FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Connecticut Hospital Association, Inc. and Connecticut State Medical Society,

 

Complainants, Docket #FIC 86-279

 

against

 

Commission on Hospitals and Health Care,

 

Respondent January 14, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 30, 1986, at which time the complainants and the respondent 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. On August 26, 1986, the respondent held an unnoticed meeting during a recess of a special meeting.

 

3. By letter of complaint dated and filed with the Commission on September 25, 1986, the complainants alleged the respondent violated the 1-21(a), G.S., requirement that notice be given of all public agency meetings except emergency meetings. The complainants also alleged a violation of the 1-21(a), G.S., requirement that all public agency meetings, except executive sessions, be open to the public. In addition, the complainants asked the Commission to declare null and void the respondent's decision in Docket No. 85-070 DR, adopted on September 3, 1986.

 

Docket #FIC 86-279 Page Two

 

4. The respondent claims it determined there was an emergency, it could not wait twenty-four hours to hold a meeting dealing with the emergency, and it therefore convened an emergency meeting, in accord with 1-21(a), G.S.

 

5. In the alternative, the respondent claims the unnoticed meeting was an executive session for the purpose of discussing strategy and negotiations of pending claims and litigation, within the meaning of 1-18a(e)(2), G.S.

 

6. It is found that before commencing the unnoticed meeting the respondent did not determine there was an emergency, did not determine it needed to have a meeting for which it could not give twenty-four hours notice, and did not convene an emergency meeting.

 

7. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent violated 1-21(a), G.S.

 

8. It is also found that before the unnoticed meeting the respondent did not vote to go into executive session, publicly state a reason for an executive session, or otherwise convene an executive session as required by 1-21(a), G.S.

 

9. Thus it is concluded that the respondent did not convene properly in executive session, in violation of 1-21(a), G.S.

 

10. The Commission declines to declare null and void the respondent's decision in Docket No. 85-070 DR.

 

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

 

1. Henceforth the respondent shall act in strict compliance with the terms of 1-21(a), G.S.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 14, 1987

 

Catherine I. Hostetter

Acting Clerk of the Commission