THE CONNECTICUT FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

AS CODIFIED IN CHAPTER 14 OF CONNECTICUT GENERAL STATUTES

(INCLUDING 2010 AMENDMENTS)*

 

 

            Sec. 1-200.  (Formerly Sec. 1-18a).  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, except where such terms are used in a context which clearly indicates the contrary:

 

            (1)  “Public agency” or “agency” means: (A) Any executive, administrative or legislative office of the state or any political subdivision of the state and any state or town agency, any department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official of the state or of any city, town, borough, municipal corporation, school district, regional district or other district or other political subdivision of the state, including any committee of, or created by, any such office, subdivision, agency, department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official, and also includes any judicial office, official, or body or committee thereof but only with respect to its or their administrative functions; (B) Any person to the extent such person is deemed to be the functional equivalent of a public agency pursuant to law; or (C) Any “implementing agency”, as defined in section 32-222.

 

            (2)  “Meeting” means any hearing or other proceeding of a public agency, any convening or assembly of a quorum of a multimember public agency, and any communication by or to a quorum of a multimember public agency, whether in person or by means of electronic equipment, to discuss or act upon a matter over which the public agency has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power.  “Meeting” does not include:  Any meeting of a personnel search committee for executive level employment candidates; any chance meeting, or a social meeting neither planned nor intended for the purpose of discussing matters relating to official business; strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining; a caucus of members of a single political party notwithstanding that such members also constitute a quorum of a public agency; an administrative or staff meeting of a single-member public agency; and communication limited to notice of meetings of any public agency or the agendas thereof.  A quorum of the members of a public agency who are present at any event which has been noticed and conducted as a meeting of another public agency under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act shall not be deemed to be holding a meeting of the public agency of which they are members as a result of their presence at such event.           

 

            (3)  “Caucus” means (A) a convening or assembly of the enrolled members of a single political party who are members of a public agency within the state or a political subdivision, or (B) the members of a multimember public agency, which members constitute a majority of the membership of the agency, or the other members of the agency who constitute a minority of the membership of the agency, who register their intention to be considered a majority caucus or minority caucus, as the case may be, for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, provided (i) the registration is made with the office of the Secretary of the State for any such public agency of the state, in the office of the clerk of a political subdivision of the state for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state, or in the office of the clerk of each municipal member of any multitown district or agency, (ii) no member is registered in more than one caucus at any one time, (iii) no such member's registration is rescinded during the member's remaining term of office, and (iv) a member may remain a registered member of the majority caucus or minority caucus regardless of whether the member changes his or her party affiliation under chapter 143.

 

(4)  “Person” means natural person, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association or society.

 

            (5)  “Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

 

            (6)  “Executive sessions” means a meeting of a public agency at which the public is excluded for one or more of the following purposes:  (A)  Discussion concerning the appointment, employment, performance, evaluation, health or dismissal of a public officer or employee, provided that such individual may require that discussion be held at an open meeting;  (B)  strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency or a member thereof, because of the member’s conduct as a member of such agency, is a party until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled;  (C)  matters concerning security strategy or the deployment of security personnel, or devices affecting public security;  (D)  discussion of the selection of a site or the lease, sale or purchase of real estate by a political subdivision of the state when publicity regarding such site, lease, sale, purchase or construction would cause a likelihood of increased price until such time as all of the property has been acquired or all proceedings or transactions concerning same have been terminated or abandoned; and  (E)  discussion of any matter which would result in the disclosure of public records or the information contained therein described in subsection (b) of section 1-210.

 

            (7)  “Personnel search committee” means a body appointed by a public agency, whose sole purpose is to recommend to the appointing agency a candidate or candidates for an executive-level employment position.  Members of a “personnel search committee” shall not be considered in determining whether there is a quorum of the appointing or any other public agency.

 

            (8)  “Pending claim” means a written notice to an agency which sets forth a demand for legal relief or which asserts a legal right stating the intention to institute an action in an appropriate forum if such relief or right is not granted.

 

            (9)  “Pending litigation” means  (A)  a written notice to an agency which sets forth a demand for legal relief or which asserts a legal right stating the intention to institute an action before a court if such relief or right is not granted by the agency;  (B)  the service of a complaint against an agency returnable to a court which seeks to enforce or implement legal relief or a legal right;  or (C)  the agency's consideration of action to enforce or implement legal relief or a legal right.

 

            (10)  “Freedom of Information Act” means this chapter.

 

(11)  “Governmental function” means the administration or management of a program of a public agency, which program has been authorized by law to be administered or managed by a person, where (A) the person receives funding from the public agency for administering or managing the program, (B) the public agency is involved in or regulates to a significant extent such person’s administration or management of the program, whether or not such involvement or regulation is direct, pervasive, continuous or day-to-day, and (C) the person participates in the formulation of governmental policies or decisions in connection with the administration or management of the program and such policies or decisions bind the public agency.  “Governmental function” shall not include the mere provision of goods or services to a public agency without the delegated responsibility to administer or manage a program of a public agency.  (P.A. 75-342, 1; P.A. 77-421; P.A. 77-609, 1; P.A. 83-67, 1; P.A. 83-372; P.A. 84-546, 3; P.A. 87-568, 1; P.A. 90-307, 2; P.A. 91-140, 1; P.A. 93-195, 1; P.A. 95-79, 2; P.A. 97-47, 1; P.A. 00-136, 1; P.A. 01-169, 1; P.A. 02-130, 17.)

           

Sec. 1-201.  (Formerly Sec. 1-19c).  Division of Criminal Justice deemed not to be public agency, when.  For the purposes of subdivision (1) of section 1-200, the Division of Criminal Justice shall not be deemed to be a public agency except in respect to its administrative functions.  (P.A. 84-406, 12; P.A. 00-66, 4.)

 

            Sec. 1-202.  (Formerly Sec. 1-20e).  Application of freedom of information provisions to agency committee composed entirely of individuals who are not members of the agency.  Any public agency may petition the Freedom of Information Commission before establishing a committee of the public agency which is to be composed entirely of individuals who are not members of the agency, to determine whether such committee may be exempted from the application of any provision of the Freedom of Information Act.  If the commission, in its judgment, finds by reliable, probative and substantial evidence that the public interest in exempting the committee from the application of any such provision clearly outweighs the public interest in applying the provision to the committee, the commission shall issue an order, on appropriate terms, exempting the committee from the application of the provision.  (P.A. 93-195, 2; P.A. 97-47, 7.)

 

Secs. 1-203 and 1-204.  Reserved for future use.

 

Sec. 1-205.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21j).  Freedom of Information Commission.  (a)  There shall be a Freedom of Information Commission consisting of five members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of either house of the General Assembly, who shall serve for terms of four years from the July first of the year of their appointment, except that of the members appointed prior to and serving on July 1, 1977, one shall serve for a period of six years from July 1, 1975, one shall serve for a period of four years from July 1, 1975, and one shall serve for a period of six years from July 1, 1977.  Of the two new members first appointed after July 1, 1977, one shall serve from the date of such appointment until June 30, 1980, and one shall serve from the date of such appointment until June 30, 1982.  No more than three members shall be members of the same political party.

 

            (b)  Each member shall receive two hundred dollars per day for each day such member is present at a commission hearing or meeting, and shall be entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in connection therewith, in accordance with the provisions of section 4-1.

 

            (c)  The Governor shall select one of its members as a chairman.  The commission shall maintain a permanent office at Hartford in such suitable space as the Commissioner of Public Works provides.  All papers required to be filed with the commission shall be delivered to such office.

 

            (d)  The commission shall, subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act promptly review the alleged violation of said Freedom of Information Act and issue an order pertaining to the same.  Said commission shall have the power to investigate all alleged violations of said Freedom of Information Act and may for the purpose of investigating any violation hold a hearing, administer oaths, examine witnesses, receive oral and documentary evidence, have the power to subpoena witnesses under procedural rules adopted by the commission to compel attendance and to require the production for examination of any books and papers which the commission deems relevant in any matter under investigation or in question.  In case of a refusal to comply with any such subpoena or to testify with respect to any matter upon which that person may be lawfully interrogated, the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford, on application of the commission, may issue an order requiring such person to comply with such subpoena and to testify; failure to obey any such order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof.

 

            (e)  The Freedom of Information Commission, and the Department of Information Technology with respect to access to and disclosure of computer-stored public records, shall conduct training sessions, at least annually, for members of public agencies for the purpose of educating such members as to the requirements of sections 1-7 to 1-14, inclusive, 1-16 to 1-18, inclusive, 1-200 to 1-202, inclusive, 1-205, 1-206, 1-210 to 1-217, inclusive, 1-225 to 1-232, inclusive, 1-240, 1-241 and 19a-342.

 

            (f)  Not later than December 31, 2001, the Freedom of Information Commission shall create, publish and provide to the chief elected official of each municipality a model ordinance concerning the establishment by a municipality of a municipal freedom of information advisory board to facilitate the informed and efficient exchange of information between the commission and such municipality.  The commission may amend the model ordinance from time to time.

 

(g)  When the General Assembly is in session, the Governor shall have the authority to fill any vacancy on the commission, with the advice and consent of either house of the General Assembly.  When the General Assembly is not in session any vacancy shall be filled pursuant to the provisions of section 4-19.  A vacancy in the commission shall not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the commission and three members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

 

            (h)  The commission shall, subject to the provisions of chapter 67, employ such employees as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.  The commission may enter into such contractual agreements as may be necessary for the discharge of its duties, within the limits of its appropriated funds and in accordance with established procedures.

 

            (i)  The Freedom of Information Commission shall not be construed to be a commission or board within the meaning of section 4-9a.  (P.A. 75-342, 15; P.A. 77-609, 7; P.A. 77-614, 73; P.A. 78-280, 8; P.A. 78-315, 3; P.A. 79-560, 1; P.A. 79-575, 1; P.A. 86-390, 1, 2; P.A. 87-496, 5; P.A. 88-230, 1; P.A. 89-251, 57; P.A. 90-98, 1; P.A. 91-347, 3; P.A. 93-142, 4, 7; P.A. 95-220, 4-6; P.A. 97-47, 13; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-9, 27, 50; P.A. 00-136, 8, 10; P.A. 06-187, 69; P.A. 07-202, 13.)

 

            Sec. 1-205a.  Recommended appropriations.  Allotments.  (a)  Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, the appropriations recommended for the Freedom of Information Commission, as established in section 1-205, shall be the estimates of expenditure requirements transmitted to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management by the executive director of the commission and the recommended adjustments and revisions of such estimates shall be the recommended adjustments and revisions, if any, transmitted by said executive director to the Office of Policy and Management.

 

            (b)  Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, the Governor shall not reduce allotment requisitions or allotments in force concerning the Freedom of Information Commission.  (P.A. 04-204, 11.)

 

            Sec. 1-206.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21i).  Denial of access to public records or meetings.  Appeals.  Notice.  Orders.  Civil penalty.  Service of process upon commission.  Frivolous appeals.  (a)  Any denial of the right to inspect or copy records provided for under section 1-210 shall be made to the person requesting such right by the public agency official who has custody or control of the public record, in writing, within four business days of such request, except when the request is determined to be subject to subsections (b) and (c) of section 1-214, in which case such denial shall be made, in writing, within ten business days of such request.  Failure to comply with a request to so inspect or copy such public record within the applicable number of business days shall be deemed to be a denial.

 

            (b)(1)  Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210 or wrongfully denied the right to attend any meeting of a public agency or denied any other right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act may appeal therefrom to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission.  A notice of appeal shall be filed not later than thirty days after such denial, except in the case of an unnoticed or secret meeting, in which case the appeal shall be filed not later than thirty days after the person filing the appeal receives notice in fact that such meeting was held.  For purposes of this subsection, such notice of appeal shall be deemed to be filed on the date it is received by said commission or on the date it is postmarked, if received more than thirty days after the date of the denial from which such appeal is taken.  Upon receipt of such notice, the commission shall serve upon all parties, by certified or registered mail, a copy of such notice together with any other notice or order of such commission.  In the case of the denial of a request to inspect or copy records contained in a public employee's personnel or medical file or similar file under subsection (c) of section 1-214, the commission shall include with its notice or order an order requiring the public agency to notify any employee whose records are the subject of an appeal, and the employee's collective bargaining representative, if any, of the commission's proceedings and, if any such employee or collective bargaining representative has filed an objection under said subsection (c), the agency shall provide the required notice to such employee and collective bargaining representative by certified mail, return receipt requested or by hand delivery with a signed receipt.  A public employee whose personnel or medical file or similar file is the subject of an appeal under this subsection may intervene as a party in the proceedings on the matter before the commission.  Said commission shall, after due notice to the parties, hear and decide the appeal within one year after the filing of the notice of appeal.  The commission shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54, establishing criteria for those appeals which shall be privileged in their assignment for hearing.  Any such appeal shall be heard not later than thirty days after receipt of a notice of appeal and decided not later than sixty days after the hearing.  If a notice of appeal concerns an announced agency decision to meet in executive session or an ongoing agency practice of meeting in executive sessions, for a stated purpose, the commission or a member or members of the commission designated by its chairperson shall serve notice upon the parties in accordance with this section and hold a preliminary hearing on the appeal not later than seventy-two hours after receipt of the notice, provided such notice shall be given to the parties at least forty-eight hours prior to such hearing.  During such preliminary hearing, the commission shall take evidence and receive testimony from the parties.  If after the preliminary hearing the commission finds probable cause to believe that the agency decision or practice is in violation of sections 1-200 and 1-225, the agency shall not meet in executive session for such purpose until the commission decides the appeal.  If probable cause is found by the commission, it shall conduct a final hearing on the appeal and render its decision not later than five days after the completion of the preliminary hearing.  Such decision shall specify the commission’s findings of fact and conclusions of law.           

(2)  In any appeal to the Freedom of Information Commission under subdivision (1) of this subsection or subsection (c) of this section, the commission may confirm the action of the agency or order the agency to provide relief that the commission, in its discretion, believes appropriate to rectify the denial of any right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act.  The commission may declare null and void any action taken at any meeting which a person was denied the right to attend and may require the production or copying of any public record.  In addition, upon the finding that a denial of any right created by the Freedom of Information Act was without reasonable grounds and after the custodian or other official directly responsible for the denial has been given an opportunity to be heard at a hearing conducted in accordance with sections 4-176e to 4-184, inclusive, the commission may, in its discretion, impose against the custodian or other official a civil penalty of not less than twenty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars.  If the commission finds that a person has taken an appeal under this subsection frivolously, without reasonable grounds and solely for the purpose of harassing the agency from which the appeal has been taken, after such person has been given an opportunity to be heard at a hearing conducted in accordance with sections 4-176e to 4-184, inclusive, the commission may, in its discretion, impose against that person a civil penalty of not less than twenty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars.  The commission shall notify a person of a penalty levied against him pursuant to this subsection by written notice sent by certified or registered mail.  If a person fails to pay the penalty within thirty days of receiving such notice, the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford shall, on application of the commission, issue an order requiring the person to pay the penalty imposed.  If the executive director of the commission has reason to believe an appeal under subdivision (1) of this subsection or subsection (c) of this section (A) presents a claim beyond the commission's jurisdiction; (B) would perpetrate an injustice; or (C) would constitute an abuse of the commission's administrative process, the executive director shall not schedule the appeal for hearing without first seeking and obtaining leave of the commission.  The commission shall provide due notice to the parties and review affidavits and written argument that the parties may submit and grant or deny such leave summarily at its next regular meeting.  The commission shall grant such leave unless it finds that the appeal:  (i) Does not present a claim within the commission's jurisdiction; (ii) would perpetrate an injustice; or (iii) would constitute an abuse of the commission's administrative process.  Any party aggrieved by the commission's denial of such leave may apply to the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford, within fifteen days of the commission meeting at which such leave was denied, for an order requiring the commission to hear such appeal.

