U Memo 24-01

Posted on Aug 22, 2023 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 24-01
August 22, 2023
Investigation Report Concerning Requester

A former Department of Transportation-Harbors Division (DOT-HARBORS) employee (Requester) sought access to a copy of an internal administrative investigation report (Report) about him from DOT-HARBORS.  DOT-HARBORS denied the request based on sections 89-10.8 and 92F-22(4), HRS.  Requester appealed the denial to OIP.

Although DOT-HARBORS initially denied the request, it voluntarily disclosed the Report before the arbitration proceedings between the parties to Requester’s union representative as Requester’s exclusive bargaining agent.  DOT-HARBORS did not assert or otherwise indicate that the disclosure was pursuant to a subpoena or order issued by the arbitrator, or that the disclosure was intended only for the union and not Requester himself, or that it would be authorized by law to make such a distinction between Requester and his union representative.  Therefore, OIP found that DOT-HARBORS voluntarily disclosed the Report to Requester’s union representative who was acting on Requester’s behalf.

By its voluntary disclosure of the Report, DOT-HARBORS waived the application of any potential UIPA Part II exceptions or Part III exemptions to disclosure.  OIP concluded that DOT-HARBORS must disclose to Requester the Report it previously disclosed to Requester’s union representative, including an unredacted copy of an enclosure of the Report.