Openline August 1998

Posted on Aug 1, 1998 in Newsletter

Public Hearing Scheduled for Proposed Rules
What’s New at the OIP Web Site


Public Hearing Scheduled for Proposed Rules

Editor’s note: The Office of Information Practices’ proposed public records rules were approved for public hearing earlier this year. In May and June the Office of Information Practices conducted four informational briefings to explain the proposed rules. The public hearing is now set for August 31, 1998. The following Notice of Public Hearing was published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on July 31, 1998.

STATE OF HAWAII
OFFICE OF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
OFFICE OF INFORMATION PRACTICES
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Pursuant to sections 91-3 and 92-41, Hawaii Revised Statutes, notice is hereby given that the Office of Information Practices will hold a public hearing to consider adoption of proposed rules for the purpose of conforming with section 92F-42(13), Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The proposed rules will govern agency procedures for processing government record requests, and fees that agencies may charge for searching for, reviewing, and segregating government records when access is requested. Upon adoption, the proposed rules shall have the force and effect of law upon all agencies in the executive and legislative branches of the State and all counties, as well as upon the administrative functions of the State Judiciary. Topics covered are: informal requests for access to government records and agency response; formal requests for access to government records; requester’s rights; agency response to formal request received; agency’s notice; time limits for disclosure of requested records; extenuating circumstances justifying the extension of time limits; requester’s responsibilities; abandonment of request; segregation of information in records; location of disclosure and alternatives; assessment and prepayment of fees; public access to disclosable records provided by a secondary source; fees for searching, reviewing, and segregating records and exceptions; waiver of fees when public interest served; and fees charged for records exempt or not located.

The proposed rules distinguish between formal and informal requests to inspect or copy records, and set forth the procedures for: (1) submitting formal record requests to government agencies, and (2) government agencies’ responding to record requests. The rules also propose fees that agencies may charge for searching for, reviewing, and segregating records requested, and the standards that must be met by a requester to qualify for a fee waiver when the public interest would be served.

A public hearing will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., August 31, 1998, at:

Capitol Center Videoconference Center
Capitol Center Building
1177 Alakea Street, Room 302
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Neighbor island hearing sites will be at the same time and date at the following locations:

Hilo Videoconference Center
Hilo State Office Building
75 Aupuni Street, Basement
Hilo, Hawaii 96720 (974-6241)

Wailuku Videoconference Center
Wailuku Judiciary Building
2145 Main Street, First Floor
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793 (243-5775)

Lihue Videoconference Center
Lihue State Office Building
3060 Eiwa Street, Basement
Lihue, Hawaii 96766 (274-3002)

All interested parties are invited to attend the hearing and to state their views relative to the proposed rules. Testimony may be oral or written. Oral testimony shall be accompanied by three written copies of the oral testimony submitted to the presiding officer at the time of the hearing or within seven days after the hearing to:

Office of Information Practices
235 South Beretania Street, Room 304
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

For written testimony only, three copies shall be made available to the presiding officer at the public hearing or within seven days after the hearing to the Office of Information Practices.

The proposed rules may be viewed in person at the Office of Information Practices between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays excluding holidays. A copy of the proposed rules can be downloaded free of charge from the Office of Information Practices website at: http://www.state.hi.us/oip. A copy of the proposed rules will be mailed to any interested person who pays in advance for a printed copy and the postage by requesting a copy in writing to the Office of Information Practices or by calling 586-1400.

All Videoconference Centers are wheelchair accessible. Other special accommodations can be made if requested at least seven working days before the scheduled public hearing by calling the Office of Information Practices.

OFFICE OF INFORMATION PRACTICES
MOYA T. DAVENPORT GRAY, DIRECTOR


What’s New at the OIP Web Site

The OIP web site, at http://www.state.hi.us/oip, now has information about a new task force. In May of 1998 representatives of the health care industry formed the Patient Record Confidentiality Task Force.

The Task Force is studying issues involved in the collection, use, and disclosure of information in patients’ medical records. The Office of Information Practices has been asked to facilitate the Task Force.

The Task Force has created several committees to develop proposed legislation governing the privacy of medical records. These committees, and the scheduled reporting dates to the Task Force, are as follows:

Disclosure of medical record information to next of kin, for directory information, for emergency treatment, when the patient presents danger to self or others, by order of court, and when reporting is required by law: August 5, 1998.

Disclosure of medical record information for governmental oversight; public health and postmarketing of adverse experience reporting: August 5, 1998.

Criminal and civil sanctions for improper disclosure of medical record information: August 5, 1998.

Civil, judicial and administrative procedures; law enforcement purposes; limited liability for law enforcement officers: August 26, 1998.

Health research: September 2, 1998.

Electronic transmission of medical record information: September 23, 1998.

Findings, purposes; individual rights to privacy in medical record information; consents to disclose medical record information; notice of use of medical record information; prohibited uses of information: September 30, October 14, and October 28, 1998.

The Task Force has been meeting in Room 405, Leiopapa a Kamehameha Building, 235 South Beretania Street, in Honolulu. All meetings are set for 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. For more information, call 586-1400.