FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Ethan Book, Jr.,
against Docket #FIC 1996-010
Connecticut Resources Recovery
Respondent(s) November 13, 1996
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 11, 1996, at which time the complainant and 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
December 25, 1995 (“December request”), the complainant requested that the respondent
provide him with copies of eight categories of specified information relating
to the redevelopment of the Greater Bridgeport Resources Recovery Project
(“project”), to wit:
a) bids submitted to the respondent authority (“CRRA”) by Signal Environmental Systems, Inc. and Combustion Engineering, Inc. for the project;
b) documentation which evidences a conflict of interest regarding First Boston Corporation’s role as a member of the evaluation panel and investment banker for the project;
c) documentation which evidences the vendor selection and approval processes whereby First Boston Corporation was chosen to be the investment banker for the project;
d) the contract between CRRA and First Boston Corporation for issuance of the Municipal Service Fee Subordinate Lien Bonds (1987 Series A) for the project;
e) documentation which evidences fee arrangements between CRRA and First Boston Corporation for issuance of the Municipal Service Fee Subordinate Lien Bonds (1987 Series A) for the project;
f) documentation which evidences payments actually received by First Boston Corporation for its role in the issuance of the Municipal Service Fee Subordinate Lien Bonds (1987 Series A) for the project; and
g) documentation which evidences other financing arrangements by First Boston Corporation for CRRA other than the issuance of the Municipal Service Fee Subordinate Lien Bonds (1987 Series A) for the project.
3. It is found that by letter dated January 3, 1996 (“January reply”), the respondent acknowledged receipt of the December request and advised the complainant that: a) the same documents had been the subject of an earlier request which had already been responded to, b) which produced a diligent and extensive search of CRRA files, and c) which only resulted in the location of documents responsive to paragraphs 2a).and 2d)., of the findings, above, that would be provided to him upon prepayment of copying fees totaling $21.50.
4. It is found that in its January reply the respondent also advised the complainant that the remaining items in his December request, as described in paragraphs 2b), 2c), 2e), 2f) and 2g), of the findings, above, would require CRRA to conduct research that the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act does not require.
5. It is found that by letter dated January 7, 1996 (“January letter”), the complainant questioned whether research was in fact necessary in order to provide the remaining requested records, and he enclosed payment in full for the records that the respondent had copied, as identified in its January reply.
6. It is found that those records described in paragraphs 2a), 2d) and 3c) of the findings, above, were provided to the complainant after payment of the copying fees totaling $21.50.
7. By letter of complaint dated January 9, 1996 and filed with the Commission on January 11, 1996 (“appeal”), the complainant alleged that the respondent failed to fully comply with his December request.
8. It is found that the records sought by the complainant are public records within the meaning of §§1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G. S.
9. At the hearing on this matter, the
respondent argued that: a) the complainant has received full and prompt
compliance with the records requests as required by the FOI Act, and b)
the FOI Act does not require it to conduct research.
10. At the hearing on this matter, the respondent also requested that the Commission find that the complainant filed a frivolous appeal.
11. It is found that the respondent has offered the complainant access to its files from which any information sought in paragraphs 2b), 2c), 2e), 2f) and 2g), of the findings, above, may be obtained from research done by the complainant.
12. It is found that the information sought in paragraphs 2b), 2c), 2e), 2f) and 2g), of the findings, above, can only be obtained by research.
13. It is concluded that the FOI Act does not require the respondent, or any public agency to conduct research on behalf of the complainant.
14. The Commission takes administrative notice of the pleadings, record, evidence and final decision in Docket #FIC 94-266, Ethan Book, Jr. v. State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation.
15. It is found that the respondent has continually offered to make its files fully available to the complainant so that he can comb through the records that he believes may be responsive to his requests.
16. It is found that the complainant has continually failed and refused to make and/or keep appointments to review the respondent’s files.
17. It is therefore concluded that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act by offering the complainant access to its files, rather than conducting research for him.
following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the
record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of .
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
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:
Ethan Book, Jr.
P.O. Box 1385
Fairfield, CT 06430
Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority
c/o Carl R. Nasto, Esq.
179 Allyn Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission