Substitute House Bill No. 7016

Public Act No. 99-156

An Act Exempting Certain Department of Correction Records From Disclosure Under the Freedom of Information Act.

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

Section 1. Section 1-210 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) 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 or to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212. Any agency rule or regulation, or part thereof, that conflicts with the provisions of this subsection or diminishes or curtails in any way the rights granted by this subsection shall be void. Each such agency shall keep and maintain all public records in its custody at its regular office or place of business in an accessible place and, if there is no such office or place of business, the public records pertaining to such agency shall be kept in the office of the clerk of the political subdivision in which such public agency is located or of the Secretary of the State, as the case may be. Any certified record hereunder attested as a true copy by the clerk, chief or deputy of such agency or by such other person designated or empowered by law to so act, shall be competent evidence in any court of this state of the facts contained therein. Each such agency shall make, keep and maintain a record of the proceedings of its meetings.

(b) Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of:

(1) Preliminary drafts or notes provided the public agency has determined that the public interest in withholding such documents clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure;

(2) Personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy;

(3) Records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of (A) the identity of informants not otherwise known or the identity of witnesses not otherwise known whose safety would be endangered or who would be subject to threat or intimidation if their identity was made known, (B) signed statements of witnesses, (C) information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action if prejudicial to such action, (D) investigatory techniques not otherwise known to the general public, (E) arrest records of a juvenile, which shall also include any investigatory files, concerning the arrest of such juvenile, compiled for law enforcement purposes, (F) the name and address of the victim of a sexual assault under section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a, or injury or risk of injury, or impairing of morals under section 53-21, or of an attempt thereof, or (G) uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to section 1-216;

(4) Records pertaining to strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency is a party until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled;

(5) Trade secrets, which for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, are defined as unpatented, secret, commercially valuable plans, appliances, formulas or processes, which are used for the making, preparing, compounding, treating or processing of articles or materials which are trade commodities obtained from a person and which are recognized by law as confidential, and commercial or financial information given in confidence, not required by statute;

(6) Test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment or academic examinations;

(7) The contents of real estate appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates and evaluations made for or by an agency relative to the acquisition of property or to prospective public supply and construction contracts, until such time as all of the property has been acquired or all proceedings or transactions have been terminated or abandoned, provided the law of eminent domain shall not be affected by this provision;

(8) Statements of personal worth or personal financial data required by a licensing agency and filed by an applicant with such licensing agency to establish his personal qualification for the license, certificate or permit applied for;

(9) Records, reports and statements of strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining;

(10) Records, tax returns, reports and statements exempted by federal law or state statutes or communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship;

(11) Names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school or college without the consent of each student whose name or address is to be disclosed who is eighteen years of age or older and a parent or guardian of each such student who is younger than eighteen years of age, provided this subdivision shall not be construed as prohibiting the disclosure of the names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school in a regional school district to the board of selectmen or town board of finance, as the case may be, of the town wherein the student resides for the purpose of verifying tuition payments made to such school;

(12) Any information obtained by the use of illegal means;

(13) Records of an investigation or the name of an employee providing information under the provisions of section 4-61dd;

(14) Adoption records and information provided for in sections 45a-746, 45a-750 and 45a-751;

(15) Any page of a primary petition, nominating petition, referendum petition or petition for a town meeting submitted under any provision of the general statutes or of any special act, municipal charter or ordinance, until the required processing and certification of such page has been completed by the official or officials charged with such duty after which time disclosure of such page shall be required;

(16) Records of complaints, including information compiled in the investigation thereof, brought to a municipal health authority pursuant to chapter 368e or a district department of health pursuant to chapter 368f, until such time as the investigation is concluded or thirty days from the date of receipt of the complaint, whichever occurs first;

(17) Educational records which are not subject to disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 USC 1232g;

(18) Records, the disclosure of which the Commissioner of Correction has reasonable grounds to believe may result in a safety risk, including the risk of harm to any person or the risk of an escape from, or a disorder in, a correctional institution or facility under the supervision of the Department of Correction. Such records shall include, but are not limited to:

(A) Security manuals, including emergency plans contained or referred to in such security manuals;

(B) Engineering and architectural drawings of correctional institutions or facilities;

(C) Operational specifications of security systems utilized by the Department of Correction at any correctional institution or facility, except that a general description of any such security system and the cost and quality of such system, may be disclosed;

(D) Training manuals prepared for correctional institutions and facilities that describe, in any manner, security procedures, emergency plans or security equipment;

(E) Internal security audits of correctional institutions and facilities;

(F) Minutes or recordings of staff meetings of the Department of Correction, or portions of such minutes or recordings, that contain or reveal information relating to security or other records otherwise exempt from disclosure under this subdivision;

(G) Logs or other documents that contain information on the movement or assignment of inmates or staff at correctional institutions or facilities; and

(H) Records that contain information on contacts between inmates, as defined in section 18-84, and law enforcement officers.

(c) Whenever a public agency receives a request from any person confined in a correctional institution or facility, for disclosure of any public record under the Freedom of Information Act, the public agency shall promptly notify the Commissioner of Correction of such request, in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, before complying with the request as required by the Freedom of Information Act. If the commissioner believes the requested record is exempt from disclosure pursuant to subdivision (18) of subsection (b) of section 1-210, as amended by this act, the commissioner may withhold such record from such person when the record is delivered to the person's correctional institution or facility.

[(c)] (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (16) of subsection (b) of this section, disclosure shall be required of:

(1) Interagency or intra-agency memoranda or letters, advisory opinions, recommendations or any report comprising part of the process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated, except disclosure shall not be required of a preliminary draft of a memorandum, prepared by a member of the staff of a public agency, which is subject to revision prior to submission to or discussion among the members of such agency;

(2) All records of investigation conducted with respect to any tenement house, lodging house or boarding house as defined in section 19a-355, or any nursing home, residential care home or rest home, as defined in section 19a-490, by any municipal building department or housing code inspection department, any local or district health department, or any other department charged with the enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating the erection, construction, alteration, maintenance, sanitation, ventilation or occupancy of such buildings; and

(3) The names of firms obtaining bid documents from any state agency.

Sec. 2. Section 1-212 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (g) as follows:

(NEW) (g) The Secretary of the State, after consulting with the chairman 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.

Sec. 3. Section 1-217 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

No [state department, agency, board, council, commission or institution] public agency may disclose, under the Freedom of Information Act, the residential address of:

(1) A federal court judge, federal court magistrate, judge of the Superior Court, Appellate Court or Supreme Court of the state, or family support magistrate;

(2) A sworn member of a municipal police department or a sworn member of the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety;

(3) An employee of the Department of Correction;

(4) An attorney-at-law who represents or has represented the state in a criminal prosecution;

(5) An attorney-at-law who is or has been employed by the Public Defender Services Division;

(6) An inspector employed by the Division of Criminal Justice; or

(7) A firefighter, if such person submits a written request for such nondisclosure and furnishes his business address to the executive head of such department, agency, board, council, commission or institution. The business address of any person described in this section shall be subject to disclosure under section 1-210. The provisions of this section shall not apply to Department of Motor Vehicles records described in section 14-10.

Approved June 23, 1999