FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Lawrence Clayton and
SEIU Local 760,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-376
Chief Financial Officer, Capitol
Region Education Council; and
Capitol Region Education Council,
Respondents March 24, 1999

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 25, 1999, at which time the complainants and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(1), G.S.

        2. By letters dated October 28, 1998 and November 23, 1998, the complainants made a request for access to review the files regarding "Project Choice" and copies of the following:

a. a list of drivers referred to in Section 6 and Section 12 of the respondent council’s contract agreement with Dattco Inc.; and

b. a description of Dattco Inc.’s continuing program of driver and safety instruction.

The complainants’ letter dated October 28, 1998 also requested a copy of the most recent monthly invoice from Dattco Inc.

        3. By letter dated December 3, 1998, and filed with this Commission on December 4, 1998, the complainants appealed the respondents failure to provide access to and copies of the requested documents.

        4. Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:

[e]xcept 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.

        5. Section 1-15(a), G.S., provides that " . . . [a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record . . ."

        6. Section 1-21i(b)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part that ". . . [a]ny person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-19 . . . may appeal therefrom to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission. A notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days after such denial . . ."

        7. It is found that the complainants’ request dated October 28, 1998 was not filed within the required statutory period.

        8. It is concluded that the Commission lacks jurisdiction over that portion of the complaint and the requests pertaining thereto.

        9. At the hearing on this matter, the respondents’ stipulated that they would provide access to the files regarding "Project Choice" on Thursday, January 28, 1998, at 10:00am.

        10. Notwithstanding the stipulation described in paragraph 9, above, it is found that the respondents failed to provide prompt access to the files regarding "Project Choice" as requested in the complainants’ November 23, 1998, letter.

        11. It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide prompt access to those records.

        12. With regard to the complainants’ request described in paragraphs 2a and 2b, above, it is found that the contract between the respondent and Dattco Inc., clearly states that the respondents are to be provided with a copy of a list of drivers and a description of Dattco Inc.’s continuing program of driver and safety instruction.

        13. It is also found that the respondents do not maintain copies of those records and never have maintained copies of those records.

        14. However, it is concluded that the respondents violated the FOI Act when they failed to obtain from Dattco Inc. pursuant to their contract a copy of, and to provide the complainants with a copy of, the records more fully described in paragraphs 2a and 2b, above.

 

        The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.

        1. The respondents shall forthwith obtain from Dattco Inc. a copy of the records more fully described in paragraphs 2a and 2b of the findings, above, and provide such copy to the complainants

        2. Henceforth, the respondents shall strictly comply with the promptness provisions of 1-19(a), G.S.

 

        Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 24, 1999.

 

 

_________________________

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:

 

Lawrence Clayton
and SEIU Local 760
c/o Eda diBiccari
760 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106-1206

 

Chief Financial Officer,
Capitol Region Education
Council; and Capitol Region
Education Council
c/o Atty. Victor Schoen
Sullivan, Schoen, Campane
& Connon, LLC
646 Prospect Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105-4286

 

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1998-376FD/mrb03261999