The state Office of Information Practices (OIP) is thrilled to report the good news that it ended fiscal year 2020 with its lowest case backlog in over a decade. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the temporary suspension of OIP’s duties and deadlines under the Governor’s emergency proclamations, and an 8.5% increase in new cases, OIP’s staff continued to diligently telework and resolved 193 formal cases, thus reducing its case backlog by more than 18% to only 67 cases as of June 30, 2020. Only 19 of the pending cases pre-date FY 2020, and 130 of 178 new formal cases filed in FY 2020 (73%) were resolved in the same year. OIP also resolved all 990 of its informal cases through its Attorney of the Day program within 24 business hours, thus resolving 96% of all formal and informal cases in the same year they were filed.
OIP is sad to report, however, that its progress in significantly reducing its case backlog is unlikely to continue in the current fiscal year 2021 unless the hiring freeze is lifted. Unfortunately, OIP lost two experienced members of its team due to personal reasons and retirement: Mimi Horiuchi and Lorna Aratani. This was Mimi’s third time back with OIP, and Lorna’s second time and she was also the first staff attorney hired when OIP was created in 1988. Between them, OIP has lost over 30 years of collective experience and two valued attorneys who were important contributors to OIP’s success last year. OIP thanks them for their outstanding service and bids them both a fond aloha.