FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Tracy A. Marlow,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1997-296
State of Connecticut, Department of Public
Health,
Respondents May 27, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 9, 1997, 
at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and 
presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The case caption was 
modified with respect to the respondent from “Communications Office, State of 
Connecticut, Department of Public Health” to “State of Connecticut, Department of 
Public Health.”

	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(1), G.S.
	2.  It is found that by letter dated September 5, 1997, the complainant requested 
that the respondent provide him with a copy of all records, wherever located, relating to 
any investigation conducted by the respondent concerning the Childcare Center of 
Stamford, Inc. and/or any of its employees (hereinafter “requested records”).
	3.  It is found that by letter dated September 9, 1997, the respondent’s 
communications office acknowledged receipt of the complainant’s September 5, 1997 
request but did not provide the complainant with any records at that time.
	4.  Having failed to receive the requested records, the complainant, by letter dated 
September 15, 1997 and filed on September 17, 1997, and supplemented by letter dated 
October 7, 1997 and filed on October 10, 1997, appealed to the Commission alleging that 
the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying him a copy of the 
requested records.
	5.  It is found that the respondent maintains records that are responsive to the 
complainant’s request and such records are public records within the meaning of 1-
18a(5) and 1-19(a), G.S.
	6.  It is found that by letter dated September 30, 1997, the respondent provided the 
complainant with thirty pages of records responsive to his request.  These records 
constitute complaint records pertaining to issues other than child abuse or neglect.  The 
respondent minimally redacted personally identifiable information from portions of such 
records.
	7.  In addition, it is found that the respondent has not disclosed to the complainant 
records of two complaints, which records were reviewed in camera following the hearing 
on this matter (hereinafter “in camera records” or “in camera records IC#1997-296-1 
through IC#1997-296-39, inclusive”).  The in camera records constitute complaint 
records pertaining to issues of child abuse or neglect.
	8.  The records at issue in this case are those described in paragraphs 6 and 7, 
above.  The respondent contends that the redactions, described in paragraph 6, above, and 
the in camera records, described in paragraph 7, above, are exempt from disclosure 
pursuant to 1-19(a) G.S.; 17a-101k, G.S., as amended by P.A. 97-319, 16; 19a-87a(d), 
G.S.; 19a-87e(e), G.S.; and P.A. 97-259, 9.
	9.  Section 1-19(a), G.S., in relevant part, provides:
Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state 
statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public 
agency, whether or not such records are required by any 
law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and 
every person shall have the right to inspect such records 
promptly during regular office or business hours or to 
receive a copy of such records in accordance with the 
provisions of section 1-15.
	10.  Section 17a-101k, G.S., as amended by P.A. 97-319, 16, in relevant part, 
provides:
information relative to child abuse, wherever located, shall 
be confidential subject to such statutes and regulations 
governing their use and access as shall conform to the 
requirements of federal law or regulations.  [Emphasis 
added.]
	11.  Sections 19a-87a(d) and 19a-87e(e), G.S., provide that any person having 
reasonable cause to believe that a child day care center, group day care home or a family 
day care home is operating without a current and valid license or in violation of 
regulations or in a manner which may pose a potential danger to the health, welfare and 
safety of a child receiving child day care services, may report such information to the 
Department of Public Health.
	12.  Sections 19a-87a(d) and 19a-87e(e), G.S., further provide:
The department [of Public Health] shall investigate any 
report or complaint received ….  The name of the person 
making the report or complaint shall not be disclosed 
unless (1) such person consents to such disclosure, (2) a 
judicial or administrative proceeding results therefrom or 
(3) a license action pursuant to subsection (a) of this section 
results therefrom.  All records obtained by the department 
in connection with any such investigation shall not be 
subject to the provisions of section 1-19 for a period of 
thirty days from the date of the petition or other event 
initiating such investigation, or until such time as the 
investigation is terminated pursuant to a withdrawal or 
other informal disposition or until a hearing is convened 
pursuant to chapter 54, whichever is earlier….[Emphasis 
added.]
	13.  P.A. 97-259, 9, in relevant part, provides:
the Commissioner of Children and Families shall notify the 
Commissioner of Public Health of all information 
concerning substantiated complaints … of incidents of 
abuse or neglect which have occurred at any licensed day 
care facility….  The Commissioner of Public Health shall 
compile a listing of the information and of complaints 
received and substantiated by the Department of Public 
Health concerning a licensed day care facility during the 
prior three-year period.  The Commissioner of Public 
Health shall disclose information contained in the listing to 
any person who requests it, provided the information does 
not identify children, families, staff members or employees 
of any licensed facility or any person residing in the 
household of a person licensed under section 19a-87b of the 
general statutes.  [Emphasis added.]
	14.  It is found that all of the records at issue constitute records obtained by the 
respondent in connection with investigations of reports or complaints, within the meaning 
of 19a-87a(d) and 19a-87e(e), G.S.
	15.  It is also found that pursuant to 19a-87a(d) and 19a-87e(e), G.S., the 
maximum thirty day time period allowed for nondisclosure of all of the records at issue 
has expired.
	16.  It is also found that in camera records IC#1997-296-1 through IC#1997-296-
25, inclusive, constitute records of a substantiated complaint of child abuse or neglect 
within the meaning of P.A. 97-259, 9 and therefore, the identities of children, families, 
staff members or employees of any licensed facility or any person residing in the 
household of a person licensed under section 19a-87b of the general statutes are not 
subject to public disclosure.
	17.  It is also found that in camera records IC#1997-296-26 through IC#1997-296-
39, inclusive, constitute records of an unsubstantiated complaint of child abuse or neglect.
	18.  It is concluded that with respect to the redacted records disclosed to the 
complainant and described in paragraph 6 of the findings, above, the respondent did not 
violate 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S., by redacting the identities of the person making the 
report or complaint by virtue of 19a-87a(d) and 19a-87e(e), G.S., and the Commission 
declines to order the disclosure of the identities of the children and parents involved.  
However, it is concluded that the respondent violated 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S., by 
failing to provide the complainant with a copy of such redacted records promptly, within 
the meaning of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S., and within the time periods permitted by 
19a-87a(d) and 19a-87e(e), G.S.
	19.  It is further concluded that 19a-87a(d), 19a-87e(e), G.S., and P.A. 97-259, 
9, are the types of statutes referred to in 17a-101k, G.S., as amended by P.A. 97-319, 
16, as “governing” access to information relative to child abuse wherever located.
	20.  Accordingly, 19a-87a(d), 19a-87e(e), G.S., and P.A. 97-259, 9, must be 
read in conjunction with one another.
	21.  In reading 19a-87a(d), 19a-87e(e), G.S., and P.A. 97-259, 9, together, it is 
concluded that with respect to the substantiated complaint of abuse or neglect, described 
as in camera records IC#1997-296-1 through IC#1997-296-25, the respondent violated 
1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with a copy of all such 
records promptly, within the meaning of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S., with the identities 
of the following persons redacted:  the name of the person making the report or 
complaint, children, families, staff members or employees of the facility or any person 
residing in the household of a person licensed under section 19a-87b, G.S., and failing to 
provide the complainant with a copy of such redacted records within the time periods 
permitted by 19a-87a(d) and 19a-87e(e), G.S.  With respect to the unsubstantiated 
complaint of abuse or neglect, described as in camera records IC#1997-296-26 through 
IC#1997-296-39, it is further concluded that such records do not fall within the purview 
of P.A. 97-259, 9.  Therefore, such records fall within 19a-87a(d) and 19a-87e(e), 
G.S., and should have been disclosed once the maximum time period allowed for 
nondisclosure expired.  It is therefore, concluded that with respect to those records, the 
respondent violated 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant 
with a copy of all such records promptly, within the meaning of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), 
G.S., with the identities of the person making the report or complaint redacted.  The 
Commission in its discretion declines to order the disclosure of the identities of the 
children and parents involved.
	
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of 
the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
	
	1.  The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of in 
camera records IC#1997-296-1 through IC#1997-296-25, inclusive, with the following 
redactions only:  the names, telephone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, dates 
of birth and photographs of the person making the report or complaint, children, families, 
staff members or employees of the facility or any person residing in the household of a 
person licensed under 19a-87b, G.S.
	2.  The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of in 
camera records IC#1997-296-26 through IC#1997-296-39, inclusive, with the following 
redactions only:  the name of the person making the report or complaint, identities of 
children and parents.
	3.  Henceforth the respondent shall strictly comply with the promptness 
provisions of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.

	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular 
meeting of May 27, 1998.


_________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
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:
Tracy A. Marlow
3 West End Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT 06870-1640
State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health
c/o Atty. Peter L. Brown
Assistant Attorney General
55 Elm Street - P.O. Box 120
Hartford, CT 06206-1774
State of Connecticut, Department of Children and Families
c/o Atty. Patricia E. Naktenis
Assistant Attorney General
MacKenzie Hall
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1997-296/FD/tcg/05291998