Posted on May 8, 1995 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 95-14
May 8, 1995
The Names and Filing Dates of Board and Commission Members

The OIP concluded that the names of persons who file Financial Disclosure Statements (“Financial Statements”) with the Ethics Board, and the date of the filing, do not fall under any exception to required disclosure. Hawaii’s Constitution requires certain public officials to file confidential financial statements, and Maui County’s Charter requires board and commission members to file confidential Financial Statements. The OIP observed that neither the Hawaii Constitution nor the Maui Charter contained provisions that would protect the filer’s name and date of filing from disclosure under section 92F-13(4), Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The OIP also examined whether disclosure of the filer’s name and filing date would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under section 92F-13(1), Hawaii Revised Statutes. The OIP noted that the filers did not have a significant privacy interest in the fact that they filed a Financial Statement or the date that the Financial Statement was filed. Furthermore, the OIP opined that the filers’ names and filing dates shed light on whether the Ethics Board was meeting its statutory duty of assuring compliance with the Financial Statement filing requirement. Because the public’s interest in disclosure outweighed the filers’ privacy interest in confidentiality, the filers’ names and dates of filing did not fall under the privacy exception to disclosure. Accordingly, the names of filers and filing dates are open to the public.

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