The American Federation of Government Employees, Council 214, is the
exclusive representative of a nation-wide bargaining unit of
nonsupervisory and nonprofessional employees of the AFLC.  Certain
employees in these categories at the Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill
Air Force Base, Utah are included in the unit.  At all times material
herein, the Union was an affiliate member of Council 214, and an agent
of the Council and AFGE.  (G.C. Exh. Nos. 1(c), 1(d), and 13;  Tr. 21).

   The grievance which gave rise to the information request arose as a
result of a disciplinary action brought against Harry Dubach, a Hill Air
Force Base employee and bargaining unit member.  Dubach received a
"Notice of Proposed Suspension" dated April 11, 1984 for punching in his
supervisor's time card on several occasions while the supervisor was
engaged in parking a car used in a carpool.  (G.C. Exh. No. 2).  The
Notice proposed that Dubach be suspended for one day.  /3/ Dubach sought
Union representation in connection with the matter, and an informal
grievance was pursued in an effort to reduce the proposed one-day
suspension.  (Tr. 22-23).  However, Dubach's Foreman decided to carry
out the proposed penalty.  A May 23, 1984, "Decision to Suspend" letter
issued, and Dubach served the suspension on May 25, 1984.  (G.C. Exh.
No. 3, Tr. 23).

   Under the provisions of Article 5 of the Master Labor Agreement
governing the labor relations of the Union and management officials at
Hill Air Force Base, the term "disciplinary action" is defined as "oral
admonishment, written reprimands, suspensions, and removals." (G.C. Exh.
No. 13, at page 16, Section 5.01(a)).  The agreement reflects that
discipline is the responsibility of the Employer;  and that disciplinary
actions, "shall be based on just cause and (shall be) in accordance with
applicable regulations." (G.C. Exh. No. 13, at page, 16, Section
5.01(b)).

   Air Force Regulation 40-750, dated July 23, 1982, defines
"disciplinary action" in substantially the same terms as the Master
Labor Agreement.  (G.C. Exh. No. 5, Section A, Paragraph (2)(g)).
First-level supervisors have been delegated authority to take
disciplinary action.  (G.C. Exh. No. 5, Section A, Paragraph (6);  Tr.
30, 59).  Section F, Paragraph (34)(a) of Air Force Regulation 40-750
provides:

         a.  Governing Criteria.  In determining the appropriate
      penalty, management observes the principle of "like penalties for
      like offenses in like circumstances." This means that penalties
      will be applied as consistently as possible considering the
      particular circumstances of the cause of disciplinary action.  It
      does not mean that penalties will be applied with " . . .
      mathematical rigidity or perfect consistency regardless of
      variations in circumstance or changes in prevailing regulations,
      standards, or mores," (Douglas v. Veterans Administration, et al.,
      MSPB Decision No. AT075299006, 10 April 1981).  The penalty
      selected should not be disproportionate to the offense, should
      contribute to the solution of the problem and to the attainment of
      an effective management environment, and should take into
      consideration all relevant penalty selection factors.

   Section F, Paragraph 34(b) of Air Force Regulation 40-750 lists some
factors that may be relevant in penalty selection, and a "Guide to
Disciplinary Actions" is provided as an attachment to Air Force
Regulation 40-750.  The Guide lists typical penalties for various
offenses.  The one-day suspension imposed on Dubach was consistent with
the "Guide to Disciplinary Actions." (Tr. 61-62).

   After issuance of the "Decision to Suspend," the Union's
representational role was undertaken by Brent Weyland, a Union Steward.
Through Weyland, Dubach pursued his effort to effect a reduction of the
penalty;  and with this objective in view the Union, by letter dated
June 5, 1984, submitted an information request to E. Riley Skeen, Chief
of Labor Relations, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base.
(G.C. Exh. No. 4).  It requested the following:

         A copy of any and all records, from bargaining unit members and
      managers, throughout AFLC, in regards to misuse of time clocks and
      the disciplinary action proposed as a result of such.

   It was noted that the records would be used for the purpose of
"Grievance processing or other representational activity."

