FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
Russell J. Quinlan,
against Docket #FIC 93-216
Connecticut Development Authority and Loan Committee
of the Connecticut Development Authority,
Respondents February 16, 1994
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 28, 1993, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. At that time, the Loan Committee of the Connecticut Development Authority was added as a party respondent.
After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondent Connecticut Development Authority ("CDA") is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
2. By letter dated July 29, 1993, the complainant requested from the respondent CDA:
a. a copy of the minutes or other written notes and/or documentation of the meeting of the respondent committee held on April 21, 1993; and
b. a letter stating that no minutes or other written notes and/or documentation were recorded at the meeting of the respondent committee held on April 21, 1993.
3. By letter dated August 3, 1993, the respondent CDA informed the complainant that no minutes exist for the April 21, 1993 meeting of the respondent committee.
Docket #FIC 93-216 Page 2
4. By letter dated August 9, 1993, the complainant asked the respondent CDA for a more detailed response than that provided in its August 3, 1993 letter. In particular, the complainant asked that the respondent CDA address his request, as described in paragraph 2b., above, for a statement that in addition to the fact that there are no minutes, no written notes or other documentation exist pertaining to the respondent committee's April 21, 1993 meeting.
5. By letter dated August 10, 1993 the respondent CDA reiterated that there were no minutes of the April 21, 1993 meeting and indicated that it did not understand what the complainant meant with respect to the word "documentation," in his August 9, 1993 letter.
6. By letter filed on August 12, 1993, the complainant appealed the respondents' failure to produce minutes or other written records of the April 21, 1993 meeting to this Commission.
7. It is found that the respondent committee convened a meeting on April 21, 1993 and that it did not create minutes pertaining to that meeting.
8. The respondent committee maintains that it does not create minutes of its meetings because it is not a public agency under the FOI Act, since it was created by CDA's Board of Directors ("board") and its members do not constitute a quorum of the board.
9. It is found that the respondent committee consists of three members, all of whom are also members of the board.
10. It is also found that the respondent committee typically convenes on the same dates as those upon which the board meets, but at an earlier time.
11. It is also found that the function of the respondent committee is to review loan requests with staff members of the respondent and to then make recommendations to the board at the board's meeting, concerning whether such requests should be granted or denied.
12. Section 1-18(a), G.S., as it existed on April 21, 1993, defined public agency, in part, as:
"any executive, administrative or legislative office of the state or any political subdivision of the state and any state or town agency, any department, institution, bureau, board,
Docket #FIC 93-216 Page 3
commission, authority or official of the state...including any committee of any such office, subdivision, agency, department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official...." [Emphasis Added].
13. Section 1-19(a) G.S., requires a public agency to make, keep and maintain a record of the proceedings of its meetings.
14. It is concluded that the respondent committee is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S., subject to the requirements of the FOI Act, including the minutes requirements set forth in 1-19(a), G.S.
15. It is further concluded that the respondent committee violated the provisions of 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to create minutes of its April 21, 1993 meeting.
16. With respect to the complainant's request for any other written notes or documentation pertaining to the April 21, 1993 meeting, it is found that the complainant seeks access to any written records whatsoever, made by members of the respondent committee during the subject meeting.
17. It is found that during the course of the April 21, 1993 meeting, individual members of the respondent committee may have made written notations concerning the loan requests discussed that day, either on copies of the loan requests or on summary documents prepared by CDA staff members.
18. It is further found that to the extent members of the respondent committee made such written notations, as described in paragraph 17, above, such notations constitute preliminary notes that are permissibly exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(1), G.S.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. Within thirty days of the mailing of notice of the final decision in this matter, the respondent committee shall create minutes of its April 21, 1993 meeting, which minutes shall at a minimum include the time, date and location of the meeting, and which shall identify the members of the respondent committee who were present at the meeting, the loan requests that were discussed thereat and the votes, if any, whether formal or informal of the respondent committee members.
2. Henceforth the respondent committee shall strictly comply with the requirements of 1-19(a), G.S.
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Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of February 16, 1994.
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 93-216 Page 5
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:
Mr. Russell J. Quinlan
82 Camp Street
Meriden, CT 06450
Mr. Roy W. Breward
Executive Vice President
Connecticut Development Authority
845 Brook Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission