The State Office of Information Practices (OIP) has posted two new reports summarizing data about Hawaii’s open records law collected by 284 state, county, and independent agencies on their UIPA Record Request Logs for FY 2020, which ended on June 30, 2020. Both reports are now on OIP’s Reports page at oip.hawaii.gov, which also links to the State’s open data portal at data.hawaii.gov, where the raw data can be found on the Master UIPA Record Request Year End Log for FY 2020.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, OIP experienced delays in obtaining information needed for the reports. OIP is pleased to report, however, that the typical record requester did not experience significant delay in obtaining records sought during the pandemic and was not charged any fees or costs. For the 199 state agencies that provided their FY 2020 Log data, typical record requests comprised 72% of all requesters, were granted in whole or in part 77% of the time, and were completed in 8.1 work days on average (without subtracting the extra day generally added by the Log’s calculations). Of all state requests, 94% were completed in FY 2020, and over 88% of the completed requests paid nothing in fees and costs. While there were significant differences between counties, the overall average for 85 county agencies reporting in FY 2020 showed that typical requests comprised 67% of all requests, were granted in whole or in part 83% of the time, and were completed in 8.6 work days on average. Of all county requests, 95% were completed in FY 2020, and 83% of all completed requests paid nothing for fees and costs.
The biggest change during the pandemic came in the number of routine requests estimated by the agencies, which are not logged as UIPA record requests. While most state and county agencies reported decreases in routine requests, the Hawaii County Department of Finance reported a 97% increase in the number of routine requests it received, primarily because of changes to process vehicle and drivers’ licensing. The numbers of state and county UIPA record requests, however, varied by less than 5% from the prior year.
The following chart compares how cases were resolved by the state and counties in FY 2019 compared to FY 2020.
|Granted in full||70%||71%||81%||75%|
|Denied in full||8%||3%||4%||3%|
|Agency unable to respond||6%||15%||6%||8%|
|Requester abandoned/failed to pay||2%||4%||3%||4%|
A big mahalo to all agencies that have been using the Log and providing important empirical data to our office. Also, an early reminder that the year-end Log summaries for FY 2021 will be due on July 30, 2021.
For unbiased open government news, please check for archived copies of What’s New articles that are posted here or can be e-mailed upon request. To update your address or begin receiving these articles directly, please provide your e-mail address to [email protected]. Also, if you would like to receive What’s New articles or attachments in a Word format, please contact OIP at (808) 586-1400 or [email protected].