Posted on Jun 22, 1992 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 92-06
June 22, 1992
Dept. of Land & Natural Resources’ Inventory of Trails and Accesses

The unpublished portion of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Inventory of Trails and Accesses may be withheld from public inspection under section 92F-13(4), Hawaii Revised Statutes, which provides an exception to required agency disclosure for “[g]overnment records which, pursuant to state or federal law . . . are protected from disclosure.” Under this UIPA exception, authority to withhold a government record must generally be found in the language of the statute itself and not merely in the statute’s legislative history.

Section 198D-3(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, as amended in 1990, requires the DLNR to publish only those portions of the Inventory that include trails and accesses available for the general public’s use, but does not expressly authorize the DLNR to withhold access to the unpublished portions of the Inventory. However, because both the Senate and House Standing Committee Reports concerning this statute’s 1990 amendment clearly and convincingly express the Legislature’s intent to withhold public access to the unpublished portions of the Inventory, the OIP concluded that section 198D-3(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, constitutes a withholding statute within the meaning of section 92F-13(4), Hawaii Revised Statutes.

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