   Initially management had difficulty in understanding the June 5th
letter.  The unlimited request for "any and all records throughout
AFLC," regarding the "misuse of time clocks," included a very broad and
far-ranging category of documents.  (Tr. 98).  /4/


 Clarification of Information Request by Hill Air Force Base Staff Judge
Advocate General's Office


   Under the terms of a settlement agreement reached in April of 1984 by
the Charging Party and the Ogden Air Logistics Center in another
unrelated case, the Respondents were obligated to either grant the
information request, deny the request with supporting reasons, or
request clarification to determine the nature of information requested.
(G.C. Exh. No. 14 at paragraph 3, Tr. 165).  Accordingly, three or four
days after receipt of the June 5th request, and before denial of the
request and the filing of the charge, S. Reed Murdock, Chief of General
Law, Hill Air Force Base Staff Judge Advocate, phoned Weyland for
clarification, and to inquire concerning the nature of the information
sought.  /5/ (Tr. 32, 69-70, 90-91).  Weyland explained that the
information was needed in connection with the processing of the Dubach
grievance.  (Tr. 86).  Weyland made it clear to Murdock that he was
seeking records of all AFLC disciplinary actions and decisions relating
to the misuse of time clocks.  (Tr. 25, 32-33, 55, 70, 77, 90).  /6/
Weyland did not otherwise limit the request, and did not advise Murdock
that the Union did not wish to obtain relevant "971 files" dealing with
disciplinary actions taken in connection with the misuse of time clocks.
 (Tr. 57, 70, 84, 89).  /7/ Murdock stated that he had "a better
picture" of what Weyland was requesting and the conversation ended.
(Tr. 77).

   Weyland testified that he requested the disciplinary records to
ascertain whether or not the penalty imposed upon Dubach conformed to
general criteria outlined in Section 5.01(a) of the Master Labor
Agreement, and relevant portions of Air Force Regulation 40-750.  (Tr.
31).  He wanted to compare the penalty imposed on Dubach with penalties
in other similar cases in the AFLC to ascertain whether or not Dubach's
penalty was unduly severe.  (Tr. 31, 49).  His request was phrased in
broad language "(t)o obtain all the records, not just the ones that
management wanted to send up." (Tr. 57).  He acknowledged that
disciplinary records relating to the misuse of time clocks involved a
general category of violations and that a "myriad" number of "time card
type violations" might be involved.  (Tr. 55-56).  He also admitted that
the phrase "misuse of time clocks" involved a number of possible
violations other than the offense specifically involved in the Dubach
disciplinary action.


          Information Request Denied and Formal Grievance Filed


   By letter dated June 12, 1984, Kay Self, Acting Chief, Hill Air Force
Base, Employee Relations Section, Civilian Personnel Branch, denied the
information request.  (G.C. Exh. No. 6).  The denial noted that Self's
office did not maintain the information sought, and that the request did
not "meet the criteria of 5 USC 7114(b)(4)." /8/

   On June 14, 1984, Weyland filed a formal second-step grievance on
Dubach's behalf.  (G.C. Exh. No. 7, Tr. 35).  He requested that the
one-day suspension be overturned because of unfairness, and suggested
that a written reprimand be issued as a penalty.  The one-day suspension
was thereafter affirmed at the second and third stages of the grievance
procedure.  (G.C. Exh. Nos. 8, 9, and 10).


                   Facts Concerning Records Requested


   Information sought by the Union is located throughout the Air Force
Logistics Command, consisting of seven separate field activities.  (Tr.
99, 125).  /9/ Each of the Air Force Logistics Centers are roughly
comparable to Hill Air Force Base.  (Tr. 129).  It was estimated that it
would take more than three months to respond to a request for records
relating to just one type of disciplinary action.  (Tr. 135).  It would
be necessary to divide the request down into component parts in order to
reach the systems of records involved, and then the AFLC Headquarters
would have to mandate necessary compliance.  Field activities would have
to receive instructions concerning the gathering of the information, and
the processing of the information for eventual return to the Ogden Air
Force Logistics Center.  The procedure would necessarily involve
instructing personnel office staff and supervisors;  preparation of
instructions;  dissemination of instructions and guidance to Air Force
Logistics Command field activities;  searching of files and records;
sanitizing records where warranted;  processing and transmitting
information to the Air Force Logistics Command Headquarters;  collation
of information;  preparation for delivery to Hill Air Force Base;  and
the actual transmission of the information to the Union.  (Tr. 134-135).

   Records sought are maintained in part in Central Civilian Personnel
Offices servicing Air Force Logistics Command installations.  (Tr. 25,
41).  These offices maintain records of proposed disciplinary actions,
and decisions on such proposals for a three-year period.  (Tr. 105, 125,
151-153).  Other relevant documents embraced within the wide scope of
the request are also maintained in these files stored in Central
Civilian Personnel Offices.  (Tr. 155-157).