(3)  In making the findings and determination under subdivision (2) of this subsection the commission shall consider the nature of any injustice or abuse of administrative process, including but not limited to:  (A) The nature, content, language or subject matter of the request or the appeal; (B) the nature, content, language or subject matter of prior or contemporaneous requests or appeals by the person making the request or taking the appeal; and (C) the nature, content, language or subject matter of other verbal and written communications to any agency or any official of any agency from the person making the request or taking the appeal.

(4)  Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection to the contrary, in the case of an appeal to the commission of a denial by a public agency, the commission may, upon motion of such agency, confirm the action of the agency and dismiss the appeal without a hearing if it finds, after examining the notice of appeal and construing all allegations most favorably to the appellant, that (A) the agency has not violated the Freedom of Information Act, or (B) the agency has committed a technical violation of the Freedom of Information Act that constitutes a harmless error that does not infringe the appellant’s rights under said act.

(c)  Any person who does not receive proper notice of any meeting of a public agency in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act may appeal under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.  A public agency of the state shall be presumed to have given timely and proper notice of any meeting as provided for in said Freedom of Information Act if notice is given in the Connecticut Law Journal or a Legislative Bulletin.  A public agency of a political subdivision shall be presumed to have given proper notice of any meeting, if a notice is timely sent under the provisions of said Freedom of Information Act by first-class mail to the address indicated in the request of the person requesting the same.  If such commission determines that notice was improper, it may, in its sound discretion, declare any or all actions taken at such meeting null and void.

 

            (d)  Any party aggrieved by the decision of said commission may appeal therefrom, in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183.  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 4-183, in any such appeal of a decision of the commission, the court may conduct an in camera review of the original or a certified copy of the records which are at issue in the appeal but were not included in the record of the commission's proceedings, admit the records into evidence and order the records to be sealed or inspected on such terms as the court deems fair and appropriate, during the appeal.  The commission shall have standing to defend, prosecute or otherwise participate in any appeal of any of its decisions and to take an appeal from any judicial decision overturning or modifying a decision of the commission.  If aggrievement is a jurisdictional prerequisite to the commission taking any such appeal, the commission shall be deemed to be aggrieved.  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3-125, legal counsel employed or retained by said commission shall represent said commission in all such appeals and in any other litigation affecting said commission.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of section 4-183 and section 52-64, all process shall be served upon said commission at its office.  Any appeal taken pursuant to this section shall be privileged in respect to its assignment for trial over all other actions except writs of habeas corpus and actions brought by or on behalf of the state, including informations on the relation of private individuals.  Nothing in this section shall deprive any party of any rights he may have had at common law prior to January 1, 1958.  If the court finds that any appeal taken pursuant to this section or section 4-183 is frivolous or taken solely for the purpose of delay, it shall order the party responsible therefor to pay to the party injured by such frivolous or dilatory appeal costs or attorney's fees of not more than one thousand dollars.  Such order shall be in addition to any other remedy or disciplinary action required or permitted by statute or by rules of court.

 

            (e)  Within sixty days after the filing of a notice of appeal alleging violation of any right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act concerning records of the Department of Environmental Protection relating to the state's hazardous waste program under sections 22a-448 to 22a-454, inclusive, the Freedom of Information Commission shall, after notice to the parties, hear and decide the appeal.  Failure by the commission to hear and decide the appeal within such sixty-day period shall constitute a final decision denying such appeal for purposes of this section and section 4-183.  On appeal, the court may, in addition to any other powers conferred by law, order the disclosure of any such records withheld in violation of the Freedom of Information Act and may assess against the state reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in an appeal in which the complainant has prevailed against the Department of Environmental Protection.  (P.A. 75-342, 14; P.A. 76-435, 25; P.A. 77-403; P.A. 77-603, 2; P.A. 77-609, 6; P.A. 78-331, 57; P.A. 81-431, 2; P.A. 83-129, 1; P.A. 83-587, 69; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-31, 1; P.A. 84-112, 2; P.A. 84-136; P.A. 84-311, 1; P.A. 86-408, 1; P.A. 87-285, 2; P.A. 87-526, 4; P.A. 88-230, 1; P.A. 88-317, 39; P.A. 88-353, 2; P.A. 90-98, 1; P.A. 90-307, 1; P.A. 92-207, 2; P.A. 93-142, 4, 7; P.A. 93-191, 1; P.A. 95-220, 4-6; P.A. 97-47, 10-12; P.A. 00-136, 6; P.A. 07-202, 11.)

 

            Secs. 1-207 to 1-209.  Reserved for future use.

 

            Sec. 1-210.  (Formerly Sec. 1-19).  Access to public records.  Exempt records.  (a)  Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.  Any agency rule or regulation, or part thereof, that conflicts with the provisions of this subsection or diminishes or curtails in any way the rights granted by this subsection shall be void.  Each such agency shall keep and maintain all public records in its custody at its regular office or place of business in an accessible place and, if there is no such office or place of business, the public records pertaining to such agency shall be kept in the office of the clerk of the political subdivision in which such public agency is located or of the Secretary of the State, as the case may be.  Any certified record hereunder attested as a true copy by the clerk, chief or deputy of such agency or by such other person designated or empowered by law to so act, shall be competent evidence in any court of this state of the facts contained therein. 

 

            (b)  Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of:

 

(1)  Preliminary drafts or notes provided the public agency has determined that the public interest in withholding such documents clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure;

 

(2)  Personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy;

 

(3)  Records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of (A) the identity of informants not otherwise known or the identity of witnesses not otherwise known whose safety would be endangered or who would be subject to threat or intimidation if their identity was made known, (B) signed statements of witnesses, (C) information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action if prejudicial to such action, (D) investigatory techniques not otherwise known to the general public, (E) arrest records of a juvenile, which shall also include any investigatory files, concerning the arrest of such juvenile, compiled for law enforcement purposes, (F) the name and address of the victim of a sexual assault under section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a, or injury or risk of injury, or impairing of morals under section 53-21, or of an attempt thereof, or (G) uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to section 1-216;

 

(4)  Records pertaining to strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency is a party until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled;

 

(5)  (A) Trade secrets, which for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, are defined as information, including formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, processes, drawings, cost data, customer lists, film or television scripts or detailed production budgets that (i) derive independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from their disclosure or use, and (ii) are the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain secrecy; and

 

(B) Commercial or financial information given in confidence, not required by statute;

 

(6)  Test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment or academic examinations;

 

(7)  The contents of real estate appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates and evaluations made for or by an agency relative to the acquisition of property or to prospective public supply and construction contracts, until such time as all of the property has been acquired or all proceedings or transactions have been terminated or abandoned, provided the law of eminent domain shall not be affected by this provision;

 

(8)  Statements of personal worth or personal financial data required by a licensing agency and filed by an applicant with such licensing agency to establish the applicant’s personal qualification for the license, certificate or permit applied for;

 

(9)  Records, reports and statements of strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining;

 

(10)  Records, tax returns, reports and statements exempted by federal law or state statutes or communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship;

 

(11)  Names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school or college without the consent of each student whose name or address is to be disclosed who is eighteen years of age or older and a parent or guardian of each such student who is younger than eighteen years of age, provided this subdivision shall not be construed as prohibiting the disclosure of the names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school in a regional school district to the board of selectmen or town board of finance, as the case may be, of the town wherein the student resides for the purpose of verifying tuition payments made to such school;

 

(12)  Any information obtained by the use of illegal means;

 

(13)  Records of an investigation or the name of an employee providing information under the provisions of section 4-61dd;

 

(14)  Adoption records and information provided for in sections 45a-746, 45a-750 and 45a-751;

 

(15)  Any page of a primary petition, nominating petition, referendum petition or petition for a town meeting submitted under any provision of the general statutes or of any special act, municipal charter or ordinance, until the required processing and certification of such page has been completed by the official or officials charged with such duty after which time disclosure of such page shall be required;

 

(16)  Records of complaints, including information compiled in the investigation thereof, brought to a municipal health authority pursuant to chapter 368e or a district department of health pursuant to chapter 368f, until such time as the investigation is concluded or thirty days from the date of receipt of the complaint, whichever occurs first;

 

(17)  Educational records which are not subject to disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 USC 1232g;

            (18)  Records, the disclosure of which the Commissioner of Correction, or as it applies to Whiting Forensic Division facilities of the Connecticut Valley Hospital, the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, has reasonable grounds to believe may result in a safety risk, including the risk of harm to any person or the risk of an escape from, or a disorder in, a correctional institution or facility under the supervision of the Department of Correction or Whiting Forensic Division facilities. Such records shall include, but are not limited to:

(A)  Security manuals, including emergency plans contained or referred to in such security manuals;

(B)  Engineering and architectural drawings of correctional institutions or facilities or Whiting Forensic Division facilities;

(C)  Operational specifications of security systems utilized by the Department of Correction at any correctional institution or facility or Whiting Forensic Division facilities, except that a general description of any such security system and the cost and quality of such system may be disclosed;

(D)  Training manuals prepared for correctional institutions and facilities or Whiting Forensic Division facilities that describe, in any manner, security procedures, emergency plans or security equipment;

(E)  Internal security audits of correctional institutions and facilities or Whiting Forensic Division facilities;

(F)  Minutes or recordings of staff meetings of the Department of Correction or Whiting Forensic Division facilities, or portions of such minutes or recordings, that contain or reveal information relating to security or other records otherwise exempt from disclosure under this subdivision;

(G)  Logs or other documents that contain information on the movement or assignment of inmates or staff at correctional institutions or facilities; and

(H)  Records that contain information on contacts between inmates, as defined in section 18-84, and law enforcement officers;

(19)  Records when there are reasonable grounds to believe disclosure may result in a safety risk, including the risk of harm to any person, any government-owned or leased institution or facility or any fixture or appurtenance and equipment attached to, or contained in, such institution or facility, except that such records shall be disclosed to a law enforcement agency upon the request of the law enforcement agency.  Such reasonable grounds shall be determined (A) (i) by the Commissioner of Public Works, after consultation with the chief executive officer of an executive branch state agency, with respect to records concerning such agency; and (ii) by the Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, after consultation with the chief executive officer of a municipal, district or regional agency, with respect to records concerning such agency; (B) by the Chief Court Administrator with respect to records concerning the Judicial Department; and (C) by the executive director of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management, with respect to records concerning the Legislative Department.   As used in this section, “government-owned or leased institution or facility” includes, but is not limited to, an institution or facility owned or leased by a public service company, as defined in section 16-1, a certified telecommunications provider, as defined in section 16-1, a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, or a municipal utility that furnishes electric, gas or water service, but does not include an institution or facility owned or leased by the federal government, and “chief executive officer” includes, but is not limited to, an agency head, department head, executive director or chief executive officer.  Such records include, but are not limited to:

(i)  Security manuals or reports;

(ii)  Engineering and architectural drawings of government-owned or leased institutions or facilities;

(iii)  Operational specifications of security systems utilized at any government-owned or leased institution or facility, except that a general description of any such security system and the cost and quality of such system, may be disclosed;

(iv)  Training manuals prepared for government-owned or leased institutions or facilities that describe, in any manner, security procedures, emergency plans or security equipment;

(v)  Internal security audits of government-owned or leased institutions or facilities;

(vi)  Minutes or records of meetings, or portions of such minutes or records, that contain or reveal information relating to security or other records otherwise exempt from disclosure under this subdivision;

(vii)  Logs or other documents that contain information on the movement or assignment of security personnel;

(viii)  Emergency plans and emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation plans, including plans provided by a person to a state agency or a local emergency management agency or official; and

(ix)  With respect to a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, that provides water service: Vulnerability assessments and risk management plans, operational plans, portions of water supply plans submitted pursuant to section 25-32d that contain or reveal information the disclosure of which may result in a security risk to a water company, inspection reports, technical specifications and other materials that depict or specifically describe critical water company operating facilities, collection and distribution systems or sources of supply;

(20)  Records of standards, procedures, processes, software and codes, not otherwise available to the public, the disclosure of which would compromise the security or integrity of an information technology system;

(21)  The residential, work or school address of any participant in the address confidentiality program established pursuant to sections 54-240 to 54-240o, inclusive;

(22)  The electronic mail address of any person that is obtained by the Department of Transportation in connection with the implementation or administration of any plan to inform individuals about significant highway or railway incidents;

(23)  The name or address of any minor enrolled in any parks and recreation program administered or sponsored by any public agency;

(24)  Responses to any request for proposals or bid solicitation issued by a public agency or any record or file made by a public agency in connection with the contract award process, until such contract is executed or negotiations for the award of such contract have ended, whichever occurs earlier, provided the chief executive officer of such public agency certifies that the public interest in the disclosure of such responses, record or file is outweighed by the public interest in the confidentiality of such responses, record or file;

(25) The name, address, telephone number or electronic mail address of any person enrolled in any senior center program or any member of a senior center administered or sponsored by any public agency.  

(c) Whenever a public agency receives a request from any person confined in a correctional institution or facility or a Whiting Forensic Division facility, for disclosure of any public record under the Freedom of Information Act, the public agency shall promptly notify the Commissioner of Correction or the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the case of a person confined in a Whiting Forensic Division facility of such request, in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, before complying with the request as required by the Freedom of Information Act.  If the commissioner believes the requested record is exempt from disclosure pursuant to subdivision (18) of subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner may withhold such record from such person when the record is delivered to the person's correctional institution or facility or Whiting Forensic Division facility.

(d)  Whenever a public agency, except the Judicial Department or Legislative Department, receives a request from any person for disclosure of any records described in subdivision (19) of subsection (b) of this section under the Freedom of Information Act, the public agency shall promptly notify the Commissioner of Public Works or the Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, as applicable, of such request, in the manner prescribed by such commissioner, before complying with the request as required by the Freedom of Information Act and for information related to a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, the public agency shall promptly notify the water company before complying with the request as required by the Freedom of Information Act.  If the commissioner, after consultation with the chief executive officer of the applicable agency or after consultation with the chief executive officer of the applicable water company for information related to a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, believes the requested record is exempt from disclosure pursuant to subdivision (19) of subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner may direct the agency to withhold such record from such person. In any appeal brought under the provisions of section 1-206 of the Freedom of Information Act for denial of access to records for any of the reasons described in subdivision (19) of subsection (b) of this section, such appeal shall be against the chief executive officer of the executive branch state agency or the municipal, district or regional agency that issued the directive to withhold such record pursuant to subdivision (19) of subsection (b) of this section, exclusively, or, in the case of records concerning Judicial Department facilities, the Chief Court Administrator or, in the case of records concerning the Legislative Department, the executive director of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management.

 

(e)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (16) of subsection (b) of this section, disclosure shall be required of:

 

(1)  Interagency or intra-agency memoranda or letters, advisory opinions, recommendations or any report comprising part of the process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated, except disclosure shall not be required of a preliminary draft of a memorandum, prepared by a member of the staff of a public agency, which is subject to revision prior to submission to or discussion among the members of such agency;

 

(2)  All records of investigation conducted with respect to any tenement house, lodging house or boarding house as defined in section 19a-355, or any nursing home, residential care home or rest home, as defined in section 19a-490, by any municipal building department or housing code inspection department, any local or district health department, or any other department charged with the enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating the erection, construction, alteration, maintenance, sanitation, ventilation or occupancy of such buildings; and

(3)  The names of firms obtaining bid documents from any state agency.  (P.A. 57-428, 1; P.A. 63-260; P.A. 67-723, 1; P.A. 69-193; P.A. 71-193; P.A. 75-342, 2; P.A. 76-294; P.A. 77-609, 2; P.A. 79-119; P.A. 79-324; P.A. 79-575, 2; P.A. 79-599, 3; P.A. 80-483, 1; P.A. 81-40, 2; P.A. 81-431, 1; P.A. 81-448, 2; P.A. 83-436; P.A. 84-112, 1; P.A. 84-311, 2; P.A. 85-577, 22; P.A. 90-335, 1; P.A. 91-140, 2; P.A. 94-246, 14; P.A. 95-233; P.A. 96-130, 37; P.A. 97-47, 4; P.A. 97-112, 2; P.A. 97-293, 14; P.A. 99-156, 1; P.A. 00-66, 5; P.A. 00-69, 3; P.A. 00-134, 1; P.A. 00-136, 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-1, 20; P.A. 01-26, 1; P.A. 02-133, 1, 2; P.A. 02-137, 2;  P.A. 03-200, 17; June 30, Sp. Sess., P.A. 03-6, 104; P.A. 05-287, 26; P.A. 07-202, 12; P.A. 07-213, 22; P.A. 07-236, 5; P.A. 08-18, 1; P.A. 10-17.)

            Sec. 1-211.  (Formerly Sec. 1-19a).  Disclosure of computer-stored public records.  Contracts.  Acquisition of system, equipment, software to store or retrieve nonexempt public records.  (a)  Any public agency which maintains public records in a computer storage system shall provide, to any person making a request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, a copy of any nonexempt data contained in such records, properly identified, on paper, disk, tape or any other electronic storage device or medium requested by the person, if the agency can reasonably make such copy or have such copy made.  Except as otherwise provided by state statute, the cost for providing a copy of such data shall be in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212.

 

            (b)  Except as otherwise provided by state statute, no public agency shall enter into a contract with, or otherwise obligate itself to, any person if such contract or obligation impairs the right of the public under the Freedom of Information Act to inspect or copy the agency's nonexempt public records existing on-line in, or stored on a device or medium used in connection with, a computer system owned, leased or otherwise used by the agency in the course of its governmental functions.

 

            (c)  On and after July 1, 1992, before any public agency acquires any computer system, equipment or software to store or retrieve nonexempt public records, it shall consider whether such proposed system, equipment or software adequately provides for the rights of the public under the Freedom of Information Act at the least cost possible to the agency and to persons entitled to access to nonexempt public records under the Freedom of Information Act.  In meeting its obligations under this subsection, each state public agency shall consult with the Department of Information Technology as part of the agency's design analysis prior to acquiring any such computer system, equipment or software.  The Department of Information Technology shall adopt written guidelines to assist municipal agencies in carrying out the purposes of this subsection.  Nothing in this subsection shall require an agency to consult with said department prior to acquiring a system, equipment or software or modifying software, if such acquisition or modification is consistent with a design analysis for which such agency has previously consulted with said department.  The Department of Information Technology shall consult with the Freedom of Information Commission on matters relating to access to and disclosure of public records for the purposes of this subsection.  The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to software modifications which would not affect the rights of the public under the Freedom of Information Act.  (P.A. 75-342, 4; P.A. 90-307, 3; P.A. 91-347, 1; P.A. 97-47, 5; June 18 Sp. Sess., P.A. 97-9, 26.)

 

            Sec. 1-212.  (Formerly Sec. 1-15).  Copies and scanning of public records.  Fees.  (a)  Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.  The fee for any copy provided in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act:

 

(1)  By an executive, administrative or legislative office of the state, a state agency or a department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official of the state, including a committee of, or created by, such an office, agency, department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official, and also including any judicial office, official or body or committee thereof but only in respect to its or their administrative functions, shall not exceed twenty-five cents per page; and

 

(2)  By all other public agencies, as defined in section 1-200, shall not exceed fifty cents per page.  If any copy provided in accordance with said Freedom of Information Act requires a transcription, or if any person applies for a transcription of a public record, the fee for such transcription shall not exceed the cost thereof to the public agency.

 

            (b)  The fee for any copy provided in accordance with subsection (a) of section 1-211 shall not exceed the cost thereof to the public agency.  In determining such costs for a copy, other than for a printout which exists at the time that the agency responds to the request for such copy, an agency may include only:

 

(1)  An amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to all agency employees engaged in providing the requested computer-stored public record, including their time performing the formatting or programming functions necessary to provide the copy as requested, but not including search or retrieval costs except as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection;

 

(2)  An amount equal to the cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional electronic copying service to provide such copying services, if such service is necessary to provide the copying as requested;

 

(3)  The actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and

 

(4)  The computer time charges incurred by the agency in providing the requested computer-stored public record where another agency or contractor provides the agency with computer storage and retrieval services.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the fee for any copy of the names of registered voters shall not exceed three cents per name delivered or the cost thereof to the public agency, as determined pursuant to this subsection, whichever is less.  The Department of Information Technology shall monitor the calculation of the fees charged for copies of computer-stored public records to ensure that such fees are reasonable and consistent among agencies.

 

            (c)  A public agency may require the prepayment of any fee required or permitted under the Freedom of Information Act if such fee is estimated to be ten dollars or more.  The sales tax provided in chapter 219 shall not be imposed upon any transaction for which a fee is required or permissible under this section or section 1-227.

 

            (d)  The public agency shall waive any fee provided for in this section when:

 

(1)    The person requesting the records is an indigent individual;

 

(2)  The records located are determined by the public agency to be exempt from disclosure under subsection (b) of section 1-210;

 

(3)  In its judgment, compliance with the applicant's request benefits the general welfare; or

 

            (4) The person requesting the record is an elected official of a political subdivision of the state and the official (A) obtains the record from an agency of the political subdivision in which the official serves, and (B) certifies that the record pertains to the official’s duties.

 

            (e)  Except as otherwise provided by law, the fee for any person who has the custody of any public records or files for certifying any copy of such records or files, or certifying to any fact appearing therefrom, shall be for the first page of such certificate, or copy and certificate, one dollar; and for each additional page, fifty cents.  For the purpose of computing such fee, such copy and certificate shall be deemed to be one continuous instrument.

 

(f)  The Secretary of the State, after consulting with the chairperson of the Freedom of Information Commission, the Commissioner of Correction and a representative of the Judicial Department, shall propose a fee structure for copies of public records provided to an inmate, as defined in section 18-84, in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.  The Secretary of the State shall submit such proposed fee structure to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration, not later than January 15, 2000.

 

(g)  Any individual may copy a public record through the use of a hand-held scanner.  A public agency may establish a fee structure not to exceed twenty dollars for an individual to pay each time the individual copies records at the agency with a hand-held scanner.  As used in this section, “hand-held scanner” means a battery operated electronic scanning device the use of which (1) leaves no mark or impression on the public record, and (2) does not unreasonably interfere with the operation of the public agency.  (1949 Rev., 3625; P.A. 59-352, 1; P.A. 75-342, 5; P.A. 77-609, 3; P.A. 89-251, 56; P.A. 90-307, 4; P.A. 91-347, 2; P.A. 93-188, 1; P.A. 94-112, 1; P.A. 95-144, 1; P.A. 97-47, 2, 3; June 18 Sp. Sess., P.A. 97-9, 25; P.A. 99-71, 2; P.A. 99-156, 2; P.A. 00-66, 6; P.A. 02-137, 3; P.A. 09-03, 140.)

 

            Sec. 1-213.  (Formerly Sec. 1-19b).  Agency administration.  Disclosure of personnel, birth and tax records.  Disclosure of voice mails by public agencies.  Judicial records and proceedings.  (a) The Freedom of Information Act shall be:

 

(1)  Construed as requiring each public agency to open its records concerning the administration of such agency to public inspection; and

 

(2)  Construed as requiring each public agency to disclose information in its personnel files, birth records or confidential tax records to the individual who is the subject of such information.

 

            (b)  Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be deemed in any manner to:

 

(1)  Affect the status of judicial records as they existed prior to October 1, 1975, nor to limit the rights of litigants, including parties to administrative proceedings, under the laws of discovery of this state;

 

(2)  Require disclosure of any record of a personnel search committee which, because of name or other identifying information, would reveal the identity of an executive level employment candidate without the consent of such candidate; or

 

(3)  Require any public agency to transcribe the content of any voice mail message and retain such record for any period of time.  As used in this subdivision, “voice mail” means all information transmitted by voice for the sole purpose of its electronic receipt, storage and playback by a public agency.  (P.A. 75-342, 3; P.A. 79-118; P.A. 87-568, 3; P.A. 94-246, 15; P.A. 97-47, 6; P.A. 04-171, 1.)

 

            Sec. 1-214.  (Formerly Sec. 1-20a).  Public employment contracts as public record.  Objection to disclosure of personnel or medical files.  (a)  Any contract of employment to which the state or a political subdivision of the state is a party shall be deemed to be a public record for the purposes of section 1-210.

 

            (b)  Whenever a public agency receives a request to inspect or copy records contained in any of its employees' personnel or medical files and similar files and the agency reasonably believes that the disclosure of such records would legally constitute an invasion of privacy, the agency shall immediately notify in writing (1) each employee concerned, provided such notice shall not be required to be in writing where impractical due to the large number of employees concerned and (2) the collective bargaining representative, if any, of each employee concerned.  Nothing herein shall require an agency to withhold from disclosure the contents of personnel or medical files and similar files when it does not reasonably believe that such disclosure would legally constitute an invasion of personal privacy.

 

            (c)  A public agency which has provided notice under subsection (b) of this section shall disclose the records requested unless it receives a written objection from the employee concerned or the employee's collective bargaining representative, if any, within seven business days from the receipt by the employee or such collective bargaining representative of the notice or, if there is no evidence of receipt of written notice, not later than nine business days from the date the notice is actually mailed, sent, posted or otherwise given.  Each objection filed under this subsection shall be on a form prescribed by the public agency, which shall consist of a statement to be signed by the employee or the employee's collective bargaining representative, under the penalties of false statement, that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief there is good ground to support it and that the objection is not interposed for delay.  Upon the filing of an objection as provided in this subsection, the agency shall not disclose the requested records unless ordered to do so by the Freedom of Information Commission pursuant to section 1-206.  Failure to comply with a request to inspect or copy records under this section shall constitute a denial for the purposes of section 1-206.  Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection or subsection (b) of section 1-206 to the contrary, if an employee's collective bargaining representative files a written objection under this subsection, the employee may subsequently approve the disclosure of the records requested by submitting a written notice to the public agency.  (P.A. 73-271; P.A. 78-331, 1; P.A. 87-285, 1; P.A. 88-353, 1; P.A. 92-207, 1.)

 

            Sec. 1-214a.  Disclosure of public agency termination, suspension or separation agreement containing confidentiality provision.  Any agreement entered into by any public agency, as defined in section 1-200, with an employee or personal services contractor providing for the termination, suspension or separation from employment of such employee or the termination or suspension of the provision of personal services by such contractor, as the case may be, that contains a confidentiality provision that prohibits or restricts such public agency from disclosing the existence of the agreement or the cause or causes for such termination, suspension or separation including, but not limited to, alleged or substantiated sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation or sexual assault by such employee or contractor, shall be subject to public disclosure under this chapter.  (P.A. 06-132, 1.)

 

            Sec. 1-215.  (Formerly Sec. 1-20b).  Record of an arrest as public record.  Exception.  (a)  Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, and except as otherwise provided in this section, any record of the arrest of any person, other than a juvenile, except a record erased pursuant to chapter 961a, shall be a public record from the time of such arrest and shall be disclosed in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212 and subsection (a) of section 1-210, except that disclosure of data or information other than that set forth in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section shall be subject to the provisions of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 1-210.  Any personal possessions or effects found on a person at the time of such person's arrest shall not be disclosed unless such possessions or effects are relevant to the crime for which such person was arrested.

 

            (b)  For the purposes of this section, “record of the arrest” means (1) the name and address of the person arrested, the date, time and place of the arrest and the offense for which the person was arrested, and (2) at least one of the following, designated by the law enforcement agency:  The arrest report, incident report, news release or other similar report of the arrest of a person.  (P.A. 83-272, 1; P.A. 94-117, 4; P.A. 94-246, 13.)

 

            Sec. 1-216.  (Formerly Sec. 1-20c).  Review and destruction of records consisting of uncorroborated allegations of criminal activity.  Except for records the retention of which is otherwise controlled by law or regulation, records of law enforcement agencies consisting of uncorroborated allegations that an individual has engaged in criminal activity shall be reviewed by the law enforcement agency one year after the creation of such records.  If the existence of the alleged criminal activity cannot be corroborated within ninety days of the commencement of such review, the law enforcement agency shall destroy such records.  (P.A. 88-227, 2.)

 

            Sec. 1-217.  (Formerly Sec. 1-20f).  Nondisclosure of residential addresses of certain individuals.  (a)  No public agency may disclose, under the Freedom of Information Act, the residential address of any of the following persons:

 

(1)  A federal court judge, federal court magistrate, judge of the Superior Court, Appellate Court or Supreme Court of the state, or family support magistrate;

 

(2)  A sworn member of a municipal police department, a sworn member of the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety or a sworn law enforcement officer within the Department of Environmental Protection;

 

(3)  An employee of the Department of Correction;

 

(4)  An attorney-at-law who represents or has represented the state in a criminal prosecution;

 

(5)  An attorney-at-law who is or has been employed by the Public Defender Services Division or a social worker who is employed by the Public Defender Services Division;

 

(6)  An inspector employed by the Division of Criminal Justice;

 

(7)  A firefighter;

 

(8)  An employee of the Department of Children and Families;

 

(9)  A member or employee of the Board of Pardons and Paroles;

 

(10) An employee of the judicial branch;

 

(11) An employee of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services who provides direct care to patients; or

 

(12) A member or employee of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

 

(b)  The business address of any person described in this section shall be subject to disclosure under section 1-210 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes.  The provisions of this section shall not apply to Department of Motor Vehicles records described in section 14-10 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes.  (P.A. 95-163; P.A. 96-83, 1; P.A. 97-219, 2; P.A. 99-26, 27; P.A. 99-77, 1; P.A. 99-156, 3; P.A. 01-186, 17; P.A. 02-53, 1; P.A. 04-234, 2; P.A. 04-257, 114; P.A. 05-108, 2; P.A. 08-120, 1; P.A. 08-186, 1.)

 

Sec. 1-218.  Certain contracts for performance of governmental functions.  Records and files subject to Freedom of Information Act.  Each contract in excess of two million five hundred thousand dollars between a public agency and a person for the performance of a governmental function shall (1) provide that the public agency is entitled to receive a copy of records and files related to the performance of the governmental function, and (2) indicate that such records and files are subject to the Freedom of Information Act and may be disclosed by the public agency pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.  No request to inspect or copy such records or files shall be valid unless the request is made to the public agency in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.  Any complaint by a person who is denied the right to inspect or copy such records or files shall be brought to the Freedom of Information Commission in accordance with the provisions of sections 1-205 and 1-206.  (P.A. 01-169, 2.)

 

Sec. 1-219.  Veterans' military records.  (a) As used in this section: (1) "Armed forces" means the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force of the United States; (2) "veteran" means any person honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service or reserve status in the armed forces; (3) "military discharge document" means a United States Department of Defense form, including, but not limited to, a DD 214 form, or any valid paper that evidences the service, discharge or retirement of a veteran from the armed forces that contains personal information such as a service number or Social Security number; (4) "person" means any individual or entity, including, but not limited to, a relative of a veteran, a licensed funeral director or embalmer, an attorney-at-law, an attorney-in-fact, an insurance company or a veterans' advocate; and (5) "public agency" or "agency" means a public agency, as defined in section 1-200.

 

            (b) A veteran or designee may file a military discharge document with the town clerk of the town in which the veteran resides or with any other public agency if the military discharge document is related to the business of the town or other agency, and the town or agency shall maintain and record the military discharge document in accordance with this section.

