FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Chuck Mascola,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-335

State of Connecticut,

Department of Transportation,

Consultant Selection Office,

 
  Respondent June 22, 2005
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 29, 2005, at which time the complainant and the respondent 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that, by letter dated July 14, 2004, to the respondent, the complainant made a request for interview results, which were conducted as part of the request for proposals for marketing and internet services for Bradley International Airport [hereinafter “the requested records”].   

 

3.  It is found that, by letter dated July 20, 2004, the respondent denied the request described in paragraph 2, above, based on application of 13b-20j(b), G.S.

 

 4.  By letter dated July 23, 2004, and filed on July 26, 2004, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information [hereinafter “FOI”] Act by denying him a copy of the requested records.    

 

5.  Section 1-210(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…receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212….”

 

            [Emphasis added.]

 

6.  Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:

 

“[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record… ”

 

7.   It is found that the respondent maintains the requested records and that such records are public records within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S.

 

8.  The respondent contends that the requested records are exempt from the mandatory disclosure provisions of the FOI Act by virtue of 13b-20j(b), G.S.

 

9.  Section 13b-20j, G.S., concerns the contractor’s selection process of the Department of Transportation, and provides:

 

“(a) A selection panel shall conduct interviews with the five consultant firms selected, or if fewer than five responses are received, the panel shall conduct interviews with all such firms and present the names of all the consultant firms responding to the commissioner.

 

(b) A selection panel shall proceed to furnish a list of the most qualified consultant firms to the commissioner, or the names of all the consultant firms responding if fewer than five respond.  A panel shall prepare a memorandum of the selection process, indicating how the evaluation criteria were applied to determine the most qualified firms, which shall be available to the public after execution of the contract with the selected consultant.  The commissioner shall select a consultant from among the list of firms submitted by a selection panel.  After the commissioner has made his selection, the names of the consultant firms submitted to the commissioner shall be available to the public upon request.  The commissioner shall also prepare a memorandum of the final phase of the selection process, indicating how he applied the evaluation criteria to determine the most qualified firm.  Such memorandum shall be available to the public after execution of the contract with the selected consultant.”   

 

10.  It is found that the requested records consist of a memorandum and attachments prepared by the Commissioner of Transportation concerning the final phase of the selection process for the contract for marketing and internet services for Bradley International Airport [hereinafter “the contract”].  It is further found that the requested records fall within the purview of 13b-20j(b), G.S.

 

11.  It is found that, as of the time of the hearing in this matter, the contract had not been executed.  

 

12.  The complainant contends that the execution of the contract could be delayed for several months and that the statute is unfair.  However, it is concluded that 13b-20j(b), G.S., exempts the requested records from mandatory disclosure until such time as the contract is executed.   

 

13.  It is concluded that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act, as alleged in the complaint. 

 

14.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondent pledged to provide the complainant with a copy of the requested records upon execution of the contract.   

 

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.

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 22, 2005.

 

________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

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:

 

Chuck Mascola

434 Forbes Avenue

New Haven, CT 06512

 

State of Connecticut,

Department of Transportation,

Consultant Selection Office

c/o Charles H. Walsh, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

PO Box 120

55 Elm Street

Hartford, CT 06141-0120

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-335FD/paj/6/23/2005