   Central Civilian Personnel Office case files are retained for a
three-year period.  (Tr. 126).  They are maintained by year in
alphabetical order by name.  Files are not established by subject or
offense involved.  (Tr. 127, 152-154).  The system would not permit
direct retrieval of time clock violations.  Alphabetical systems of case
files relating to each calendar year would have to be screened to locate
the disciplinary records sought.  (Tr. 152-154).  The screening would
have to be meticulous to avoid overlooking time clock violations in
cases involving multiple charges.  (Tr. 155).  Each Central Civilian
Personnel Office would have to screen several hundred case files in
order to respond to the request.  (Tr. 125-126).

   By its terms the request also contemplated the production of 971
Files reflecting disciplinary action relating to the misuse of time
clocks.  Oral admonishments for such offenses would be reflected in 971
Files.  (Tr. 100, 124, 132, 151).  Since 971 Files are maintained for a
prescribed period by first-level supervisors, the request would
necessarily involve the screening of these files to locate relevant
documents.  (Tr. 124, 152-153).  The screening of AFLC 971 Files
maintained by approximately 6,000 supervisors in several different
installations would involve an estimated cost of more than $30,000.
(Tr. 124-125, 129-132).  The process would involve 2,000 supervisors at
Hill Air Force Base alone.  (Tr. 100).


                       Discussion and Conclusions


   Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute provides in pertinent part:

         "(b) The duty of an agency and an exclusive representative to
      negotiate in good faith under subsection (a) of this section shall
      include the obligation --

                      . . .


         "(4) in the case of an agency, to furnish to the exclusive
      representative involved, or its authorized representative, upon
      request and, to the extent not prohibited by law, data --

         "(A) which is normally maintained by the agency in the regular
      course of business;

         "(B) which is reasonably available and necessary for full and
      proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects
      within the scope of collective bargaining;  and

         "(C) which does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or
      training provided for management officials or supervisors,
      relating to collective bargaining . . . . "

   Authority decisions have made it clear that management must furnish a
Union with data needed by a union to carry out representational
obligations relating to the processing of a grievance, provided the
information sought meets criteria prescribed in Section 7114(b)(4).
Failure to furnish such information constitutes an unfair labor
practice.  However, an analysis of the facts presented in this case
discloses that the complaint must be dismissed because the information
sought does not fall within the purview of Section 7114(b)(4).  Here the
record failed to reveal a showing that the information sought was
"necessary" for the purpose of processing a grievance.  Such a showing
is essential.  Internal Revenue Service, Buffalo District, Buffalo, New
York, 7 FLRA No. 102 (1982), 7 FLRA 654;  United States Customs Service,
Region IV, Miami, Florida, 3 FLRA No. 127 (1980), 3 FLRA 876;  and
Department of the Navy, Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport Naval
Base, 3 FLRA No. 64 (1980), 3 FLRA 413.  The record also revealed that
the information sought was not "reasonably available."

   The broad scope of the request is reflected in the Union's insistence
upon the production of disciplinary records from all elements of the
AFLC.  An attempt by management to clarify the Union's request was only
partially successful.  At most the clarification resulted in limiting
the request to AFLC records.  /10/ As modified the request still
operated to include all disciplinary records relating to the misuse of
time clocks even though this record category also related to types of
disciplinary action unlike the specific charge involved in the Dubach
grievance.  The Union's avowed purpose in obtaining the records was to
determine whether the penalty imposed on Dubach was unusually severe.
The Dubach matter involved an employee punching a time card on behalf of
his supervisor.  The record clearly established that the phrase "misuse
of time clocks," used in the request, could have included a large number
of offenses unlike the offense of punching a time clock on behalf of
another employee.  Such information would not be "necessary" in
connection with the Union's processing of the Dubach grievance.

   Air Force Regulation 40-750, specifically mandated that managers
follow the general principle of "like penalties for like offenses in
like circumstances." Information concerning violations other than one
associated with the Dubach grievance would not have assisted the Union
because there would be no logical basis upon which to base a comparison
of penalties.

