CTLN Opinion+: Colleen Murphy

Executive director, Freedom of Information Commission on making sure public meetings, information are available to the public

Description of the video: 

Misinformation and unfounded claims about the 2020 presidential election led to violence this week at the nation’s Capitol in Washington D.C. On Wednesday afternoon the verification of 2020 electoral votes was interrupted by rioters led to believe by President Trump the election results were false.  

The Freedom of Information Act is important to the democracy of the United States. This week CTLN Opinion + interviewed Colleen Murphy, executive director and the general counsel for the Freedom of Information Commission. It is her job to make sure that public meetings and information are available to the public.


The basic function of the Freedom of Information Act provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.

Connecticut is unique in that the state provides a service at no charge to protect access to the information. Residents can request information on any agency in the state and are encouraged to do so by Murphy and the rest of the Commission. 

In this tense time in our government, it is more important than ever for residents to be informed about the agencies in our government especially Latinos. There is important information in our public agencies in regards to how funds are allocated, information about law enforcement, and so on.

According to the FOIA website, Congress provided special protection in the FOIA for three narrow categories of law enforcement and national security records, an ongoing criminal law enforcement investigation, criminal law enforcement agencies and protecting the existence of informant records and protecting the existence of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence because that information is classified. 

Resources mentioned in the video:

To file a FOIA request

https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/About/FOIA-Requests

To contact the FOIA office regarding a pending request/ denied request

https://portal.ct.gov/FOI

Phone Number: (860) 566-5682


(Cover photo credit: STEVE LASCHEVER, HartfordBusiness.com)

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