Posted on Feb 12, 1990 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 90-08
February 12, 1990
Intra-agency Memoranda and Staff Notes

[Please note that opinions discussing the deliberative process privilege have been materially affected by the Hawaii Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Peer News LLC v. City and County of Honolulu, 143 Haw. 472 (Dec. 21, 2018).]

[OIP Op. Ltr. No. 05-03 partially overrules this opinion to the extent that it states or implies that the UIPA’s privacy exception in section 92F-13(1), HRS, either prohibits public disclosure or mandates confidentiality.]

Under the UIPA, an agency is not required to disclose inter-agency and intra-agency memoranda, or employee notes, if they fall within the protection of the “deliberative process privilege.” This privilege applies to records prepared before a final agency decision, which express opinions, recommendations, or evaluations on issues of agency policy or law. This privilege does not protect purely factual information contained in such memoranda.

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