Posted on Nov 26, 1991 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 91-24
November 26, 1991
Interview Scores of Applicants for Public Employment

[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.]

The Judiciary must permit the public inspection and copying of the summary of interview scores given by interview panelists to applicants for a Budget Analyst VII position. The interview scores summary did not set forth the identities of the applicants who received the corresponding scores. Because the applicants were not identified in this record, the OIP found that the applicants did not have a privacy interest in the interview scores summary, and that the disclosure of this record would not frustrate a legitimate government function. Thus, the OIP concluded that the interview scores summary did not fall within the scope of any UIPA exception.

The OIP also found that the interview panelists’ notes are not required to be disclosed in order to avoid the frustration of a legitimate government function, namely the decisionmaking function that occurs during the selection process. Further, individually identifiable interview notes about applicants must also be kept confidential in order to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of the identifiable applicants’ privacy interests.

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