01-07Posted on Dec 31, 2001 in Formal Opinions
Opinion Letter No. 01-07
December 31, 2001
Maui County Charter
A member of the Maui County Council requested an opinion on whether section 3-8 of the Charter of the County of Maui can require council members to route requests to county agencies for public information through the Mayor’s office.
The OIP found that the county charter cannot require this routing. The UIPA allows “any person” access to government records. Should an executive choose to institute a routing system for record requests, however, the executive should ensure not to discriminate against a particular class of “persons” who are entitled by law to request records, such as council members.
In addition, while the UIPA does not prohibit routing of all requests for government records through the executive of a government administration, the OIP does not recommend such a practice be standard operating procedure.
Such a routing of record requests through a central office will likely cause unnecessary delays in the receipt of public records, which would violate the UIPA’s policy that the public be given accurate, relevant, timely, and complete government records. Haw. Rev. Stat. Section 92F-2 (1993).
This practice may also violate the time limits and procedures for processing record requests that are set forth at section 2-71-13, Hawaii Administrative Rules.