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Final Decision FIC2011-235
In the Matter of a Complaint by
Bill Effros,
Docket #FIC 2011-235
Board of Selectmen, Town of Greenwich;
and Town of Greenwich,
February 8, 2012

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 27, 2011, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. For purposes of hearing, this matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC 2011-294; Bill Effros v. First Selectman, Town of Greenwich; and Town of Greenwich.
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. On April 29, 2011, the complainant filed an 845-paragraph request to inspect records pertaining to the town’s permitting process and appropriation of funds for construction of a music instruction space and auditorium for the town’s public high school.
3.  It is found that on May 4, 2011, the respondents acknowledged the complainant’s request and informed him that they “will review your request and respond in accordance with the Connecticut General Statutes.”
4. It is found that on June 13, 2011, the respondents sent another letter to the complainant that informed him that the applicable files were available for his inspection and copying. The respondents, through their town counsel, invited the complainant to visit the Planning and Zoning Department or the Wetlands and Watercourses Agency, and provided their hours of operation.
5. By e-mail letter filed June 6, 2010, one week before the respondents’ letter of June 13, 2011, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying his request, described in paragraph 2, above. 
6. Section 1-200(5), G.S., in relevant part, defines “public records” as follows:
     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…whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method. 
7. Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:
     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 inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours …
8. It is found that to the extent that the respondents maintain the records described in paragraph 2, above, such records are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.
9. It is found that the complainant alleged that the respondents’ May 4, 2010 letter, described in paragraph 3, above, to be a denial of his request. 
10.  It is found, however, by the plain language of the May 4, 2010 letter, that the respondents did not deny the complainant’s request to inspect records.  It is found that, on the contrary, the respondents merely acknowledged the complainant’s request and promised to get back in touch with the complainant after review of his request.
11.  It is found that the respondents’ June 13, 2011 letter also was not a denial of the complainant’s right to inspect records.
12.  The complainant is dissatisfied with the respondents’ invitation to come in and inspect all applicable files because he believed the respondents had a duty under the FOI Act to state affirmatively which of the records described in his 845-paragraph request they maintained and which they did not maintain.

13.  Section 1-206(a), G.S., does not require a public agency to provide a written response to a request for public records informing the requester that there are no responsive records. Docket #2008-776; Smith v. Donald Trinks, Mayor, Town of Windsor; Docket #FIC 2007-574; Bradshaw Smith v. Elizabeth E. Feser, Superintendent of Schools, Windsor Public Schools;
14.  In light of the complainant’s voluminous request to inspect records pertaining to a single construction project, it is found that the respondents acted reasonably in providing all applicable files for the complainant’s review and inspection, and inviting him to review such records at his convenience.
15.  It is found that the respondents did not deny the complainant’s request to inspect records, and offered the records for the complainant’s inspection in a prompt manner.
16.  It is concluded, therefore, that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged by the complainant.
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 February 8, 2012.
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Bill Effros
41 Old Church Road
Greenwich, CT  06830
Board of Selectmen, Town of Greenwich;
and Town of Greenwich
c/o John Wayne Fox, Esq.
Law Department
Greenwich Town Hall
P.O. Box 2540
101 Field Point Road
Greenwich, CT  06836-2540
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission