The State Office of Information Practices (OIP) congratulates Maui County for leading the way to simplify and enhance the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) record request process! On January 24, 2024, the County of Maui launched a new online portal for UIPA record requests at https://mauicountyhi.govqa.us/WEBAPP/_rs/. This online portal will provide a single point of contact to submit and track public record requests made to Maui County agencies.
Although it will eventually be extended to all Maui County departments, the new portal will initially be available only for record requests to nine agencies most impacted by the August 2023 wildfires-related record requests: Maui’s Department of Fire and Public Safety; Maui Police Department; Maui Emergency Management Agency; Office of the Mayor; Department of Management; Department of Planning; Department of Public Works; Department of the Corporation Counsel; and Department of Water Supply.
Requesters are encouraged to open an account and use the new portal, where Maui County agency responses to UIPA record requests will also be available for the public to view, thus providing easier access and greater government transparency. Written record requests can still be made to agencies in person, via postal mail, or through other means, and agency responses will be directly provided to the requester and also posted on the portal. Any questions regarding the portal should be directed to Maui County at [email protected] and not to OIP.
Maui County received an unprecedented high volume of UIPA records requests relating to the August 2023 wildfires. Although Maui County has made commendable progress in responding to wildfire-related record requests, it continues to struggle with staffing shortfalls and limited resources. Thus, Maui County hopes the launch of the portal will streamline and improve its UIPA process. OIP applauds Maui County’s trailblazing foresight in utilizing new technology to respond to UIPA record requests, which may be a model for other State and county agencies in Hawaii to consider implementing as well.