   Assuming that the request were in fact limited to violations
involving the punching of a time card on behalf of another employee, it
still would not be possible to conclude that it would be "necessary" to
furnish all AFLC records of such infractions.  Air Force Regulation
40-750 specifically provides that the principle guiding management in
fashioning penalties, "does not mean that penalties will be applied with
' . . . mathematical rigidity or perfect consistency regardless of
variations in circumstances or changes in prevailing regulations,
standards, or mores.'" In light of the foregoing, the comparison of
penalties imposed by a widely diverse group of AFLC management officials
in different environments would not be relevant and necessary to the
processing of the Dubach grievance.  /11/

   As noted, the Union's request for any and all AFLC disciplinary
records dealing with the misuse of time clocks was overly broad, and
included a very large variety of documents ordinarily maintained in such
files.  Hundreds of disciplinary files maintained in AFLC Central
Civilian Personnel Offices in seven different locations, and 971 files
maintained by over 6,000 AFLC supervisors, were identified as possible
sources of documents sought.  All of these files would have to be
meticulously screened in order to comply with the request.  Inasmuch as
files are not maintained by type of disciplinary action, the task of
screening these files would be unusually burdensome.  /12/ The screening
of AFLC 971 files alone would involve an expenditure in excess of
$30,000.  It would take over three months to process the entire request.
 Compliance would impose an extremely heavy administrative burden on
AFLC Headquarters personnel.  The broad scope of the request, together
with attendant factors related to production of documents sought leads
to the conclusion that in the special circumstances presented the
documents were not "reasonably available." This case is unlike the
factual pattern presented in Social Security Administration, 15 FLRA No.
180 (1984), 15 FLRA 969, where a similar defense was rejected because of
a failure to show that compliance with a request would be unduly
burdensome.  Here, the record reflects the unusual difficulty that
management would encounter in complying with the request.

   This element of the request would have had to be apparent to the
Union.  Moreover, even if the apparent burdensomeness was not sufficient
to put the Union on notice, the Respondent's denial clearly indicated to
the Union that documents sought did "not meet the criteria of 5 U.S.C.
7114(b)(4)." Among other things, Section 7114(b)(4) imposes the
requirement that data requested be "reasonably available." Thus, the
Union was apprised of deficiencies in the request within a short period
of time, but took no action to limit the request in appropriate ways.

   In summary the information request herein goes far beyond what would
be needed by the Union to process the Dubach grievance.  The request is
much broader in scope than what would reasonably be needed to fulfill
the Union's representational obligations.  Management's attempt to
obtain clarification of the request was met with a demand for most, if
not all of the documents originally requested.  The Union was thereafter
generally apprised of Respondents' reasons for denying the request.
About a week after receipt of the information request, management
apprised the Union that the documents sought did not meet criteria set
out in Section 7114(b)(4).  The Union made no further effort to modify
the request, or to establish a showing of relevance and necessity, nor
was inquiry made by the Union concerning the matter in order to perfect
the request made.

   The nature of the request was finally made clear;  however, the
overly broad scope of the demand placed management in the position of
having to engage in speculation and conjecture concerning exactly which
documents to furnish to the Union.  /13/ The task of complying with the
Union's request under the circumstances would have necessarily involved
management's revision of the request so as to include only documents
which were reasonably available and necessary for the purpose of
enabling the Union to perform representational activity.

   Although it would have been advisable for the parties to negotiate
their differences at this point, it is not possible to impute blame to
Respondents for the failure to pursue further efforts to reach
agreement;  nor is it possible to find wrongdoing on the part of
Respondents for not volunteering to furnish information of some sort to
the Union prior to the filing of the charge.  It is true that a more
reasoned approach by either party might have made a significant
difference, and might have led to a resolution of the matter prior to
the filing of a charge.  However, this determination does not affect the
disposition herein.

   Under the circumstances outlined it is concluded that the General
Counsel has not sustained the burden of showing that the data sought was
"reasonably available and necessary" within the meaning of Section
7114(b)(4)(B);  and further that the evidence does not establish
violations of Sections 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) as alleged in the
complaint.

   It is recommended that the Authority issue the following Order
pursuant to 5 C.F.R. Section 2422.29.

                                  ORDER

   IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that the complaint in Case No. 7-CA-40682, be,
and it hereby is, dismissed.
                                      /s/ LOUIS SCALZO
                                      Administrative Law Judge

   Dated:  April 16, 1985

   Washington, D.C.





