Residents file more than 100 FOI requests against Weston town govt., school board – Connecticut Post

By Kayla Mutchler

WESTON — At what point do requests for public information become harassment? That’s a question the state Freedom of Information Commission may have to decide between the school system and a local couple that have filed more than 100 Freedom of Information Act requests in the past few years. (Read More)

Your FOI is in our DNA – Editorial, The Day, New London

From The Day, New London

Commitment to the principle of Freedom of Information lies deep in the DNA of The Day. Throughout its history, the newspaper has championed the right to know – not just our right to know, but yours. No legal or constitutional distinction separates the rights of the public from those of the press as regards freedom of information. (Read More)

Bill would expand police secrecy – CTPost

03/06/19 – By Ken Dixon

HARTFORD — A battle broke out Wednesday between law enforcement officials who want to expand their secrecy protections and those promoting the public’s right to open records and government transparency, over controversial legislation that would expand items exempt from the state Freedom of Information Act. (Read More)

FOIC Still Fighting For Disclosure On Insurance Acquisitions –

12/03/18 – By Christine Stuart

HARTFORD, CT — (Updated 3 p.m.) It’s been more than a year fraught with legal delay tactics by the Insurance Department, but the Freedom of Information Commission is still trying to force the disclosure of documents connected to a pair of separate, multi-billion dollar acquisitions that didn’t go through. (Read More)

Walker: Release The Watchdogs! – New Haven Independent

08/04/16 – By Staff

New Haven State Rep. Toni Walker swung back Thursday against the Malloy administration over its efforts to weaken public watchdog agencies. [Read More]

The Latest: Watchdog groups to seek opinion on budget cuts – The Lebanon Daily Record

08/04/16 – HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on budget cuts to Connecticut watchdog agencies (all times local): 5:30 p.m. The executive directors of Connecticut’s three watchdog agencies want Attorney General George Jepsen to weigh in on whether Gov. Dannel P. Malloy can cut their budgets. [Read More]

Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information Challenges OPM Secretary on Budget Cuts to Watchdog Agencies

Press Release
August 4, 2016
Contact: Daniel J. Klau

(Statement by CCFOI President Daniel J. Klau)

Office of Policy and Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes recently informed the heads of the state’s three main watchdog agencies that OPM no longer feels bound by a 2004 law that limits the governor’s authority to cut the budgets of those agencies beyond what the General Assembly has appropriated.  The Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information strongly disagrees with Secretary Barnes’s position, both as a matter of public policy and as a matter of law.

The General Assembly law passed the 2004 law limiting the governor’s recessionary authority in the wake of then-Governor John Rowland’s politically-motivated budget cuts to the watchdog agencies—the Freedom of Information Commission, Office of State Ethics and the State Election and Enforcement Commission.  Notably, the 2004 law does not insulate the watchdog agencies from budget cuts. Indeed, they have felt the severe pain of the budget ax this year.  But the law does protect them from a governor’s unilateral decision to cut their budgets.  Thus, the 2004 law reflected the General Assembly’s appreciation of the importance of the watchdog agencies and the need to protect their status as independent agencies.

Secretary Barnes apparently believes that legislation passed during the most recent legislative session effectively repealed the 2004 law.  The Secretary is mistaken.  Nothing the General Assembly did last session expressly or implicitly repealed the 2004 law.  The watchdog agencies remain subject to the legislature’s budget-cutting authority, but not the governor’s.

We respectfully urge Secretary Barnes to reconsider his mistaken position and to release to the watchdog agencies all funds the General Assembly allocated to them for the current fiscal year.  We hope that members of the General Assembly will join CCFOI in rejecting Secretary Barnes’ interpretation of their 2016 budget bill.

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CCFOI has been serving the public since 1955. Daniel J. Klau, president; Zachary Janowski, vice president; Mary Connolly, secretary; George Lombardi, treasurer.