FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Robert M. Anastasio,
against Docket #FIC 94-64
Gerald Longworth, Assistant Personnel Administrator, State of
Connecticut Department of Children and Families,
Respondent August 10, 1994
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 8, 1994, 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 February 28, 1994, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent had denied him access to certain public records, and requesting that civil penalties be imposed against the respondent.
3. It is found that the complainant on February 3, 1994 requested access to a document that had recently been distributed to the seven top managers in the Region I office of the Department of Children and Families ("DCF").
4. It is found that the document consisted of a draft, prepared by the Region I program director, of uniform Region I policies.
5. It is found that the program director had prepared the document at the request of the Region I program supervisors at a management team meeting around October, 1993.
6. It is found that the document was prepared after the program director reviewed the various written policies submitted to him by the program supervisors.
7. It is found that the document was incomplete, in that some sections consisted only of headings, or a single line, or a question as to whether a particular issue should be addressed.
Docket #FIC 94-64 Page 2
8. It is also found that the purpose of the document, in the form it existed at the time of the complainant's request, was to solicit feedback and comments from the program supervisors.
9. It is also found that the document was never completed, because while the program director was in the process of incorporating the program supervisors' comments, he learned that a comprehensive DCF policy manual was to supersede his own efforts.
9. It is concluded that the requested document is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.
10. The respondent maintains that the document is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(1), G.S., which provides:
Nothing in sections 1-15, 1-18a, 1-19 to 1-19b, inclusive, and 1-21 to 1-21k, inclusive, shall be construed to require disclosure of (1) preliminary drafts or notes provided the public agency has determined that the public interest in withholding such documents clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure ....
11. It is found that the requested record is a preliminary draft within the meaning of 1-19(b)(1), G.S.
12. It is also found that the respondent determined in good faith that the public interest in withholding the requested record clearly outweighed the public interest in disclosure.
13. The complainant maintains that the public interest in withholding the record does not in fact clearly outweigh the public interest in its disclosure.
14. It is concluded, however, that 1-19(b)(1), G.S., places the responsibility for making that determination on the respondent.
15. It is therefore concluded that the respondent permissibly withheld the requested document from disclosure.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
Docket #FIC 94-64 Page 3
1. The complaint is dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 10, 1994.
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 94-64 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:
ROBERT M. ANASTASIO
263 Greene Street
New Haven, CT 06511
GERALD LONGWORTH, ASSISTANT PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATOR, STATE
OF CONNECTICUT, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
c/o Rachel Baird, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission