U Memo 14-5

Posted on Feb 25, 2014 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 14-5
February 25, 2014
Records No Longer in Possession of Agency

Requester sought a decision regarding Hawaii Technology Academy Public Charter School’s (Academy) alleged failure to properly respond to his record requests under Part II of the UIPA and chapter 2-71, Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), and the alleged destruction of video footage records after he requested them.

OIP found that the Academy did not respond to Requester’s requests within the time periods set forth in chapter 2-71, HAR.  The video footage was destroyed, and because it is not possible to provide access to a record that does not exist, the Academy has no further obligation under the UIPA to provide access to it.  OIP further found that the video footage should not have been destroyed while a record request was pending.  However, OIP did not find bad faith with regard to destruction of the video footage.  As to the other requested records, the Department of the Attorney General (AG) subsequently opened a criminal investigation, and as part of that investigation the AG took possession of these records.  Because the Academy no longer maintains these records, it is not obligated under the UIPA to make the records available to Requester.