U Memo 13-7

Posted on May 15, 2013 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 13-7
May 15, 2013
Findings from an Investigation of Alleged Hostile Work Environment     
and the Action Taken by the Liquor Commission

Requesters sought an opinion as to whether the Honolulu Liquor Commission (HLC) properly denied their request under Parts II and III of the UIPA for (1) the findings set forth in a report of an investigation into allegations of a hostile work environment at the HLC (Report), and (2) the action that the HLC took after reviewing the Report. 

OIP found that several sentences within three paragraphs in the Report’s findings are about the Requesters because they identify and refer to the Requesters, either by individual name or by describing them as those who filed the complaints that prompted the investigation (Complainants).  Such information about the Requesters constitutes the Requesters’ “personal records.” HRS § 92F-3 (definition of “personal record”).  Because none of the exemptions in Part III of the UIPA apply, the Requesters’ personal records consisting of these specific sentences must be disclosed to the Requesters.

OIP also found that the rest of the Report’s findings consist of information about other HLC employees, and are not about any of the Requesters.  As such, this information is subject to Part II of the UIPA, which governs public access to government records.  The other HLC employees have a significant privacy interest in the Report’s information about them, and this significant privacy interest outweighs the public interest in disclosure.  Thus, the information about other HLC employees in the Report’s findings is protected from public disclosure under the UIPA’s “clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” exception set forth in section 92F-13(1), HRS.  Furthermore, the HLC maintains no records indicating the action, if any, that was taken after the HLC reviewed the Report.