State Public Records Law

Connecticut General Statutes

Connecticut General Statutes (CGS), Chapter 14, Sec. 1-200 et seq.

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Exemptions to Disclosure

The following records are exempt from disclosure:

  • 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;
  • Records where there is a reasonable belief that disclosure may result in a safety risk;
  • Privileged communications;
  • Trade secrets;
  • A water company’s vulnerability assessments and risk management plans, operational plans, portions of water supply plans 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
  • 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.

Access Rights

  • Possession by public entity renders record public: “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” [§ 1-210]
  • All persons
  • Fee not to exceed $0.25/page, and only include cost to agency in terms of salary, use of equipment, etc., in honoring the request. Required or permissible fees don’t have sales tax. Fees more than $10 may be required to be paid in advance. Fees waived for indigents. If requestor uses own handheld scanner to copy the docs, agency can impose fee of not more than $20 for each visit.
  • Right to inspect during regular office or business hours
  • Don’t need written request
  • Fee Waivers
  • I Indigents are already listed on the website, however the text also specifies a fee waiver if the applicant’s request benefits the general welfare or the person requesting the record is an elected official of a political subdivision of the state (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-212)
  • Any agency rule that conflicts with the provisions of the act shall be void. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-210
  • An individual may copy public records through the use of a hand-held scanner, fee structure is not to exceed $20 for an individual per visit each time they visit a facility and use a hand-held scanner. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-212)
  • 2017 Bill Text CO H.B. 1177 was just enacted and adds a provision that if a custodian denies the right to inspect a record, within the 14 day period before a person files an application with the District Court, the Custodian who denied the right to inspect the record must either (1) meet in person or (2) communicate on the phone with the person who was denied access to the record to determine if the dispute may be resolved without filing an application with the court.

Destruction of Public Records

  • Can dispose of with approval of Public Records Administrator, according to retention schedule established by the Administrator [§ 7-109]

Whistleblower Score

Rank: 14/51 

Connecticut has a relatively strong whistleblower law with broad coverage (26 out of 33 possible points), average usability (20 out of 33) and some remedies (18 out of 33), plus the one bonus point awarded for employee notification of rights. 

Read the full assessment here»

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