Posted on Dec 15, 1994 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 94-26
December 15, 1994
Disclosure Not Required for Certain Bid Info

Under the UIPA’s “frustration of a legitimate government function” exception, the OIP determined that an agency is not required to disclose the following before the deadline for the submission of bids to an agency: (1) records identifying individuals or organizations (persons) that have received or picked up a bid solicitation; (2) records identifying persons attending a bidders’ conference; or (3) records identifying persons that have submitted a notice of intent to bid on a government contract. The OIP observed that the legislative history of section 92F-13(3), Hawaii Revised Statutes, indicates that it was intended to permit an agency to withhold access to information that would raise the cost of government procurements, or give a manifestly unfair advantage to any person proposing to enter into a contract or agreement with an agency.

The OIP found that before the deadline for the submission of bids to an agency, the disclosure of information regarding interested bidders could lead to possible collusion between bidders. Also, if a bidder knows who is or may be competing against it for a government contract, this information would likely affect the bidder’s price proposal. The OIP concluded that after the deadline for the submission of bids, information concerning interested bidders, or those who submitted a bid to an agency, must be made available for public inspection and copying.

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