Openline April 1998

Posted on Apr 1, 1998 in Newsletter

Public Records Rules Approved for Public Hearing
New Web Site for OIP:
What are the Agencies’ Responsibilities to Individuals?

Informational Briefings Set:
Public Records Rules Approved for Public Hearing

The Office of Information Practices’ proposed public records rules have been approved for public hearing. The public hearings will be scheduled at a later date. However, the OIP will offer four informational briefings in May and June to explain these rules to the public.

The proposed rules create procedures that agencies must follow when requests to inspect and copy government records are received. They also establish fees that State and county agencies may charge for searching for, reviewing, and segregating confidential or private information from government records.

The briefings, conducted by the OIP’s director and staff attorneys, are designed to help the public understand the proposed rules.

Informational briefings will take place in the State’s videoconference centers, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, on the following dates:

May 19: Honolulu, Lihue, Wailuku
May 27: Honolulu, Lihue, Wailuku 
June 8: Honolulu, Hilo
June 10: Honolulu, Hilo

Honolulu: Capitol Center (1177 Alakea St., Rm. 302)
Lihue: State Office Bldg. (3060 Eiwa St., Basement)
Wailuku: Judiciary Bldg. (2145 Main St., 1st Floor)
Hilo: State Office Bldg. (75 Aupuni St., Basement)

If you plan to attend, please call the Office of Information Practices at 586-1400 to ensure seating. Copies of the proposed rules may be obtained at the OIP, and will also be available online at the OIP’s web site.

New Web Site for OIP:

The Office of Information Practices (“OIP”) announces its new Internet site, at The OIP, a State agency and government watchdog, is charged with implementing and administering Hawaii’s open records law, the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), Chapter 92F, Hawaii Revised Statutes (“UIPA”).

To foster public participation in our democracy, the open records law makes government records available for public scrutiny. However, because government also collects information about individuals, it is just as important that your privacy interests in that information be protected. Therefore, the UIPA opens up government records to the public while protecting your privacy interests.

The new site features a “Contents” bar to help you navigate.

Click on “Guidance”
The site offers practical help for questions such as the following:
What types of records are public?
What are the guidelines for inspecting government records?
What are the agencies’ responsibilities to individuals?
What are the possible responses to your records request?
What are the individual’s rights if denied a record?

Click on “The Law”
The Guidance pages include links to the relevant sections of the UIPA. The new web site features the complete text of the law, with quick links to each section of the UIPA.

For those unfamiliar with the OIP, the “Home” page introduces the agency and the UIPA. Another page tells where to call for other government information, including State, county, and federal telephone numbers.

Click on “OIP Openline” and “Opinion Letters”
The monthly Openline newsletter is now available online atthis site. Other print publications will be added, such as the OIP’s 1996 and 1997 annual reports.

Summaries of all the OIP opinion letters—from 1989 to 1998—are being prepared, with a chronological index, and will very soon be part of the site. For the full text, click on the link to the opinion letters residing on the HSBA site.

Click on “Other Links”
To expand a search, visit the page of links to related sites: Hawaii government, freedom of information, and government agencies in the USA, Canada, and elsewhere that work with privacy and freedom of information.

The OIP thanks the Information and Communication Services Division of the Department of Accounting and General Services, and the Campaign Spending Commission, for their assistance with the creation of this web site.

What Are the Agencies’ Responsibilities to Individuals?

Here is a guidance page from the OIP’s new wweb site. Each paragraph ends with a link to the relevant section of Hawaii Revised Statutes.

Under the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), Chapter 92F, Hawaii Revised Statutes (“UIPA”), if the requested record is required to be disclosed, the agency must make the requested government record available for inspection and copying during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). The copying and inspection of information cannot cause excessive interference with an agency’s lawful responsibilities and functions. In addition, the agency may take reasonable measures to protect the record.
[Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-11(b), (e)]

The agency must assure reasonable access to facilities for duplicating and for making memoranda or abstracts. The requester, however, may be required to pay for the copies. At this time, other laws outside the UIPA require agencies to charge copy fees of not less than 25 cents per page. The costs for reproducing geographic information systems data are different [see Section 92-21, HRS].
[Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-11(d)]

Other charges 
In addition to copying charges, the agency will be able to charge for searching for, reviewing, and segregating the records in accordance with OIP rules. These proposed rules have been approved for public hearing.
[Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-42(13)]

Compilations not required
An agency is not required to prepare a compilation or summary of its records if the requested information is not readily retrievable in the form requested.
[Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-11(c)]

An individual has the right to have any factual error, misrepresentation, or misleading entries within that individual’s record corrected or amended by the agency. If an agency refuses to make the requested changes, an individual can ask the agency to review its denial. If the agency still refuses to correct or amend the individual’s record, and after appropriate administrative remedies have been exhausted, the individual may bring a civil action against the agency in circuit court.
[Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-24][Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-25]