FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

James Pellegrino,

 

Complainant,

 

against Docket #FIC 89-184

 

Director of Resources and Facilities Planning, State of Connecticut, Department of Administrative Services,

 

Respondent April 11, 1990

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 12, 1989, and February 5, 1990, at which times the complainant and the respondent appeared 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. It is found that by letter dated April 25, 1989, the complainant requested the respondent allow him to inspect all bids submitted to the respondent in response to RFP 89-R913.

 

3. It is found that by letter dated April 27, 1989, the respondent informed the complainant that the only bid considered, other than his company's, was Digital Equipment Corporation's ("DEC"), and that is was available at 25 a page, except for those pages marked proprietary.

 

4. It is found that on May 12, 1989, the complainant sent the respondent a check for $30.75 and that on May 16, 1989, the respondent sent the complainant a copy of 123 pages of DEC's proposal.

 

5. It is found that by letter received by the Commission on June 6, 1989, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging the respondent denied him access to certain pages of DEC's proposal.

 

6. At the hearing on this matter DEC moved for full party status, which the hearing officer granted.

 

Docket #FIC 89-184 Page Two

 

7. The respondent and DEC claim that those pages of the proposal not disclosed yet are exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(5), G.S., as both trade secrets and as commercial or financial information given in confidence, not required by statute. DEC further claims that the timing of the complaint fails to confer jurisdiction upon the Commission.

 

8. It is found that the complainant did not know until after May 16, 1989, which pages of the proposal the respondent sent him and which pages the respondent did not send him.

 

9. It is found, therefore, that the complainant appealed to the Commission within 30 days of being denied access to portions of the requested record.

 

10. It is concluded that the complaint was timely, as defined by 1-21i(b), G.S., thereby conferring jurisdiction to hear it upon the Commission.

 

11. It is found that the proposal in question is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

12. It is found that the portions of DEC's proposals that the complainant has not received are:

 

a. Section II: Work Statement/Technical Specifications,

 

b. Section III: Summary of Cost, and

 

c. Section VII: References.

 

13. It is found that Section II contains detailed information on DEC's current computer hardware, computer software, other equipment, how DEC makes networks run, technology DEC will be investing in in the future, how these future technologies will connect with the currently-proposed networks, and some costs. Section II also includes details of DEC's diagnostic testing techniques.

 

14. It is found that Section III contains detailed information on DEC's computer system costs, including costs for manufacturing, sub-contractors, purchasing and testing different products, and research and development. This section also includes details about DEC's design development.

 

15. It is found that Section VII contains the identities of customers for whom DEC has provided products and services similar to those in the subject proposal.

 

Docket #FIC 89-184 Page Three

 

16. It is found that when DEC originally submitted its proposal to the respondent, they both signed an agreement saying that the information could not be disclosed to anyone outside the respondent's evaluation staff.

 

17. It is found that, upon the respondent's request for a more specific indication of what DEC considered proprietary, DEC consented in a letter dated April 21, 1989, to the disclosure of all but sections II, III, and VII of the proposal.

 

18. It is concluded, therefore, that sections II, III, and VII of DEC's proposal were given to the respondent in confidence.

 

19. It is found that DEC is not required by any law to give the respondent the information in sections II, III, and VII of its proposal.

 

20. It is found that the information in sections II, III, and VII of DEC's proposal gives the company its commercial advantages and is commercial and financial information within the meaning of 1-19(b)(5), G.S.

 

21. It is concluded, therefore, that sections II, III, and VII of DEC's proposal are exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(5), G.S., as commercial or financial information given in confidence and not required by statute.

 

The following order of the Commission is hereby recommended based on the entire record in the above-captioned matter:

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 11, 1990.

 

Tina C. Frappier

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

Docket #FIC 89-184 Page Four

 

PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

JAMES PELLEGRINO

Executive Vice President

New England Insulated Wire

24 New Park Drive

Berlin, CT 06037

 

DIRECTOR OF RESOURCES AND FACILITIES PLANNING, STATE OF CONNECTICUT, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

c/o Priscilla J. Green

Assistant Attorney General

55 Elm Street

Hartford, CT 06106

 

DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION

c/o Jeffrey J. Mirman

Tarlow, Levy, Harding & Droney, P.C.

74 Batterson Park Road

P.O. Box 887

Farmington, CT 06034

 

Tina C. Frappier

Acting Clerk of the Commission