 

            (c) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 55, or any provision of section 11-8 or 11-8a, any military discharge document filed by or on behalf of a veteran with a public agency before, on or after October 1, 2002, except a military discharge document recorded before October 1, 2002, on the land records of a town, shall be retained by the agency separate and apart from the other records of the agency. The contents of such document shall be confidential for at least seventy-five years from the date the document is filed with the public agency, except that:

 

            (1) The information contained in the document shall be available to the veteran, or a conservator of the person of the veteran or a conservator of the estate of the veteran, at all times;

 

            (2) Any information contained in such military discharge document which is necessary to establish, or that aids in establishing, eligibility for any local, state or federal benefit or program applied for by, or on behalf of, the veteran, including, but not limited to, the name of the veteran, the veteran's residential address, dates of qualifying active or reserve military service, or military discharge status, shall be available to the public at all times; and

 

            (3) In addition to the information available under subdivision (2) of this subsection, any other information contained in the document shall be available to (A) any person who may provide a benefit to, or acquire a benefit for, the veteran or the estate of the veteran, provided the person needs the information to provide the benefit and submits satisfactory evidence of such need to the agency, (B) the State Librarian as required for the performance of his or her duties, and (C) a genealogical society incorporated or authorized by the Secretary of the State to do business or conduct affairs in this state or a member of such genealogical society.

 

            (d) The provisions of this section concerning the maintenance and recording of Department of Defense documents shall not apply to the State Library Board or the State Librarian.  (P.A. 02-137, 1.)

 

            Secs. 1-220 to 1-224.  Reserved for future use.

 

            Sec. 1-225.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21).  Meetings of government agencies to be public.  Recording of votes.  Schedule and agenda of meetings to be filed and posted on web sites.  Notice of special meetings.  Executive sessions.  (a)  The meetings of all public agencies, except executive sessions, as defined in subdivision (6) of section 1-200, shall be open to the public.  The votes of each member of any such public agency upon any issue before such public agency shall be reduced to writing and made available for public inspection within forty-eight hours and shall also be recorded in the minutes of the session at which taken. Not later than seven days after the date of the session to which such minutes refer, such minutes shall be available for public inspection and posted on such public agency’s Internet web site, if available, except that no public agency of a political subdivision of the state shall be required to post such minutes on an Internet website.  Each public agency shall make, keep and maintain a record of the proceedings of its meetings.

 

            (b)  Each such public agency of the state shall file not later than January thirty-first of each year in the office of the Secretary of the State the schedule of the regular meetings of such public agency for the ensuing year and shall post such schedule on such public agency’s Internet web site, if available, except that such requirements shall not apply to the General Assembly, either house thereof or to any committee thereof.  Any other provision of the Freedom of Information Act notwithstanding, the General Assembly at the commencement of each regular session in the odd-numbered years, shall adopt, as part of its joint rules, rules to provide notice to the public of its regular, special, emergency or interim committee meetings.  The chairperson or secretary of any such public agency of any political subdivision of the state shall file, not later than January thirty-first of each year, with the clerk of such subdivision the schedule of regular meetings of such public agency for the ensuing year, and no such meeting of any such public agency shall be held sooner than thirty days after such schedule has been filed.  The chief executive officer of any multitown district or agency shall file, not later than January thirty-first of each year, with the clerk of each municipal member of such district or agency, the schedule of regular meetings of such public agency for the ensuing year, and no such meeting of any such public agency shall be held sooner than thirty days after such schedule has been filed.

 

            (c)  The agenda of the regular meetings of every public agency, except for the General Assembly, shall be available to the public and shall be filed, not less than twenty-four hours before the meetings to which they refer, (1) in such agency's regular office or place of business, and (2) in the office of the Secretary of the State for any such public agency of the state, in the office of the clerk of such subdivision for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state or in the office of the clerk of each municipal member of any multitown district or agency.  For any such public agency of the state, such agenda shall be posted on the public agency’s and the Secretary of the State’s web sites.  Upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of a public agency present and voting, any subsequent business not included in such filed agendas may be considered and acted upon at such meetings.

 

            (d)  Notice of each special meeting of every public agency, except for the General Assembly, either house thereof or any committee thereof, shall be posted not less than twenty-four hours before the meeting to which such notice refers on the public agency’s Internet web site, if available, and given not less than twenty-four hours prior to the time of such meeting by filing a notice of the time and place thereof in the office of the Secretary of the State for any such public agency of the state, in the office of the clerk of such subdivision for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state and in the office of the clerk of each municipal member for any multitown district or agency.  The secretary or clerk shall cause any notice received under this section to be posted in his office.  Such notice shall be given not less than twenty-four hours prior to the time of the special meeting; provided, in case of emergency, except for the General Assembly, either house thereof or any committee thereof, any such special meeting may be held without complying with the foregoing requirement for the filing of notice but a copy of the minutes of every such emergency special meeting adequately setting forth the nature of the emergency and the proceedings occurring at such meeting shall be filed with the Secretary of the State, the clerk of such political subdivision, or the clerk of each municipal member of such multitown district or agency, as the case may be, not later than seventy-two hours following the holding of such meeting.  The notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted.  No other business shall be considered at such meetings by such public agency.  In addition, such written notice shall be delivered to the usual place of abode of each member of the public agency so that the same is received prior to such special meeting.  The requirement of delivery of such written notice may be dispensed with as to any member who at or prior to the time the meeting convenes files with the clerk or secretary of the public agency a written waiver of delivery of such notice.  Such waiver may be given by telegram.  The requirement of delivery of such written notice may also be dispensed with as to any member who is actually present at the meeting at the time it convenes.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any agency from adopting more stringent notice requirements.

 

            (e)  No member of the public shall be required, as a condition to attendance at a meeting of any such body, to register the member’s name, or furnish other information, or complete a questionnaire or otherwise fulfill any condition precedent to the member’s attendance.

 

            (f)  A public agency may hold an executive session as defined in subdivision (6) of section 1-200, upon an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of such body present and voting, taken at a public meeting and stating the reasons for such executive session, as defined in section 1-200.

 

            (g)  In determining the time within which or by when a notice, agenda, record of votes or minutes of a special meeting or an emergency special meeting are required to be filed under this section, Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays and any day on which the office of the agency, the Secretary of the State or the clerk of the applicable political subdivision or the clerk of each municipal member of any multitown district or agency, as the case may be, is closed, shall be excluded.  (P.A. 57-468, 1; P.A. 67-723, 2; P.A. 71-499; P.A. 75-342, 6; P.A. 76-435, 63; P.A. 77-609, 4; P.A. 83-67, 2; P.A. 83-148; P.A. 84-546, 4; P.A. 85-613, 3; P.A. 97-47, 8; P.A. 99-71, 1; P.A. 00-66, 7; P.A. 07-213, 23, P.A. 08-18, 2; June 11 Sp. Sess., P.A. 08-3, 11; P.A. 10-171, 4.)

 

            Sec. 1-226.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21a).  Recording, broadcasting or photographing meetings.  (a) At any meeting of a public agency which is open to the public, pursuant to the provisions of section 1-225, proceedings of such public agency may be recorded, photographed, broadcast or recorded for broadcast, subject to such rules as such public agency may have prescribed prior to such meeting, by any person or by any newspaper, radio broadcasting company or television broadcasting company.  Any recording, radio, television or photographic equipment may be so located within the meeting room as to permit the recording, broadcasting either by radio, or by television, or by both, or the photographing of the proceedings of such public agency.  The photographer or broadcaster and its personnel, or the person recording the proceedings, shall be required to handle the photographing, broadcast or recording as inconspicuously as possible and in such manner as not to disturb the proceedings of the public agency.  As used herein the term television shall include the transmission of visual and audible signals by cable.

 

            (b)  Any such public agency may adopt rules governing such recording, photography or the use of such broadcasting equipment for radio and television stations but, in the absence of the adoption of such rules and regulations by such public agency prior to the meeting, such recording, photography or the use of such radio and television equipment shall be permitted as provided in subsection (a) of this section.

