As of September 5, 2022, Freedom of Information Commission meetings and contested case hearings will resume being conducted in person. All parties and witnesses must appear in person for their contested case hearings and Commission meetings. Please access this link or contact the Commission for further information.

Final Decision FIC2011-577
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Ken Dixon and
Hearst Connecticut Newspapers,
     Complainants
     against
Docket #FIC 2011-577
Chief Audit and Compliance Officer,
State of Connecticut, University of
Connecticut, Office of Audit,
Compliance and Ethics; and
State of Connecticut, University of
Connecticut, Office of Audit,
Compliance and Ethics,
     Respondents
July 11, 2012

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 15, 2012, 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), G.S.
     2. It is found that, by email dated September 19, 2011, the complainants made a request to the respondents for access to the following records:  “copies of any e-mail, memos and letters written over the last thirty days, between President Herbst and members of the UCONN Athletic Department, on the subject of UConn’s athletic conference affiliation.”
     3. By email dated October 14, 2011 and filed October 17, 2011, the complainants appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying their request for access to records. 
     4. 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.
     5. 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 (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
     6.  Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that “[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain, facsimile, electronic or certified copy of any public record.”
     7.  It is found that the respondents maintain the records described in paragraph 2, above, and it is therefore concluded that such records are “public records” within the meaning of §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S. 
     8. It is found that, by letter dated October 21, 2011, the respondents corresponded with the complainants to inform them that they were still in the process of reviewing the responsive records for exempt information, and to state further that, given the nature of the request, the respondents expected that some portion of the responsive records would likely be exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1-210(b)(24), G.S., or §1-210(b)(5), G.S.
     9. It is found that, under cover of letter dated January 4, 2012, the respondents provided the complainants with 23 pages of records free of charge.  In addition, it is found that the respondents informed the complainants that they were withholding an additional 32 pages of records pursuant to §1-210(b)(5), G.S.
     10. At the hearing on this matter, the respondents explained that, while they had claimed an exemption to disclosure for the 32 pages of records pursuant to §1-210(b)(5), G.S., upon further review they determined that these records were in fact not responsive to the complainants’ request for access, in that these records were not communications between President Herbst and UConn’s Athletic Department. 
     11. It is found that the 32 pages of records referred to in paragraph 9, above, were records that were provided to the President’s chief of staff when she attended an out-of-state meeting concerning UConn’s present athletic conference affiliation and potential athletic conference realignment.  It is further found that these records do not fall within the scope of the complainants’ request.
     12. It is found that the complainants did not contest the fact that, based on the evidence that the respondents presented at the contested case hearing, the 32 pages referred to in paragraph 9, above, did not fall within the scope of their request and they agreed to make a new request for access to these particular records.
     13. Finally, it is found that, other than the 23 pages of records, referred to in paragraph 9, above, which were provided to the complainants, the respondents do not have any other records responsive to the complainants’ request. 

     14. Based on the foregoing, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the provisions of §1-210(a), G.S., in this matter.
     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 July 11, 2012.
_________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
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:
Kent Dixon and
Hearst Connecticut Newspapers
c/o Connecticut Post
410 State Street
Bridgeport, CT  06604
Chief Audit and Compliance Officer,
State of Connecticut, University of
Connecticut, Office of Audit,
Compliance and Ethics; and
State of Connecticut, University of
Connecticut, Office of Audit,
Compliance and Ethics
c/o Holly Bray, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
State of Connecticut,
Office of the Attorney General
University of Connecticut
343 Mansfield Road, Unit 2177
Storrs, CT  06269-2177

____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC/2011-577/FD/cac/7/11/2012