93-13Posted on Sep 17, 1993 in Formal Opinions
Opinion Letter No. 93-13
September 17, 1993
Ethics Commission Nominees List Must Be Public
The Judicial Council’s list of two nominees for Ethics Commission vacancies must be made public once the list has been transmitted to the Governor for appointment, and before the Governor makes his appointment. Although individuals have a significant privacy interest in nominations for appointment to a government position, the Hawaii Constitution requires the selection of independent and impartial Ethics commissioners, and disclosure of the list would shed significant light on the end product of the deliberations of an advisory agency, the Judicial Council.
Thus, the OIP concluded that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the privacy interests involved. In addition, the list of nominees is not protected by the deliberative process privilege since the list, although predecisional, is not deliberative because it does not reflect the “give and take” of an agency’s consultative process.