Posted on Oct 27, 2004 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 04-17
October 27, 2004
Personal Calendars and Telephone Message Slips Not Government Records

The OIP found it to be consistent with the definition of “government record” under the UIPA and its legislative history to distinguish between records held by an agency official in his or her personal capacity versus official capacity.

In line with other state and federal courts that have similarly construed other open records laws, the OIP found that the determination of whether or not a record is a “government record” subject to disclosure under the UIPA or a personal record of an official depends on the totality of circumstances surrounding its creation, maintenance, and use.

The records at issue were the personal appointment or scheduling calendars (the “Calendars”) and telephone message slips of certain current and former officials of the City and County of Honolulu (the “City Officials”).

Through the Corporation Counsel, the City Officials represented that their Calendars and telephone message slips are not required to be kept or maintained to document their official functions but are created solely for their personal convenience; are not circulated or intended for distribution within agency channels for official purposes, such as notifying others of their schedules; are not integrated into agency files but are maintained in a way indicating a private purpose with limited access by their respective secretaries; are not under agency control; and may be discarded at their sole discretion.

Based upon the totality of these representations, the OIP found the Calendars and the telephone message slips generally to be personal records of the City Officials and not “government records” subject to disclosure under the UIPA.

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