FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
against Docket #FIC 90-329
State of Connecticut Department of Human Resources,
Respondent April 10, 1991
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 14, 1990 and January 18, 1991, at which times 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 and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
2. By letter filed with this Commission on September 5, 1990, the complainant alleged that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to respond to her requests for records made by letter dated August 3, 1990.
3. It is found that by letter dated August 3, 1990, the complainant requested, among other things, the two categories of documents that were still at issue at the time of the hearing: a) a mail log for the office of the respondent's commissioner for November and December 1989 containing an explanation of the type of documents logged; and b) documents from any file containing information concerning the complainant that was not previously sent to the complainant.
4. It is found that at the initial hearing into this matter, the respondent supplied the complainant with documentation of her daycare license, which was also requested by the complainant in her August 3, 1990 request.
5. It is also found that on January 14, 1991 the respondent mailed to the complainant all documents contained in the complainant's family daycare file maintained at the respondent's central office.
6. It is found that although the respondent also maintains district office files on daycare providers, those records are
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duplicative of records kept at its central office and also are less complete than the records kept at its central office.
7. It is found that there exists no mail log as identified in paragraph 3, above.
8. It is found that the complainant's file referenced another daycare provider, Rita Spaulding.
9. It is also found that as a result of Rita Spaulding's name appearing in the complainant's file, the respondent made a search of the Spaulding file and provided the complainant with a copy of the material that referenced the complainant.
10. It is also found that there exists no other simple method, computerized or otherwise, for cross-referencing names that may be contained within the thousands of daycare providers' files maintained by the respondent.
11. It is further found that as a general rule, the respondent does not maintain information of one daycare provider in the file of another.
12. It is found that in addition to those records provided to the complainant and identified in paragraphs 4, 5 and 9, above, the respondent made a search of the general files of the District Daycare Program Supervisor and provided the complainant with records that concerned the complainant, including an F.O.I.C. notice of hearing and order to show cause from a 1988 case.
13. At hearing, the complainant claimed that although she received many documents from the respondent, she feels that documents the respondent should possess were not provided to her.
14. At hearing, the respondent claimed that a diligent search was made for records requested by the complainant and apologized for producing additional information after the initial hearing into this matter.
15. It is concluded that although the respondent made a diligent search and provided copies of public records to the complainant, the respondent did violate 1-15, G.S. by failing to comply promptly with the complainant's request.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
1. The respondent shall henceforth comply with the provisions of 1-15, G.S.
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2. The Commission reminds the respondent that: a) documents and letters received by that agency constitute part of the public record and accordingly should be retained by it, and b) it may wish to confer with the state records administrator concerning the records retention schedules for public documents.
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 10, 1991.
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission
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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:
13 Deer Run Road
Clinton, CT 06413
STATE OF CONNECTICUT, DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES
c/o Hugh Barber
Assistant Attorney General
P.O. Box 120
Hartford, CT 06101
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission