U Memo 15-10

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 15-10
March 30, 2015
Salaries & Employment Information
about Consultants’ Employees

Requester asked whether the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) must disclose salaries and other information about employees of HART’s contracted consultants PB Americas, Inc. (PB) and InfraConsult LLC (InfraConsult) under Part II of the UIPA.

OIP found that HART properly denied access to PB’s and InfraConsult’s employee records because these records are maintained by the two private consultants and, therefore, are not “government records” subject to the UIPA’s public disclosure requirements. Specifically, these records are not “government records” because HART has neither physical custody nor administrative control over its consultants’ employee records.

OIP also found that HART does maintain its contracts with both consultants, and its consultant contracts have cost attachments listing the consultants’ employees’ names, position titles and respective salary information. OIP believes that the salary information in the contract attachments would be responsive, in part, to both records requests. However, because the specific consultants’ employees identified by Requester are private employees and not government employees, they have a significant privacy interest in nongovernmental employment history and income records. In the absence of a larger public interest, such individually identifiable private employee information is not required to be disclosed under the UIPA’s exception for “[g]overnment records which, if disclosed, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” HRS § 92F-13(1) (2012).

In response to the request for salaries of all employees of PB and its subcontractors, even if the employees’ names are redacted, HART is not required to disclose this information under the exception for “[g]overnment records that, by their nature, must be confidential in order for the government to avoid the frustration of a legitimate government function” because disclosure would reveal confidential commercial and financial information and disclosure would frustrate HART’s procurement functions. HRS § 92F-13(3) (2012).