Memo Decision 09-13

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Decisions on Appeal

Memo Decision 09-13
March 16, 2009
Hawaii Superferry Records

A newspaper reporter asked whether the Office of the Governor properly withheld certain records under the UIPA in response to the reporter’s request for records concerning the Hawaii Superferry. Specifically, the requester asked OIP to review select records he identified on the privilege log provided to him by letter from the Department of the Attorney General (the “AG”), and to determine whether the executive privilege and/or attorney-client privilege designated on the log as the basis for denying access were being properly applied.

Based upon its review, OIP found that the majority of the disputed records, which include communications with outside consultants, do fall under UIPA exceptions to disclosure, primarily being records protected by the deliberative process or the attorney-client privilege. These records consist primarily of back and forth predecisional communications seeking and sharing the subjective thoughts and opinions of various employees and consultants, projected timelines, and drafts of letters and agreements, preliminary to policy decisions by the Department of Transportation and/or the Office of the Governor that concerned the Superferry project.