OIP Posts Two New Opinions

Posted on Apr 5, 2023 in Featured, What's New

The State Office of Information Practices (OIP) has posted the summaries of two new memorandum opinions concluding that agencies were absolved under the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) from conducting searches for records that they actually knew did not exist.

In U Memo 23-03, the requester sought from the Bureau of Conveyances (BOC) copies of documents related to a property registered in the Land Court of the State of Hawaii’s (Land Court) system.  OIP found that BOC had actual knowledge that it did not maintain any documents responsive to the requester’s record request, and that such documents were either maintained by the Land Court or were not recorded at the time the request was made.  Therefore, OIP concluded that BOC was absolved from having to conduct a search likely to produce responsive records.

In U Memo 23-04, the requester sought solid waste stream records from the County of Hawaii’s Clerk’s Office.  Similar to the opinion above, the Clerk’s Office had actual knowledge that it did not maintain solid waste stream records and was thus absolved from having to conduct a search for the requested records.  While not required to do so, the Clerk’s Office properly referred the requester to the Solid Waste Division, where it believed the records would be located.  Thus, OIP concluded that the Clerk’s Office fully met its UIPA obligations arising from the request.

For the latest in open government news, please check for these What’s New articles archived at oip.hawaii.gov, or email OIP with a request to have them emailed directly to you.