FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Priscilla Dickman,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-581

Director, State of Connecticut, University
of Connecticut Health Center, Office of Health
Affairs Policy Planning; and State of
Connecticut, University of Connecticut Health
Center,

 
  Respondents April 28, 2010
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 3, 2010, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  This matter was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 2009-617; Priscilla Dickman v. Compliance Integrity Officer, State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut Health Center; and State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut Health Center.

 

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), G.S.

 

2.  By letter dated September 27, 2009, and filed with the Commission on October 2, 2009, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (hereinafter “FOI”) Act by failing to provide the complainant with the records described in paragraph 3, below.

 

3.  It is found that, by letter dated August 28, 2009, the complainant requested copies of the following information from the respondents:

 

a.       “Information regarding how Irene Kowalski was able to access [the complainant’s] emails and who granted her access to [the complainant’s] password for the period of time between 2004-3/2005;”

b.      “The emails of Susan Wetstone for the period of August 2004- to her departure which in any way reference [the complainant’s] name and/ or the following agencies Office of State Ethics, Office of Chief States Attorney, Workers Compensation, Attorney Generals Office or any employees of the UConn Health Center in regards to [the complainant’s] name;”

c.       “The emails of Tom Rutter for the period of August 2004 thru the present which in any way reference [the complainant’s] name and/or the following agencies-Office of State Ethics, Office of the Chief States Attorney, Workers Compensation, Attorney General’s Office or any employees of those agencies or of the UConn Health Center;” and

d.      “…[I]ncident reports and files in regards to Officer Gary Loomis labeled as:

                                                              i.      Investigation 03-01 (12/29/2003)

                                                            ii.      Case # 12-92-018 (12/5/1992).”

 

(hereinafter the “requested records”).

 

4.  It is found that, by letter dated September 4, 2009, the respondents’ Director of Health Affairs Policy Planning (hereinafter “Director”) acknowledged receipt of the complainant’s August 28, 2009 request.

 

5.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:

 

“Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

 

6.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:

 

Except 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 . . . (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.

 

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

 

Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.

 

8.  It is found that, to the extent that the respondents maintain the records described in paragraph 3, above, such records are “public records” and must be disclosed promptly in accordance with 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), unless they are exempt from disclosure.

 

9.  At the hearing on this matter, the complainant stated that she received all of the requested records except six completed authorization forms from the respondents entitled “APPLICATION FOR OBTAINING PASSWORD PROTECTED INFORMATION IN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS AND/OR DATABASES.”  The complainant maintained that her request described in paragraph 3, above, encompasses copies of completed authorization forms for all six individuals who had access to her emails, drafts, and documents during 2004-2005.  The complainant claimed that she has only received one incomplete authorization form from the respondents (Exhibit D).

 

10.  At the hearing on this matter, the respondents claimed that after receiving the complainant’s August 28, 2009 request, they contacted the complainant to clarify the scope of such request.  The respondents also claimed that they attempted to clarify the complainant’s misunderstanding as to the specific names of employees identified in the request described in paragraph 3, above.  The respondents further claimed that after clarifying the complainant’s request, they provided the complainant with all of the requested records.

 

11.  It is found that the omissions on the authorization form, Exhibit D, in the records provided to the complainant, is attributed to the specific persons responsible for completing the form, not to the quality of the copy made by the respondents.

 

12.  It is also found that the respondents conducted a diligent search for all of the requested records and could not locate any additional records that are responsive to the complainant’s request described in paragraph 3, above.

 

13.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., as alleged in the complaint.

 

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

 

1.  The complaint is dismissed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 28, 2010.

 

 

____________________________

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:

 

Priscilla Dickman

2534 Boston Turnpike

Coventry, CT 06238


Director, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut Health Center,

Office of Health Affairs Policy Planning;

and State of Connecticut, University of

Connecticut Health Center

C/o Donald R. Green, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

UCONN Health Center MC-3803

263 Farmington Avenue

Farmington, CT 06030

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2009-581FD/sw/4/30/2010