The Office of Information Practices (OIP) is pleased to announce that all cases filed before FY 2016, except for one pending in the court, were resolved by OIP in FY 2018 and that summaries of its most recent opinions have been posted on the Opinions page at oip.hawaii.gov. Here is a quick look at the decisions that were issued since OIP’s June 4, 2018 What’s New article:
F18-03: concluding that the Department of Public Safety (PSD) has administrative control over the private contractor holding inmates from Hawaii in a correctional center located in Arizona, and thus, policies requested by an inmate are “maintained” by PSD and must be disclosed as they do not meet the Crooker test for exemption from disclosure due to frustration of a legitimate government function.
UIPA Informal Opinions:
U Memo 18-7: concluding that the Department of Taxation (DoTAX) properly withheld audit file records under an exemption to personal record disclosure for records that are part of an open investigative file, but that DoTAX should have provided a general description of the types or categories of records that were being withheld.
U Memo 18-8: determining that the Honolulu Police Department improperly withheld administrative investigation files, but that specific items of information in the files could be withheld under the UIPA’s privacy exception.
U Memo 18-9: concluding that requested records had not been made confidential by orders of the court, and determining that under the UIPA, various personal and government records must be released by the Department of Public Safety to an inmate, while other records were protected by the attorney-client privilege, confidential source exemption, and personal privacy exception.
U Memo 18-10: providing guidance as to how law firm invoices paid by the Hawaii Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) may be redacted to protect information protected by the attorney-client and attorney work product privileges as well as the privacy and frustration exceptions at sections 92F-12(1) and (3), HRS.
U Memo 18-11: concluding that the Department of Public Safety had not met its burden of proof and that nearly all of the background investigation materials for an employment application must be disclosed to the applicant as his personal records, with the possible exception of FBI records, and that job titles and general business contact information, but not direct contact information, must be disclosed as government records.
U Memo 18-12: determining that the Department of Budget and Finance (B&F) need not conduct a search for requested records that do not exist and B&F properly withheld the interview questions and interviewers’ notes from a job applicant under HRS section 92F-22(3), but that the Guidelines for Recruitment Process, Introduction Sheet, Interview Ratings, and government employees’ names, position titles, position numbers, and departments must be disclosed as no exception in Part II of the UIPA authorizes B&F to withhold these government records, except for other applicants’ names on the Selection Report.
U Memo 18-13: finding that the University of Hawaii at Hilo, Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) conducted a reasonable search of its files and had properly asserted that it did not maintain requested records.
U Memo 18-14: concluding that information maintained in the Department of Transportation’s traffic accident database should be provided to requesters after segregation of information that may be withheld under the UIPA’s privacy exception at section 92F-13(1), HRS.
Sunshine Law Informal Opinions:
S Memo 18-4: concluding that despite its initial objections as to relevance, the Maui County Council did not improperly restrict the length or content of oral testimony as the Council apparently conceded its relevance and allowed testifier to finish his testimony without further interruption.
S Memo 18-5: concluding that the Kauai County Council violated the Sunshine Law by extensively discussing the substance of a bill prior to public testimony and by attempting to restrict a testifier from making negative but still relevant and permissible remarks, but that the violations caused minimal public harm as all testifiers were allowed to complete their testimony.
S Memo 18-6: determining that the Sunshine Law was not applicable to the Honolulu Liquor Commission’s reconsideration of an adjudicatory matter, and recommending that the Commission’s agendas separate Sunshine Law items from its adjudicatory matters.