FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Joel R. Anderson,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-067
Assessor, Office of the Assessor, Town
of Old Saybrook; Office of the Assessor,
Town of Old Saybrook; and Town of
Old Saybrook,
Respondents July 8, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 4, 1998, at 
which time the complainant and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
	2.  By letter dated February 27, 1998, the complainant requested copies of every 
record in the possession of the respondents, dated from July 1, 1992 to the date of the 
request, which relate to every computer operation used in connection with the public 
records of the respondent assessor (the “requested records”), and also asked that the 
copies of the requested records be provided without any charge to the complainant 
pursuant to 1-15(d)(3), G.S.
	3.  By letter dated March 5, 1998, the respondents declined to provide copies of 
the requested records free of charge.
	4.  By letter dated March 10, 1998, and filed on March 16, 1998, the complainant 
appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of 
Information Act by “impos[ing] an illegal fee”.
	5.  The complainant contends that compliance with his request would promote the 
general welfare by allowing dissemination of information relating to whether the 
respondents have complied, in the acquisition of computer systems, with the requirement 
of 1-19a(c), G.S., that they consider providing adequately for the rights of the public 
under the Freedom of Information Act at the least cost possible. 
	6.  The respondents contend that waiver of the copying fee “would not benefit the 
general welfare”, noting also that non-exempt public records are available for inspection 
during business hours.
	7.  Section 1-15(d)(3), G.S., provides:
The public agency shall waive any fee provided for in this 
section when …(3) in its judgment, compliance with the 
applicant's request benefits the general welfare. (emphasis 
added)
	8.  It is concluded that the judgment concerning benefits to the general welfare, 
and the resulting waiver of fees, pursuant to 1-15(d)(3), G.S., is in the sole discretion of 
the respondents.
	9.  Accordingly, the respondents did not violate 1-15(d)(3), G.S., when they 
declined to provide the requested records without any charge to the complainant.
	The 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.
	2.  The Commission does not make any findings concerning the 
respondents assertion that the complainant has been engaged in “recreational 
litigation” herein and in Docket #FIC 1997-274, which alleged similar violations 
that were also dismissed by the Commission on February 25, 1998. However, the 
Commission does note that, pursuant to 1-21i(b)(2), G.S., the executive director 
of the Commission is prohibited, subject to the Commission’s review, from 
scheduling an appeal for hearing if he has reason to believe an appeal would  
constitute an abuse of the Commission’s administrative process.


	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular 
meeting of July 8, 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:
Joel R. Anderson
13 George Drive
Old Saybrook, CT 06475-2636
Assessor, Office of the Assessor, Town of Old Saybrook; Office of the Assessor, Town 
of Old Saybrook; and Town of Old Saybrook
c/o Atty. Jeremiah Donovan
P.O. Box 554
Old Saybrook, CT 06575

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1998-067/FD/tcg/07141998