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 ]
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 in order to assure compliance with Section 7114(b)(4). (12) It should also be noted that the Union's request was not in any way limited as to time frame. (13) See Director of Administration, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, 6 FLRA No. 24 (1981), 6 FLRA 110, wherein the Authority affirmed the dismissal of a complaint based on Section 7114(b)(4), for refusing to furnish information in response to an overly broad data request calling for much more than what would have been needed by a union to administer or police a collective bargaining agreement.