Posted on Mar 28, 2022 in Featured, What's New

The State Office of Information Practices (OIP) has posted two new reports summarizing data about Hawaii’s open records law collected by 289 State, county, and independent agencies on their UIPA Record Request Logs for FY 2021, which ended on June 30, 2021. 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 2021.

Again this year, OIP experienced delays in obtaining information from agencies 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 209 state agencies that provided their FY 2021 Log data, typical record requests comprised 75% of all requests, were granted in whole or in part 78% of the time, and were completed in 7.6 work days on average (without subtracting the extra day generally added by the Log’s calculations). Of all State requests, 95% were completed in FY 2021, and 90% of the completed requests paid nothing in fees and costs. While there were significant differences between counties, the overall average for the 80 county agencies reporting in FY 2021 showed that typical requests comprised 79% of all requests, were granted in whole or in part 80% of the time, and were completed in 7.5 work days on average. Of all county requests, 98% were completed in FY 2021, and over 84% of the 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. In particular, the Hawaii County Department of Finance reported a 104% increase in the number of routine requests it received, primarily because of changes during the COVID-19 pandemic to process vehicle and drivers’ licensing. Excluding the much larger numbers of routine requests, however, the numbers of UIPA record requests received in FY 2021 were very close at 1,991 for the State and 1,957 for all counties.

The following chart compares how cases were resolved by the State and counties in FY 2020 compared to FY 2021.

How Resolved                                       FY20             FY21              FY20                  F21
                                                                 State            State            Counties           Counties

Granted in full                                         71%                  70%               75%                  62%
Partially granted/denied                        6%                     9%                 8%                   18%
Denied in full                                            3%                     6%                 3%                     5%
Agency unable to respond                    15%                  17%                 8%                     8%
Requester withdrew                                 1%                    1%                 2%                     2%
Requester abandoned/failed to pay     4%                    4%                 4%                      5%

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 2022 will be due on July 30, 2022.

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 Word format, please contact OIP at (808) 586-1400 or [email protected].