99-08Posted on Nov 29, 1999 in Formal Opinions
Opinion Letter No. 99-08
November 29, 1999
Identities of Complainants to DLNR Harbor Staff
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (“DLNR”) harbor staff often receives complaints from members of the public about individuals living on board vessels without proper permits, which is a civil law violation. The DLNR asserted that if it must make identities of informants public, its ability to investigate alleged violations of the law will be chilled. Informants have expressed concerns about disclosure of their identities due to fear of retaliation.
The OIP found that the identities of these informants may be withheld from public disclosure because disclosure would likely cause the frustration of the DNLR’s legitimate government function enforcing civil laws under section 92F-13(3), Hawaii Revised Statutes.