U Memo 16-4

Posted on Apr 22, 2016 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 16-4
April 22, 2016
Appeal from Denial of Access to General Records

Requester sought a decision as to whether the Department of Health (DOH) properly responded to her records request under Part II of the UIPA for documents related to:  (1) communications between DOH, including the former Director of Health, Loretta Fuddy (Director), and Judith Corley, Bob Bauer and Barack Obama, President of the United States (Mr. Obama), or their respective representatives, between March 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012; (2) communications between DOH, including the Director, and Ms. Corley on April 21, 2011; and (3) the work-related calendars, daily appointment schedules and telephone records created and maintained by the Director between March 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012 (collectively referred to herein as “Records Request”).

OIP concluded that DOH timely responded to the Records Request by conducting a reasonable search of its records and providing Requester letters that it maintains as “government records” that are subject to disclosure under the UIPA.  Under the facts of this case, however, the Director kept her own paper calendar, the DOH did not maintain any work calendar for her, and any telephone message slips that were delivered to the Director were not thereafter maintained by the DOH.  Therefore, as DOH did not maintain the Director’s calendar or telephone message slips, they were not government records subject to disclosure under the UIPA.

Finally, OIP concluded that the DOH properly withheld from Requester a certified copy of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate under section 338-18, HRS, which restricts the disclosure of public health statistics, such as birth certificates, to persons who have a direct and tangible interest in the record.