PA 15-61—sSB 1082

Government Administration and Elections Committee

AN ACT PERMITTING STATE AGENCIES TO ESTABLISH ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEMS FOR AGENCY PROCEEDINGS AND REQUIRING THE WAIVER OF STATE AGENCY ELECTRONIC FILING AND COMMUNICATION REQUIREMENTS

SUMMARY: This act allows state agencies to use email delivery to send certain recipients copies of (1) final decisions made in a Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA) contested case, (2) rulings and actions in response to petitions for declaratory rulings, and (3) declaratory rulings. It does so by defining “personal delivery” under the UAPA as delivery directly to the intended recipient or his or her designated representative, including e-mail delivery to an address the recipient identifies as an acceptable means of communication. By law, copies of final decisions in contested cases, rulings and actions in response to petitions for declaratory rulings, and declaratory rulings must be either mailed or “personally delivered.

The act also allows an agency to suspend any requirements in its regulations governing its rules of practice for paper filing or document service for formal and informal agency proceedings. It instead allows the agency to establish an electronic filing system for the filings and service. Before establishing the system, the agency must give 30 days' notice on its website and in the Connecticut Law Journal, including instructions for using the system.

The act requires agencies to exempt a person from electronic filing if the person requests an exemption and provides written notice to the agency of a hardship. Such hardships include (1) a lack of access to a device capable of electronic filing or (2) incompatibility of a specific filing with the electronic filing system. The act similarly requires agencies to exempt a person, under the circumstances stated above, from any requirements to electronically receive notification from or correspond with the agency.

The act eliminates provisions established in PA 15-1 (which is also effective October 1, 2015) that make waiving the use of electronic correspondence and filing discretionary for agencies. Under PA 15-1, an executive branch state agency that uses e-mail to notify and correspond with clients may, for good cause, waive the requirement upon a client's request. Similarly, an agency that requires electronic applications or forms may, for good cause, waive the requirement upon request by an applicant, individual, or business.

The act also makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

OLR Tracking: TA: KD: MS: cmg