OIP’s New Rules Approved by Governor

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 in What's New

The new administrative rules on appeals to the state Office of Information Practices (OIP) were approved by Governor Neil Abercrombie on December 20, 2012. The rules were filed with Lt. Governor Brian Schatz’s office on December 21, 2012, and will go into effect on December 31, 2012.

The filed rules, together with a statement explaining the amendments from the draft rules that were originally proposed by OIP in November, are posted on the Rules page of OIP’s website at hawaii.gov/oip. Also added to the website are the written testimonies of the Honolulu Corporation Counsel’s office, Society of Professional Journalists, and Maui County Council Chair Danny Mateo acting in his individual capacity, which were submitted after the November 15, 2012 public hearing. OIP’s original proposal, the Impact Statement, the public hearing notice, a recording of the hearing, and two other written testimonies remain posted on OIP’s website.

While OIP’s new rules largely concern the procedures to file an appeal with OIP, they also contain a provision to define the record that will be transmitted by OIP in an appeal to the circuit court from an OIP decision, as authorized by Act 176, SLH 2012. This new law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2013 and is codified as section 92F-43, HRS, creates a simple, reasonable, and uniform process for agencies to obtain judicial review of OIP decisions relating to the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) and the Sunshine Law, without requiring OIP or the requester to be embroiled in the appeal. At the same time, the new law gives OIP’s decisions more clout by recognizing their precedential value and setting a high standard of judicial review, and it discourages agencies from frivolously appealing or simply ignoring OIP’s rulings.

For the latest on OIP and open government news, please look for these What’s New articles that are posted here, or e-mailed upon request. To be added to OIP’s e-mail list, please e-mail [email protected].