U Memo 23-06

Posted on Jun 30, 2023 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 23-06
June 30, 2023
Records Relating to an Investigation
Concerning Requester

A former Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) employee (Requester) sought records of a consultant’s investigation of internal complaints about him.  OIP found that although Requester sought his personal records, both versions of the investigation report and related documents were prepared or obtained because of the prospect of litigation and were therefore “prepared in anticipation of litigation,” with limited exceptions.  OIP also found that the documents were prepared or obtained by the consultant on behalf of OHA’s attorney.  OIP concluded that these records are protected by the attorney work product doctrine and thus may be withheld from Requester under section 92F-22(5), HRS.  OIP also concluded that to the extent any factual information contained in the consultant’s reports were previously disclosed to Requester, such information is not protected by the attorney work product doctrine and must be disclosed under Part III of the UIPA.

Excerpts from OHA’s Employee Handbook, information from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Labor websites, and coversheets that the consultant used to label and separate the attachments to the report are not personal records and were not “prepared in anticipation of litigation,” so are not protected by the attorney work product doctrine as recognized under the UIPA.  Because OIP did not find that any other exceptions apply to these records, OIP concluded they must be disclosed as government records under Part II.