U Memo 11-2

Posted on Sep 2, 2010 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 11-2
September 2, 2010
Procurement Documents

Requester asked OIP whether the Department of Public Safety (PSD) properly denied Requester’s request under the UIPA for: 1) the “References” section of a technical proposal submitted for Invitation for Bids No. PSD 10-Ned-01 (IFB) by bidder, NDCHealth Corporation (NDCHC) (“References Section”); and 2) the initial bids and technical proposals submitted by bidders on this same IFB (“Initial Bids”) prior to amendment of the IFB on September 3, 2009.

OIP found that PSD must disclose the References Section, but properly withheld the Initial Bids.

Based upon OIP’s in camera review, OIP found that the References Section lists three state and federal governmental entities as references and summary descriptions of NDCHC’s work performed for these entities and that this information does not fall under an exception to disclosure under 
HRS § 92F-13, with the possible exception of direct contact information for the governmental entities’ contact persons, if any, that could be withheld under the UIPA’s “frustration” exception. 
HRS § 92F-13(3).

Regarding the Initial Bids, under the Hawaii Public Procurement Code, HRS chapter 103D, competitive sealed bids under HRS § 103D-302 become public upon their official public opening at the time and place designated in the invitation for bids. HRS § 103D-302(d). Under this Code provision, OIP believes that the sealed bids are confidential unless and until their official opening and thus the Initial Bids that were not opened are exempt from public disclosure. The fact that the Initial Bids remained in the hands of PSD instead of being properly returned to the respective bidders does not change the status of these bids. HRS § 92F-13(3) and -13(4).