FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
Elyse C. Fila,
against Docket #FIC 92-290
Commissioner, State of Connecticut Department of Health Services,
Respondent April 28, 1993
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 17, 1993, 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 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 of complaint filed September 18, 1992, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that her September 4, 1992 request for a certain "Health Report" and a draft of the report had received no response.
3. It is found that the complainant by letter dated September 4, 1992 requested from the respondent a copy of the "Health Report" that the respondent had been directed to prepare by the Governor regarding the impact that a low level radioactive waste disposal facility would have on people and the land, and a copy of the draft of the report as well.
4. It is found that the respondent provided the complainant with a copy of the completed report within a couple of days after the report was issued on September 17, 1992.
5. It is found that the report consists a three-page summary letter to the Governor, to which is attached four large appendices.
6. It is found that there exists no draft form of the three-page summary letter to the Governor.
7. It is found that the key to the completed report is a "performance appraisal" prepared for the Connecticut Hazardous Waste Management Service, at the direction of the respondent, by Rogers and Associates Engineering Corporation in Utah.
Docket #FIC 92-290 Page 2
8. It is found that the performance appraisal is an appendix to the report.
9. It is found that the performance appraisal evaluates proposed low level radioactive waste disposal sites and a generic disposal facility for their ability to isolate waste from the environment and to comply with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations for releases from such facilities; and examines potential health impacts from the disposal facility and from the transportation of wastes to such a facility.
10. It is found that a draft of the performance appraisal was submitted to the respondent in February 1992.
11. It is concluded that the draft of the performance appraisal is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.
12. It is found that access to the draft of the performance appraisal was not offered to the complainant until December 1992, and that a copy was never actually provided to the complainant.
13. It is found that the respondent believed that a copy of the final version of the report would satisfy the complainant, and believed that the complainant would not want to pay for a copy of the entire draft of the performance appraisal, which is about one inch thick.
14. It is also found that the respondent made a copy of the draft of the performance appraisal available to the complainant at the hearing, and expressed a willingness to assist the complainant in her research, which cooperation the complainant acknowledged had been provided in the past.
15. It is concluded nonetheless that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide promptly upon request a copy of the draft of the performance appraisal.
16. It is found that the respondent also has voluminous documents comprising raw data used in preparing the report, but which do not constitute a draft or drafts of the report. At the hearing, the respondent indicated a willingness to permit the complainant to examine those documents, although such documents do not reasonably fall within the scope of the complainant's September 4, 1992 request.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
Docket #FIC 92-290 Page 3
1. Henceforth the respondent shall stricly comply with the promptness requirement contained in 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 28, 1993.
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 92-290 Page 4
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:
Elyse C. Fila
31 Niederwerfer Road
Broad Brook, CT 06016
Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Health Services
c/o Asst. Atty. Gen. Peter L. Brown
P.O. Box 120
Hartford, CT 06141-0120
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission