U Memo 23-04

Posted on Mar 21, 2023 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 23-04
March 21, 2023
Reasonable Search for Solid Waste Stream Records

A member of the public appealed the response by the Office of the County Clerk for the County of Hawaii (Clerk’s Office) to her request for records pertaining to the county’s solid waste stream under Part II of the UIPA.

The Clerk’s Office had responded by telling the requester to contact a different agency for assistance, and providing her contact information including the street address and telephone and fax numbers for the correct agency.  Although the requester argued that the Clerk’s Office failed to tell her where to submit a written request, OIP found that the Clerk’s Office had in fact given her that information.  OIP concluded that the Clerk’s Office followed the UIPA’s procedural requirements for an agency responding to a request by asserting that it does not maintain the requested records, including the non-mandatory step of providing the name and contact information for the agency it believed may maintain the requested records.  OIP further concluded that because a supervisor at the Clerk’s Office had actual knowledge that the Clerk’s Office did not maintain the requested records, the Clerk’s Office was not required to  search its office for records relating to Hawaii County’s solid waste stream.