FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

William F. Pasco and Rotondo & Sons, Inc.,

 

Complainants,

 

against Docket #FIC 88-169

 

Engineer of Bridge Design(C.E.), Bureau of Highways of the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation and State of Connecticut Department of Transportation,

 

Respondents April 26, 1989

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 28 and September 9, 1988 and February 7, 1989, at which times 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 and conclusions of law are reached:

 

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

 

2. By letter dated April 6, 1988, the complainants requested to inspect the shop drawings and design calculations for both sizes of pre-cast concrete box culverts being used on the respondent department's job #63-358 in Hartford.

 

3. By telephone call from the Attorney General's office on April 28, 1988, the complainants' request was denied.

 

4. By letter dated April 29, 1988 and filed with the Commission on May 4, 1988, the complainants appealed to the Commission.

 

5. The records are in the custody of the respondent engineer.

 

6. At the hearing Concrete Systems, Inc., who had submitted the records in question to the respondents, was granted intervenor status for the hearing.

 

Docket #FIC 88-169 Page Two

 

7. The respondents and the intervenor claim that the requested records are trade secrets exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(5), G.S.

 

8. It is found that the requested records consist of:

 

a. some 8 to 10 pages of blueprints or shop plans, referred to as "shop drawings" in the complainants' request,

 

b. and some 20 to 30 pages of computations, referred to as "design calculations" in the complainants' request.

 

9. It is found that while the respondent department may execute certain general drawings in the shop plans, all the details on those plans were created by the intervenor and reflect throughout the computations of the intervenor's design engineers.

 

10. It is found that the pages of the computations numbered "5 of 8," "7 of 8" and "8 of 8" dated October 1, 1986 do not contain trade secrets within the meaning of 1-19(b)(5), G.S., but that the handwritten pages that follow those 3 pages do contain trade secrets within the meaning of 1-19(b)(5), G.S.

 

11. Thus it is found that the shop plans do contain trade secrets throughout within the meaning of 1-19(b)(5), G.S. The cover letter to Concrete Systems, Inc. dated July 18, 1987, does not contain trade secrets.

 

12. It is concluded that the respondents violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by not allowing the complainants to inspect the first few pages of general computations.

 

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

 

1. The respondents forthwith shall allow the complainants to inspect the pages described as not containing the trade secrets in paragraphs 10 and 11 of the findings, above.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 26, 1989.

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission