Congratulations to Outstanding State Employees!

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 in What's New

October 22, 2012

The state Office of Information Practices (OIP) congratulates the following state employees, who were given top honors at the 2012 Governor’s Awards Program on September 28, 2012, at the State Capitol Auditorium:

State Employee of the Year: 
Shail Ako, Accountant, Dept. of Accounting & General Services

State Manager of the Year: 
Blayne Hanagami, Workforce Development Hawai’i
Branch Manager, Dept. of Labor & Industrial Relations

State Team of the Year: 
REA Team, Dept. of Labor & Industrial Relations

For the first time since the inception of the Team of the Year Award in 1997, OIP’s team was recognized as a team honoree. OIP Director Cheryl Kakazu Park hopes that you will join her in applauding OIP’s staff of seven dedicated employees: Staff Attorneys Carlotta Amerino, Lorna Aratani, Jennifer Brooks, and Linden Joesting; Legal Assistant Dawn Shimabukuro; Administrative Assistant Cindy Yee; and Records Report Specialist Michael Little. This outstanding team has embraced change while remaining true to the law and its mission by responding to agencies’ and the public’s needs, balancing public versus private interests, finding innovative solutions, and cooperating with other entities to increase efficiencies within and between various governmental and private entities. In fiscal year 2011-12, OIP’s team has made things happen, including:

1. Creating OIP’s first courses providing continuing legal education credits to attorneys in order to expand their proficiency and teach them how to properly advise their clients regarding the State’s open government laws;

2. Improving OIP’s website and online training to better utilize OIP’s limited personnel resources, to expand its training audience to include the general public, and to minimize paper, printing, and distribution costs;

3. Increasing communications with the agencies and general public to provide greater awareness of the State’s open government laws and to provide timely, fair, and accurate reports of open government news;

4. Obtaining the passage of two new laws to modernize the Sunshine Law and to clarify the laws to allow agencies to timely appeal OIP’s decisions under a high standard of judicial review; and 

5. Creating the new UIPA Record Request Log to assist agencies in tracking, recording, and uniformly reporting on written requests for government and personal records, with agency summaries to be uploaded to OIP’s Master Log on

No one person, alone, could have accomplished all that OIP has done in the past year. By working together as a team, OIP has been able to efficiently utilize its limited resources to proactively provide advice, training, and assistance to government agencies and the general public, and to fairly balance competing interests through an informal and free dispute resolution process, in order to protect the public’s right to know under Hawaii’s open government laws. MAHALO NUI LOA and CONGRATULATIONS to OIP’s hardworking staff!