U Memo 14-4

Posted on Dec 18, 2013 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U-Memo 14-4
December 18, 2013
Applicant Summaries for Applicants on Judicial “Shortlist”

Requester sought a decision as to whether, under Part II of the UIPA, the Office of the Governor must make public the Applicant Summaries (Applicant Summaries) prepared and submitted to the Governor in the judicial selection process by the Judicial Selection Commission (JSC), setting out detailed educational background, work experience, and other information regarding the judicial applicants named on the JSC’s selected list of nominees, or “shortlist.” (Applicants). 

OIP found that applicants listed on a judicial “shortlist” generally have a significant privacy interest, not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure, in the information in the Applicant Summaries, as the public interest in information about Applicants named to a “shortlist” but not appointed is not equivalent to the public interest in the eventual appointee, or in a serving government employee, so such information may generally be withheld under the UIPA’s exception for information whose disclosure would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.  See HRS §§ 92F‑13(1) and -14.  However, information about an applicant that is already public, whether because the applicant has taken affirmative steps to make it public or because the information is public under the UIPA as part of the previously existing government personnel records relating to the applicant’s current or prior government employment, should not be withheld.