FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Tracy Arthur Marlow,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-052
Kristen Greene, State of Connecticut,
Department of Children and Families;
and State of Connecticut, Department
of Children and Families,
Respondents November 18, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 5 and 
September 10, 1998, at which times 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 6, 1998, the complainant requested that the 
respondents provide him with all records “related to any investigation conducted by your 
department of me and my family” (the “requested records” or “records”).
	3.  By letter dated February 19, 1998 and filed on February 23, 1998, the 
complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the 
Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by failing to respond to his request set forth at 
paragraph 2, above.
	4.  By letter dated February 25, 1998, the respondent department stated that the 
complainant would be furnished with a copy of the requested records “at the conclusion 
of the investigation”.
	5.  By certified letter mailed on April 3, 1998, the respondent department 
furnished the complainant with a copy of the investigation file related to the complainant, 
with certain of the records redacted.
	6.  By letter dated June 23, 1998, pursuant to an agreement entered into at the 
June 5, 1998 hearing, the respondent department provided further requested records to the 
complainant, namely all records recorded on paper from the respondent department’s 
“Hotline” office. The respondent department also stated that, based on its policy, it 
declined to provide the complainant with an audio tape that was within the terms of the 
original request (while noting that a record memorializing the relevant audio tape had 
been provided to the complainant).
	7.  On July 1, 1998, the respondent department, also pursuant to an agreement 
entered into at the June 5, 1998 hearing, filed an unredacted copy of the requested records 
with the Commission for an in camera inspection which has now been performed.
	8.  At the June 5, 1998 hearing and in briefs dated July 20 and September 17, 
1998, the respondents contend that pursuant to the exception clause of 1-19(a), G.S., the 
Commission is without jurisdiction with reference to records of the respondent 
department based upon the provisions of  17a-28, G.S. In the June 5, 1998 brief, the 
respondents cite various Commission decisions in support of their contention.
	9.  It is found that the only records at issue at the present time include records 
provided with redactions that are contested by the complainant, printouts of three 
computer screens where the first page was provided but the scrolling feature indicated the 
existence of subsequent pages which have not been provided, and the audio tape from the 
department’s “Hotline” office (concerning which the complainant has a record 
memorializing the relevant audio tape).
	10.  It is concluded that 17a-28, G.S., is not a model of clarity with reference to 
its relationship to the FOIA. However, notwithstanding the single reference to “[i]n 
addition to the right of access provided in section 1-19” at 17a-28(l), G.S., the 
provisions of 17a-28, G.S., generally, and even the one subsection at 17a-28(l), G.S., 
set forth such a comprehensive, specific system of records management that the FOIA 
system of rights could not be superimposed “in addition to” the 17a-28, G.S., rights 
without creating a hopeless morass of confusion and contradiction. (See also the first 
sentence of 17a-28(b), G.S., stating that the records of the respondent department shall 
be confidential notwithstanding the FOIA).  
	11.  It is therefore concluded, following long-standing and frequently affirmed 
Commission precedent, that 17a-28, G.S., creates separate rights of access to the 
respondents’ records than those set forth in 1-19, G.S. It is further concluded that, with 
reference to the respondent department, the more specific 17a-28, G.S., set of records 
management rules “occupies the field” and exclusively controls (rather than the more 
general FOIA rules). 
	12.  Finally, it is concluded that the Commission is generally without jurisdiction 
to enforce rights of access created by statutes other than the FOIA, and also that the 
Commission is specifically without jurisdiction to issue a ruling on the request for access 
to the records in the present case.
	
	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 notes that the respondents have been most 
cooperative with the Commission given the provisions of 17a-28, G.S. 
	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of 
November 18, 1998.

_________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
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 Arthur Marlow
600 Hollow Tree Ridge Road
Darien, CT 06820-2420
Kristen Greene, State of 
Connecticut, Department of 
Children and Families; and 
State of Connecticut, Depart-
ment of Children and Families
c/o Atty. Sonia S. Stoloff
Assistant Attorney General
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105-2294


__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission


FIC1998-052FD/mrb11201998