Posted on Sep 11, 2020 in Featured, What's New

The state Office of Information Practices posted its first three opinions of FY 2021 on its Opinions page, along with the first of four volumes of the Report of the Governor’s Committee on Public Records and Privacy on its Legislation page at oip.hawaii.gov.

In formal opinion F21-01, OIP found that the requested closing agreements  are “tax return information,” which is protected from disclosure by several confidentiality provisions in the taxation statutes and concluded that they may be withheld by the Department of Taxation pursuant to the UIPA, section 92F-13(4), HRS.

In informal opinion U Memo 21-1, OIP determined that the Hawaii County Department of Finance properly responded to a request for a copy of security camera video footage that it no longer maintained and that it had acted in good faith to prevent video footage from being unintentionally destroyed in the future.  OIP denied the requester’s request for reconsideration as there was no change in the law or facts, or other compelling reason to grant reconsideration.

In U Memo 21-2, OIP concluded that the Hawaii County Police Department improperly denied access to an autopsy report containing medical information and psychiatric information, including the presence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances.  Based on the precedent set in Opinion Letter Number F15-01, OIP recognized that the subject of the autopsy report (Decedent) retains a privacy interest in his medical information after death, but determined that the public interest in disclosure outweighed the privacy interest of the Decedent in this case. Sometimes surviving family members have privacy interests in a decedent’s personal information.  Here, the report did not contain graphic or similarly sensitive information that could warrant withholding access to the report based on privacy interests of surviving family members.

Additionally, OIP posted Volume I of the Report of the Governor’s Committee on Public Records and Privacy on its new Legislation page at oip.hawaii.gov.  This report was the basis for the Legislature’s adoption in 1988 of Hawaii’s open records law, the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), Chapter 92F, HRS.  Key words in the posted version of the report can be searched using the Ctrl-F function.