Posted on Jun 2, 2015 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. F15-03
June 2, 2015
Transcript and Diploma Denied

A graduate of the University of Hawaii (UH) asked whether UH properly denied his request, which was made under the Uniform Information Practices (Modified) (UIPA), for (1) a certified official academic transcript, and (2) the original official diploma that UH maintains.

UH did not maintain an official transcript of the Requester. The official transcript is not created until after UH receives a student’s transcript order and signed consent and confirms that the student has no outstanding financial obligations. At that time UH creates an official transcript printed on special security paper that is also certified with UH’s embossed seal.

The UIPA requires that a Requester be allowed to inspect and obtains copies of records that an agency already maintains and does not require that a new record be created. Requester’s request for a certified official transcript requires the creation of a new, original document and was not a request for a copy of an already existing record maintained by UH. Thus, UH is not required by the UIPA to create a certified official academic transcript for disclosure to the requester.

Regarding the request to obtain his diploma, Requester is not seeking to obtain a copy of his diploma, but rather he is seeking to obtain the actual original diploma that UH maintains. Because the UIPA does not require an agency to provide the original government record that it maintains, UH is not required to provide the diploma to Requester.

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