Public Meeting to Discuss Draft Amendments to the UIPA

Posted on Sep 16, 2022 in Featured, Main, What's New

The State Office of Information Practices (OIP) has been diligently working with members of the Working Group (WG) convened pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 192 (SCR 192) to develop a new statutory exception to the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) that would improve government decision-making.  OIP and the WG are seeking public comments on the attached draft legislation at a public meeting to be held via Zoom on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at noon.  The  meeting notice and other information can be found on the State Calendar and a new SCR 192 webpage established on OIP’s website.

OIP had recognized for nearly 30 years that certain internal agency records could be withheld under the “deliberative process privilege” (DPP) when disclosure would frustrate a legitimate government function under section 92F-13(3), HRS, an exception under the UIPA.  Although the DPP is recognized by the federal courts and in many other states, the Hawaii Supreme Court in a close 3-2 decision in 2018 overruled OIP’s opinions and held that “decision-making” was not a government function falling within the frustration exception of the UIPA and that government agencies in Hawaii could no longer use the DPP to justify withholding certain internal records.  Peer News LLC v. City and County of Honolulu, 143 Haw. 472, 431 P.3d 1245 (2018).  The Court’s majority and dissenting opinions and OIP’s analysis can be found on the Opinions page.

SCR 192 was adopted by the Legislature during the 2022 session and recognized that “in order to reach sound decisions on the various questions that come before them, agencies in some instances need their employees and officers to fully and frankly discuss proposed policies or tentative decisions at an internal level, outside the glare of publicity, and with the freedom to express views or editorial changes that may not be incorporated into the final decision.”  The concurrent resolution asked OIP “to convene a working group to develop recommendations for a new UIPA statutory exception and other recommendations for deliberative and pre-decisional agency records to reasonably balance the public’s interest in disclosure and the agency’s ability to fully consider and make sound and informed decisions” and to report the group’s recommendations to the Legislature before the 2023 session.

The SCR 192 WG has not reached any final recommendations and is seeking the public’s input on draft legislation at the October 4 online meeting.  For further information, please go to the SCR 192 webpage, or contact OIP at or (808) 586-1400.  Mahalo.