Posted on Dec 23, 1991 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 91-29
December 23, 1991
Work Papers Provided to the Consumer Advocate

The OIP was asked to give advice about whether financial workpapers provided to the State’s Consumer Advocate by Matson Navigation Company (Matson) are “government records” covered by the UIPA. These workpapers supported Matson’s filing of a general rate increase with the Federal Maritime Commission.

Although the OIP determined that under the UIPA, Matson’s workpapers were government records when provided to and maintained by the Consumer Advocate, it also concluded that the workpapers were protected from required disclosure by the UIPA’s exception for government records that must remain confidential in order to avoid the frustration of a legitimate government function. In particular, the OIP found that the workpapers fit within one of the examples set forth in the UIPA’s legislative history to the UIPA’s “frustration of legitimate government function exception,” specifically, the example for records that contain “confidential commercial and financial information.”

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