FOOTNOTES 21 FLRA NO. 71 -- ALJ's DECISION

   (1) Following the filing of the charge on July 26, 1984,
representatives of the Union and Respondents engaged in settlement
discussions to resolve issues generated by the charge.  As a result of
these settlement discussions, certain Hill Air Force Base disciplinary
records were supplied to the Union.  Evidence relating to these
settlement discussions was introduced by counsel representing the
General Counsel in an effort to establish that the production of all
similar AFLC records would not be burdensome.  (Tr. 72-74).  This
evidence was not otherwise questioned by opposing counsel.  Copies of
documents supplied to the Union after the filing of the charge and
copies of related correspondence were made a part of the record as G.C.
Exh. Nos. 11, 11(a), 11(b), 11(c), 11(d), 11(e), 11(f), 11(g), 11(h),
11(i), 11(j), 11(k), 11(l), and 12.

   Testimony and documents relating to settlement discussions occurring
after the filing of the charge herein is deemed to be admissible only
insofar as it relates to the remedy sought by the General Counsel,
inasmuch as the Respondent argued that obligations imposed by Section
7114(b)(4) were fully met by production of relevant Hill Air Force Base
disciplinary records after the filing of the charge.  However, such
evidence is not otherwise admissible, and should not have been received
without appropriate limitation.  It is well settled that evidence
pertaining to settlement discussions may not be utilized to prove the
truth or falsity of any allegations set out in the complaint.  U.S.
Department of the Air force, Norton Air Force Base, A/SLMR No. 261
(1973), 3 A/SLMR 175;  Directorate of Facility Engineers, Fort
Richardson, Alaska, A/SLMR No. 946 (1977), 7 A/SLMR 1046;  General
Services Administration, National Archives and Records Service, A/SLMR
No. 1113 (1978), 8 A/SLMR 979;  National Labor Relations Board and its
General Counsel and National Labor Relations Board, Region 29, A/SLMR
No. 1143, 8 A/SLMR 1197, aff'd, 1 FLRA No. 28 (1979), 1 FLRA 220.  The
fact that the parties involved offered such evidence or otherwise
acquiesced concerning its admission would not operate to modify the
rules outlined in authorities cited.  Accordingly, such evidence and
argument relating thereto have been given no consideration for the
purpose of determining the truth or falsity of the allegations of the
complaint.

   (2) Counsel representing the General Counsel moved to correct errors
in the hearing transcript.  Under authority reflected in 5 C.F.R.
Section 2423.19(r), the proposed corrections are approved.

   (3) The supervisor was also subjected to disciplinary action for
involvement in the practice.

   (4) Weyland's testimony established that the reference to records
"from bargaining unit members" was a mistake and that the letter should
have referred to records "on bargaining unit members." (Tr. 55).  This
error was not specifically corrected by the Union.  However, as a result
of clarification hereinafter described it became clear to Hill Air Force
Base officials that the request contemplated AFLC records only, and not
records obtained "from bargaining unit members."

   (5) It is clear that the Murdock call was initiated in an attempt to
ascertain more detail concerning documents sought by the Union.  Counsel
representing the General Counsel acknowledged that the Murdock call was
an attempt to clarify an ambiguous request, and that after the call the
Respondents were aware of the nature of the records being sought.  (Tr.
74-75, 109-110).  Testimony concerning the call was supplied by Weyland.
 Murdock was unable to recall the conversation.  (Tr. 163-164).

   (6) By its terms the request was also designed to include relevant
disciplinary records pertaining to managers.

   (7) Weyland admitted that the request could have been interpreted as
incluDing "Air Force Forms 971's (sic)" (Tr. 71-72), and as noted the
apparent scope of the request would have included such forms.  These
documents were described as Air Force records maintained for each
employee by supervisors for a specific period to document significant
information.  Weyland acknowledged that these records would have been
helpful to him in connection with the processing of the Dubach
grievance.  (Tr. 93-94).  Weyland indicated that he was endeavoring to
show that an oral admonishment would have been a more appropriate
penalty, and oral admonishments, a form of disciplinary action, would
have been reflected in 971 files.  (Tr. 86-87, 92-93, 151, 153).

   (8) Self was not directly involved in handling the request.  She
merely signed the denial as a responsible official.  (Tr. 96-97, 101).

   (9) Included were Hill Air Force Base containing the Ogden Air
Logistics Center, four other Air Force Logistics Centers, the 2750th Air
Base Wing that hosts the Air Force Logistics Command Headquarters;  and
the Aerospace Ground Metrology Center.

   (10) See Footnotes 4 and 5, supra.

   (11) In the context of this case it is unnecessary to determine the
precise limitations which the Union should have, or could have, placed
upon documents requested i