           

(c)  Whenever there is a violation or the probability of a violation of subsections (a) and (b) of this section the superior court, or a judge thereof, for the judicial district in which such meeting is taking place shall, upon application made by affidavit that such violation is taking place or that there is reasonable probability that such violation will take place, issue a temporary injunction against any such violation without notice to the adverse party to show cause why such injunction should not be granted and without the plaintiff's giving bond.  Any person or public agency so enjoined may immediately appear and be heard by the court or judge granting such injunction with regard to dissolving or modifying the same and, after hearing the parties and upon a determination that such meeting should not be open to the public, said court or judge may dissolve or modify the injunction.  Any action taken by a judge upon any such application shall be immediately certified to the court to which such proceedings are returnable.  (P.A. 67-851, 1; P.A. 69-706; P.A. 74-183, 161; P.A. 75-342, 12; P.A. 76-435, 24; P.A. 76-436, 562; P.A. 77-609, 5; P.A. 78-280, 1; P.A. 05-288, 3.)

 

            Sec. 1-227.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21c).  Mailing of notice of meetings to persons filing written request.  Fees.  The public agency shall, where practicable, give notice by mail of each regular meeting, and of any special meeting which is called, at least one week prior to the date set for the meeting, to any person who has filed a written request for such notice with such body, except that such body may give such notice as it deems practical of special meetings called less than seven days prior to the date set for the meeting.  Such notice requirement shall not apply to the General Assembly, either house thereof or to any committee thereof.  Any request for notice filed pursuant to this section shall be valid for one year from the date on which it is filed unless a renewal request is filed.  Renewal requests for notice shall be filed within thirty days after January first of each year.  Such public agency may establish a reasonable charge for sending such notice based on the estimated cost of providing such service.  (P.A. 75-342, 7.)

 

            Sec. 1-228.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21d).  Adjournment of meetings.  Notice.  The public agency may adjourn any regular or special meeting to a time and place specified in the order of adjournment.  Less than a quorum may so adjourn from time to time.  If all members are absent from any regular meeting the clerk or the secretary of such body may declare the meeting adjourned to a stated time and place and shall cause a written notice of the adjournment to be given in the same manner as provided in section 1-225, for special meetings, unless such notice is waived as provided for special meetings.  A copy of the order or notice of adjournment shall be conspicuously posted on or near the door of the place where the regular or special meeting was held, within twenty-four hours after the time of the adjournment.  When an order of adjournment of any meeting fails to state the hour at which the adjourned meeting is to be held, it shall be held at the hour specified for regular meetings, by ordinance, resolution, by law or other rule.  (P.A. 75-342, 8.)

 

            Sec. 1-229.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21e).  Continued hearings.  Notice.  Any hearing being held, or noticed or ordered to be held, by the public agency at any meeting may by order or notice of continuance be continued or recontinued to any subsequent meeting of such agency in the same manner and to the same extent set forth in section 1-228, for the adjournment of meeting, provided, that if the hearing is continued to a time less than twenty-four hours after the time specified in the order or notice of hearing, a copy of the order or notice of continuance of hearing shall be posted on or near the door of the place where the hearing was held immediately following the meeting at which the order or declaration of continuance was adopted or made.  (P.A. 75-342, 9.)

           

Sec. 1-230.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21f).  Regular meetings to be held pursuant to regulation, ordinance or resolution.  The public agency shall provide by regulation, in the case of a state agency, or by ordinance or resolution in the case of an agency of a political subdivision, the place for holding its regular meetings.  If at any time any regular meeting falls on a holiday, such regular meeting shall be held on the next business day.  If it shall be unsafe to meet in the place designated, the meetings may be held at such place as is designated by the presiding officer of the public agency; provided a copy of the minutes of any such meeting adequately setting forth the nature of the emergency and the proceedings occurring at such meeting shall be filed with the Secretary of the State or the clerk of the political subdivision, as the case may be, not later than seventy-two hours following the holding of such meeting.  (P.A. 75-342, 10.)

 

            Sec. 1-231.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21g).  Executive sessions.  (a)  At an executive session of a public agency, attendance shall be limited to members of said body and persons invited by said body to present testimony or opinion pertinent to matters before said body provided that such persons' attendance shall be limited to the period for which their presence is necessary to present such testimony or opinion and, provided further, that the minutes of such executive session shall disclose all persons who are in attendance except job applicants who attend for the purpose of being interviewed by such agency.

 

            (b)  An executive session may not be convened to receive or discuss oral communications that would otherwise be privileged by the attorney-client relationship if the agency were a nongovernmental entity, unless the executive session is for a purpose explicitly permitted pursuant to subdivision (6) of section 1-200.  (P.A. 75-342, 11; P.A. 81-431, 5; P.A. 86-226; P.A. 97-47, 9.)

 

            Sec. 1-232. (Formerly Sec. 1-21h).  Conduct of meetings.  In the event that any meeting of a public agency is interrupted by any person or group of persons so as to render the orderly conduct of such meeting unfeasible and order cannot be restored by the removal of individuals who are wilfully interrupting the meetings, the members of the agency conducting the meeting may order the meeting room cleared and continue in session.  Only matters appearing on the agenda may be considered in such a session.  Duly accredited representatives of the press or other news media, except those participating in the disturbance, shall be allowed to attend any session held pursuant to this section.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit such public agency from establishing a procedure for readmitting an individual or individuals not responsible for wilfully disturbing the meeting.  (P.A. 75-342, 13.)

 

            Secs. 1-233 to 1-239.  Reserved for future use.

 

            Sec. 1-240.  (Formerly Sec. 1-21k).  Penalties.  (a)  Any person who wilfully, knowingly and with intent to do so, destroys, mutilates or otherwise disposes of any public record without the approval required under section 1-18 or unless pursuant to chapter 47 or 87l, or who alters any public record, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and each such occurrence shall constitute a separate offense.

 

            (b)  Any member of any public agency who fails to comply with an order of the Freedom of Information Commission shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor and each occurrence of failure to comply with such order shall constitute a separate offense.  (P.A. 75-342, 16; P.A. 79-631, 24; P.A. 82-l88, 2.)

 

            Sec. 1-241.  (Formerly Sec. 1-211).  Injunctive relief from frivolous, unreasonable or harassing freedom of information appeals.  A public agency, as defined in subdivision (1) of section 1-200, may bring an action to the Superior Court against any person who was denied leave by the Freedom of Information Commission to have his appeal heard by the commission under subsection (b) of section 1-206 because the commission determined and found that such appeal or the underlying request would perpetrate an injustice or would constitute an abuse of the commission’s administrative process.  The action authorized under this section shall be limited to an injunction prohibiting such person from bringing any further appeal to the commission which would perpetrate an injustice or would constitute an abuse of the commission’s administrative process.  If, after such an injunction is ordered, the person subject to the injunction brings a further appeal to the Freedom of Information Commission and the commission determines that such appeal would perpetrate an injustice or would constitute an abuse of the commission’s administrative process, such person shall be conclusively deemed to have violated the injunction and such agency may seek further injunctive and equitable relief, damages, attorney’s fees and costs, as the court may order.  (P.A. 93-191, 2; P.A. 97-47, 14.)

 

            Sec. 1-242.  Actions involving provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.  Notice of litigation to the Freedom of Information Commission.  Intervention by commission.  (a)  In any action involving the assertion that a provision of the Freedom of Information Act has been violated or constitutes a defense, the court to which such action is brought shall make an order requiring the party asserting such violation or defense, as applicable, to provide the Freedom of Information Commission with notice of the action and a copy of the complaint and all pleadings in the action by first-class mail or personal service to the address of the commission's office.

 

            (b) Upon the filing of a verified pleading by the commission, the court to which an action described in subsection (a) of this section is brought may grant the commission's motion to intervene in the action for purposes of participating in any issue involving a provision of the Freedom of Information Act.  (P.A. 04-206, 1.)

 

Secs. 1-243 to 1-259.  Reserved for future use.

 

                                                   

*NOTE:  This compilation of the Freedom of Information Act is unofficial and for the convenience of the public only.  While every effort was made to attain complete accuracy herein, the reader is advised to consult the Connecticut General Statutes for the official codification of the law.