U Memo 15-1

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 15-1
August 18, 2014
Personal Test Records

Requester sought a decision as to whether the Department of Public Safety (PSD) properly denied, under Part III of the UIPA, Requester’s request for copies of the original written examination with Requester’s answers, interview questions, and the interviewers’ notes of Requester’s answers during the interview.

OIP found that PSD may, under Part III of the UIPA, withhold copies of Requester’s personal records consisting of a written examination and his answers to those questions. OIP also found that PSD may withhold from Requester copies of interview questions and the interview panel’s notes of the applicant’s responses to the interview questions, because the PSD will be reusing the examination and interview questions. The UIPA’s Part III exemption for “testing or examination material or scoring keys . . . the disclosure of which would compromise the objectivity, fairness, or effectiveness of the testing or examination process” allows PSD to withhold these personal records from Requester. HRS
§ 92F-22(3) (2012).

OIP also found that PSD is not required to disclose the requested records as government records under Part II of the UIPA based on the exception to disclosure for records whose disclosure would frustrate a legitimate government function. HRS § 92F-13(3) (2012). Disclosure of questions and answers would compromise the “validity, fairness or objectivity of the examination.” OIP Op. Ltr. No. 94-8 at 6. Additionally, PSD need not disclose the interview panelists’ notes because they fall within the “deliberative process privilege.” OIP Op. Ltr. No. 91-24 at 7.