Openline December 1997

Posted on Dec 1, 1997 in Newsletter

The OIP Offers Legislative Assistance
OIP Internet Highlight Site
RRS Subsystem Information Report Required
Staff Update
New Year’s Wishes


OIP Services:
The OIP Offers Legislative Assistance
The Legislative session is almost upon us, and a number of legislative proposals are likely to impact both the public’s access to government records and the information practices of State and county governments. The Office of Information Practices (“OIP”) invites any person or agency who will be proposing legislation that affects the collection, use, maintenance, sharing, or disclosure of government records to contact the OIP, so that we can provide you with our input and assistance.

Legislative Responsibilities
As part of its duties to oversee and administer the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), chapter 92F, Hawaii Revised Statutes (“UIPA”), the OIP reviews and monitors legislative proposals which affect the government’s information practices, i.e., the government’s collection, use, maintenance, sharing, and disclosure of information. In 1997, the OIP reviewed 170 legislative proposals and monitored 132 of those.

What Difference Does It Make?
The OIP reviews prospective legislation to protect the integrity and uniformity of the UIPA. While individual proposals for confidentiality may affect only a small portion of government records, taken as a whole, these confidentiality clauses have the ability to swallow up the access provided by the UIPA and to undermine the interest in opening up government to the public. In the past, where a legislative proposal to restrict public access to government records was overly broad, the OIP has recommended that the language be tailored to the need. When the UIPA already provides for an exception to disclosure, the OIP has worked with the agency to reduce unnecessary legislation.

The OIP also reviews proposed legislation to promote uniformity of the statutory language adopted. The use of proper language to achieve a particular result promotes consistent interpretation and application of the law. In turn, this reduces confusion, uncertainty, and ultimately, cost to the taxpayer.

What Can the OIP Do For You?
The OIP can work with you to determine whether your proposal is effective or appropriate. The OIP can assist you to enhance the consistent use and interpretation of statutory language, as well as to ensure that the language used actually achieves its intended result.

As the agency vested with the responsibility of administering and interpreting the UIPA, the OIP will continue to review and monitor legislation affecting the government’s information practices. As part of this work, we are available as a resource for the review of any legislation regarding either the public’s right to access government and personal records or the information practices of State or county governments. If you need assistance in preparing or drafting any proposals for the 1998 Legislative Session, you may contact the OIP at 586-1400, Monday through Friday.


OIP Internet Highlight Site
State Procurement Office (SPO)
http://www.state.hi.us/icsd/dags/spo.html
Find information about government bid notices and contracts, the prices of goods and services currently being provided to the state, and more on the Hawaii State Procurement Office web site.

Use the URL shown above or go to the Hawaii State Government Home Page (http://www.state.hi.us/). Click on Executive Branch, Departments and Agencies, then State Procurement Office (SPO).

For links to City and County of Honolulu Bids and Proposals, the Federal Marketplace, and State notices, click State Bid Notices. Price Lists shows the prices of items on the current State Bid List and the vendors providing these goods and services.

Links are also provided to the SPO’s Administrative Rules, a vendor guide for doing business with the state, and a list of important phone numbers.


RRS Subsystem Information Report Required
All State and county agencies are reminded that they must report the additional Records Report System (“RRS”) subsystem information required by the UIPA under section 92F-18(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes.

In September of 1995 the Office of Information Practices issued instructions and two forms to RRS Department Coordinators to collect and report this statistical information about (1) the number of UIPA-related lawsuits filed against the agency, (2) the number of written requests for records (under the Freedom of Information part II of the UIPA) and the number denied, and (3) a list of non-government records used by the agency.

If you have questions, or need copies of the instructions and forms, please call the Office of Information Practices at 586-1400.


Staff Update
The Office of Information Practices welcomes the newest member of its team, Coleen F. Yoshina, Secretary to the Director. Born and raised in Honolulu, she attended Kaimuki High School and went on to earn a degree in journalism from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Her favorite hobbies include baking, going to the movies, and making handcrafts. When she is not working Coleen and her husband are busily raising their two children. Although she claims to be a person of high integrity, she does admit (honestly so) that she is not above doing her part to help pull off a good practical joke.

Finally, congratulations go out to our own Aida Mercades on the birth of her first daughter. Ariel Crystal Mercades was born on December 6. Aida is doing fine and we wish her and the whole Mercades family all the best this Christmas season.


New Year’s Wishes
During this holiday season we at the Office of Information Practices join our voices with yours in celebration. To our colleagues and their loved ones, to our neighbors in the Leiopapa a Kamehameha Building, to all of those with whom we interact throughout the year–government employees, members of the public, and those in the private sector–and to our many readers near and far, we thank you for your interest and support during the past year, and we wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Moyta T. Davenport Gray
Lorna Loo Aratani
Randall J. Port
Jennifer M. L. Chock
Carlotta M. Dias
Lynn Otaguro
Coleen F. Yoshina
Aida H. Mercades
Jacqueline J. Conant
Michael V. Little
J. Andrew Laurence