In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Joseph Rysz,




against Docket #FIC 87-215


Norwalk Zoning Board of Appeals,


Respondent October 14, 1987


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 21, 1987, at which time the complainant 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. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on July 30, 1987 the complainant alleged that the respondent failed to file minutes of its July 9, 1987 meeting within 7 days, as required by 1-21, G.S.


3. It is found that on or about August 11, 1987 the minutes of the respondent's July 9, 1987 meeting were placed on file and made available for public inspection, a copy of which was sent to the complainant.


4. It is concluded that the respondent violated 1-21, G.S., when it failed to timely file and make available the minutes of its July 9, 1987 meeting, as required by 1-21, G.S.


5. At the hearing, counsel for the respondent explained that a private secretarial service is used and that the secretary responsible for constructing its minutes had experienced some personal problems and was unaware that the complainant had made a request of the respondent for the minutes in question.


Docket #FIC 87-215 Page 2


6. The Commission notes, however, that it is the Freedom of Information Act and not a private secretarial service that governs when the minutes of a public agency are made available for public inspection.


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 requirements of 1-21, G.S.


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


Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission