FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

John O’Connell and the Hartford

Small Business and Taxpayer Alliance,

 
  Complainants  
  against   Docket #FIC 2008-743

Finance Department,

City of Hartford; and

City of Hartford,

 
  Respondents

October 28, 2009

       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 20, 2009, 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 1-200(1)(A), G.S.

 

2.  By letter of complaint filed November 24, 2008, the complainants appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying the complainants’ October 21 and November 20, 2008 requests for public records.

 

3.  It is found that, by letter dated October 21, 2008 the complainants made a written request to the respondents to review, inspect and potentially copy “the beginning monthly balance, monthly credits and debits, and ending monthly balance, for the account or accounts in which the City maintains the general fund balance ….”

 

4.  It is found that, in response to the request, the respondents on October 30, 2008 provided a fiscal year 2007-2008 monthly actual revenue and expenses report.  It is found that the respondents also offered to produce roughly 10,000 to 15,000 pages of supporting documentation for the complainants to review.

 

5.  It is found that the provided report is responsive to the complainants’ request for “monthly credits and debits.”

 

6.  It is found that the respondents do not track or attempt to compute the other information requested by the complainants, that is the monthly “general fund balance.”  Rather, the respondents only compute the general fund balance yearly, which balance reflects the amount of money the City of Hartford has at the end of the year in excess of expenditures.  In an attempt to respond to the complainants’ request, the City of Hartford can show a monthly “modified cash position,” which reflects revenues collected and expenses incurred (not necessarily paid) that month; but that is not the record sought by the complainant.

 

7.  It is found that no responsive records exist beyond those already provided or offered to the complainants.

 

            8.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged.

 

 

The following order is hereby recommended on the basis of the record in the above-captioned complaint:

 

1.      The complaint is dismissed.

 

 

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 28, 2009.

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

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:

 

 

John O’Connell and the Hartford

Small Business and Taxpayer Alliance

C/o John B. O’Connell

819 New Britain Avenue

Hartford, CT 06106

 

Finance Department,

City of Hartford; and

City of Hartford

C/o John Rose, Jr., Esq.

Office of Corporation Counsel

City of Hartford

550 Main Street

Hartford, CT 06103

 

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2008-743FD/sw/11/2/2009