Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5643

February Session, 2008

 

LCO No. 1920

 

*01920_______PS_*

Referred to Committee on Public Safety and Security

 

Introduced by:

 

(PS )

 

AN ACT EXEMPTING CERTAIN PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY RECORDS AND ADJUSTING THE COST OF OBTAINING PUBLIC RECORDS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subdivision (19) of subsection (b) of section 1-210 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2008):

(19) Records when there are reasonable grounds to believe disclosure may result in a safety risk, including the risk of harm to any person, any government-owned or leased institution or facility or any fixture or appurtenance and equipment attached to, or contained in, such institution or facility, except that such records shall be disclosed to a law enforcement agency upon the request of the law enforcement agency. Such reasonable grounds shall be determined (A) (i) by the Commissioner of Public Works, after consultation with the chief executive officer of an executive branch state agency, with respect to records concerning such agency; and (ii) by the Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, after consultation with the chief executive officer of a municipal, district or regional agency, with respect to records concerning such agency; (B) by the Chief Court Administrator with respect to records concerning the Judicial Department; and (C) by the executive director of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management, with respect to records concerning the Legislative Department. As used in this section, "government-owned or leased institution or facility" includes, but is not limited to, an institution or facility owned or leased by a public service company, as defined in section 16-1 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes, a certified telecommunications provider, as defined in section 16-1 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes, a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, or a municipal utility that furnishes electric, gas or water service, but does not include an institution or facility owned or leased by the federal government, and "chief executive officer" includes, but is not limited to, an agency head, department head, executive director or chief executive officer. Such records include, but are not limited to:

(i) Security manuals or reports;

(ii) Engineering and architectural drawings of government-owned or leased institutions or facilities;

(iii) Operational specifications of security systems utilized at any government-owned or leased institution or facility, except that a general description of any such security system and the cost and quality of such system, may be disclosed;

(iv) Training manuals prepared for government-owned or leased institutions or facilities that describe, in any manner, security procedures, emergency plans or security equipment;

(v) Internal security audits of government-owned or leased institutions or facilities;

(vi) Minutes or records of meetings, or portions of such minutes or records, that contain or reveal information relating to security or other records otherwise exempt from disclosure under this subdivision;

(vii) Logs or other documents that contain information on the movement or assignment of security personnel;

(viii) Emergency plans and emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation plans, including plans provided by a person to a state agency or a local emergency management agency or official; [and]

(ix) With respect to a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, that provides water service: Vulnerability assessments and risk management plans, operational plans, portions of water supply plans submitted pursuant to section 25-32d that contain or reveal information the disclosure of which may result in a security risk to a water company, inspection reports, technical specifications and other materials that depict or specifically describe critical water company operating facilities, collection and distribution systems or sources of supply; and

(x) With respect to a public service company, as described in section 16-1 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes: Vulnerability assessments and risk management plans, operational plans, inspection reports, technical specifications and other materials that contain or reveal information the disclosure of which may result in a security risk to a public service company.

Sec. 2. Section 1-212 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2008):

(a) Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record. The fee for any copy provided in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act:

(1) By an executive, administrative or legislative office of the state, a state agency or a department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official of the state, including a committee of, or created by, such an office, agency, department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official, and also including any judicial office, official or body or committee thereof but only in respect to its or their administrative functions, shall not exceed (A) twenty-five cents per page; or (B) if the public record is the subject of a licensing agreement entered into by a public agency, the actual cost to provide a copy of such record; and

(2) By all other public agencies, as defined in section 1-200, shall not exceed fifty cents per page. If any copy provided in accordance with said Freedom of Information Act requires a transcription, or if any person applies for a transcription of a public record, the fee for such transcription shall not exceed the cost thereof to the public agency.

(b) The fee for any copy provided in accordance with subsection (a) of section 1-211 shall not exceed the cost thereof to the public agency. In determining such costs for a copy, other than for a printout which exists at the time that the agency responds to the request for such copy, an agency may include only:

(1) An amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to all agency employees engaged in providing the requested computer-stored public record, including their time performing the formatting or programming functions necessary to provide the copy as requested, but not including search or retrieval costs except as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection;

(2) An amount equal to the cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional electronic copying service to provide such copying services, if such service is necessary to provide the copying as requested;

(3) The actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; [and]

(4) The computer time charges incurred by the agency in providing the requested computer-stored public record where another agency or contractor provides the agency with computer storage and retrieval services. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the fee for any copy of the names of registered voters shall not exceed three cents per name delivered or the cost thereof to the public agency, as determined pursuant to this subsection, whichever is less. The Department of Information Technology shall monitor the calculation of the fees charged for copies of computer-stored public records to ensure that such fees are reasonable and consistent among agencies; and

(5) The actual cost of providing a copy of a public record that is the subject of a licensing agreement entered into by the public agency.

(c) A public agency may require the prepayment of any fee required or permitted under the Freedom of Information Act if such fee is estimated to be ten dollars or more. The sales tax provided in chapter 219 shall not be imposed upon any transaction for which a fee is required or permissible under this section or section 1-227.

(d) The public agency shall waive any fee provided for in this section when:

(1) The person requesting the records is an indigent individual;

(2) The records located are determined by the public agency to be exempt from disclosure under subsection (b) of section 1-210 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes, as amended by this act;

(3) In its judgment, compliance with the applicant's request benefits the general welfare; or

(4) The person requesting the record is an elected official of a political subdivision of the state and the official (A) obtains the record from an agency of the political subdivision in which the official serves, and (B) certifies that the record pertains to the official's duties.

(e) Except as otherwise provided by law, the fee for any person who has the custody of any public records or files for certifying any copy of such records or files, or certifying to any fact appearing therefrom, shall be for the first page of such certificate, or copy and certificate, one dollar; and for each additional page, fifty cents. For the purpose of computing such fee, such copy and certificate shall be deemed to be one continuous instrument.

(f) The Secretary of the State, after consulting with the chairperson of the Freedom of Information Commission, the Commissioner of Correction and a representative of the Judicial Department, shall propose a fee structure for copies of public records provided to an inmate, as defined in section 18-84, in accordance with subsection (a) of this section. The Secretary of the State shall submit such proposed fee structure to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration, not later than January 15, 2000.

(g) Any individual may copy a public record through the use of a hand-held scanner. A public agency may establish a fee structure not to exceed ten dollars for an individual to pay each time the individual copies records at the agency with a hand-held scanner. As used in this section, "hand-held scanner" means a battery operated electronic scanning device the use of which (1) leaves no mark or impression on the public record, and (2) does not unreasonably interfere with the operation of the public agency.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2008

1-210(b)(19)

Sec. 2

October 1, 2008

1-212

Statement of Purpose:

To exempt certain public service company records from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and to allow agencies to recoup the actual cost of providing public records that are obtained pursuant to a licensing agreement.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]