Openline September 1999

Posted on Sep 1, 1999 in Newsletter

Open Government Initiative: OIP and State Libraries Promote Public Access 
Visit the Libraries and OIP on the Net 
New OIP Publications Coming Your Way 
OIP Staff Update

Open Government Initiative:
OIP and State Libraries Promote Public Access
The Office of Information Practices and the Hawaii State Public Library System are working together to promote public access to State and county government records and information.

In the spirit of public service and cooperation, the heads of the two agencies – State Librarian Virginia Lowell and OIP Director Moya T. Davenport Gray – met recently to explore ways of promoting access.

Public Access Centers
For many years the libraries have been a valuable depository and public access center for government materials, including the OIP’s Openline newsletters since 1989, and the UIPA Reference Manual. The reference manual, which contains the OIP formal opinion letters, back issues of the newsletters, and other information, is available upon request at the regional libraries.

Informational Programs
To promote access, and to continue to fulfill the OIP’s statutory mandate to inform the public about the State’s uniform information practices, the OIP is hoping to present public programs on open government in the libraries.

Model Forms for Access
The OIP met recently with the Oahu branch library managers to distribute and discuss the new model forms: “Request to Access a Government Record” and “Notice to Requester.”

These materials are also being made available to the neighbor island libraries at their September meetings. The forms are designed to ease the way for those requesting public records from State and county government agencies.

In addition, Director Gray will be meeting with the Oahu branch library managers in October to continue the dialogue between the two agencies.

Government in the Communities
The public libraries present a familiar and highly visible face of government in the communities throughout Hawaii.

Each library is a neighborhood center of information and lifelong learning, a point of access for all citizens, and a resource for reaching out to the larger community, including Internet access at each library.

Librarians play a critical role in our society as defenders of the First Amendment and democracy.

Welcome and Salute
The Office of Information Practices welcomes this new cooperative effort. We salute the efforts and ideas of State Librarian Virginia Lowell, Special Assistant John Penebacker, Hawaii State Library Director Caroline Spencer, and all the State’s librarians and employees.

Together with the State libraries we look forward to a valuable association that will benefit the people of Hawaii.

Visit the Libraries and OIP on the Net
Here’s the short list. It’s Freddy Form’s quick guide to favorite sites on the Internet. Check it out!

  • Hawaii State Libraries:
  • Office of Information Practices:
  • Hawaii State Government:


New OIP Publications Coming Your Way
The Office of Information Practices has a number of publication projects nearing completion. These publications should prove useful for those who consult the OIP opinion letters and other forms of OIP guidance on freedom of information and privacy issues.

Upon completion, these publications will be distributed to State and county government agencies and other UIPA Reference Manual holders. The new publications will also be posted on the OIP’s web site at

Opinion Letter Summaries
Summaries of all the OIP opinion letters have been written and are being prepared for publication. The OIP’s staff attorneys have taken each formal opinion letter and summarized it in one or two paragraphs. The result is a concise statement of the circumstances of the case, the issues involved, and the OIP’s conclusions.

Viewing these summaries on the Internet, visitors will be able to use their browsers to perform key word searches of all the summaries. The usual search command is Ctrl-F.

Opinion Letter Index
In addition to the summaries, the OIP’s staff attorneys have updated the subject index for the opinion letters. The opinion letters were last indexed in 1995. With the index you can quickly see a list of all opinion letters that touch on a certain subject, such as “Addresses” or “Contracts” or “Electronic Information.”

Need to research a particular issue like “Frustration of Government Function,” or perhaps “Inter-Agency Disclosure?” The index will point you to the relevant OIP opinion letters.

Disclosure of Personnel Records
The OIP Guidelines #2 publication revises the OIP’s guidance on disclosure of personnel records, originally issued on May 1, 1991. These guidelines are intended to assist agencies in understanding what personnel records must be disclosed under the UIPA.

New Guidance Memos
The OIP will also be distributing a new memo that gives legal guidance on confidential business information. Another guidance memo, distributed in August 1999, covers access to personal record requests.

1999 Annual Report
The OIP is preparing its Annual Report to the Legislature for fiscal year 1999. Focusing on the theme “Protecting Privacy and Access,” the annual report includes the Director’s message; a budget update; case studies; statistical information on requests for assistance, guidance, and opinions; updates on litigation and legislation; and information about administrative rules, draft appeals rules, and model forms.

It also features reports on open meetings (“Sunshine Law”), the Records Report System, education and training, and Y2K compliance. The 1999 annual report will be distributed in December 1999.

OIP Staff Update
In December of 1988, when the Office of Information Practices was only a few months old, the Director hired the agency’s first staff attorney, Lorna Loo.

Now, more than ten years later, after an exceptional career as the OIP’s senior staff attorney, after one wedding (to Terrence Aratani), one name change (to Lorna Aratani), two children (Tyler and Lauren), countless legal team meetings, valuable training sessions, and thousands of acts of assistance to government agencies and the public, Lorna is calling it a day.

She moves on with the best wishes and warmest aloha of everyone at the OIP, to whom she has been the voice of experience, a cheerful and helpful colleague, and a constant source of reason and light in times of great change. Lorna, your work here will not be forgotten.

The OIP welcomes volunteer student intern Lisa Asato, who is researching privacy issues. Lisa holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Hawaii and is working on a degree in journalism. Lisa is a graduate of Pearl City High School, where she played clarinet in the band. You remember Lisa: she was the one marching in the middle of row 143, on the 35 yard line. Welcome, Lisa!