Deliberative process exemption-Connecticut

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
48px-Emblem-important.png
This article is a stub from Sunshine Review.
Please help us by expanding it.


A deliberative process exemption to open records requests is one that shields from public scrutiny that papers and materials that elected officials use in the course of reaching a decision. There are two clear arguments for this exemption. The first argument for the exemption centers on the notion that public officials should be able to conceal much of the thought process behind making a decision in order to protect the free flow of opinions and information. The courts and legislatures have traditionally argued that without the exemption in place, the ability of public officials to receive opinions from their constituents would be hampered. In addition, the exemption is in place to protect the internal thought processes and notes of public officials from public scrutiny, as predecisional material is typically considered work product and is thus exempt. Various states approach this exemption differently, with some enforcing a broad definition while others reject it outright.

Statutes

The Connecticut General Statutes exempts "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"[1]

In addition, the General statutes further clarify the definition of public records at Conn. Gen. Stat. Chapter 14, Sec. 1-210.(e)(1), by specifically including within the definition of all public records which are "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] This statute essentially overturned the broad decision rendered in Wilson v. Freedom of Information Commission.

See also

References