FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Jon Lender and the Hartford Courant,

 

Complainants

 

against Docket #FIC 86-155

 

Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, Department of Administrative Services of the State of Connecticut,

 

Respondents August 13, 1986

 

The above captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 30, 1986, at which time the complainants and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

After consideration of the entire record the following facts are found:

 

1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By letter dated June 2, 1986 the complainants made a request of the respondents for a copy of the report prepared by the Internal Audit Unit concerning a number of allegations of misconduct in the State Bureau of Purchasing.

 

3. On June 2, 1986 the complainants' request was denied by the Department of Administrative Services Communication Director, on the ground that the report was a preliminary draft and therefore exempt from disclosure.

 

4. By letter filed with the Commission on June 3, 1986 the complainants appealed the denial of their request.

 

5. At the hearing before the Commission, the respondents agreed to provide the complainants with a copy of the requested report.

 

Docket #FIC 86-155 Page 2

 

6. It is found that the report in question stems from allegations of impropriety within the Department of Administrative Services and is one of many reports prepared by the Internal Audit Unit on this matter.

 

7. It is found that at the time of the complainants' request the report in question was substantially complete in both content and form and that it did not constitute a preliminary draft or note as defined by 1-19(b)(1), G.S.

 

8. It is also found that the report which the complainants requested on June 2, 1986 is exactly the same report provided to the complainants at the time of the hearing.

 

9. It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to disclose a copy of the requested report promptly.

 

10. The Commission notes that the respondents were motivated by an understandable desire to protect certain employees within the Department of Administrative Services from allegations of wrongdoing which were unfounded. However, the impunity enjoyed by them in the present case will not endure if there is not strict compliance with the disclosure provisions of 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above captioned complaint:

 

1. The respondents shall henceforth comply strictly with the provisions of 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 13, 1986.

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission