As the COVID-19 virus has become a global pandemic and a serious threat to the health and welfare of our state’s population, the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), chapter 92F, HRS, was temporarily suspended and the Sunshine Law, part I of chapter 92, HRS, substantially suspended by the Supplemental Memorandum of Governor Ige dated March 16, 2020, to give government the maximum flexibility to focus its attention and personnel resources on directly addressing the immediate situation at hand. When the situation is stabilized and there is proper leeway to re-direct those resources, the suspension of these laws will be lifted.
In the meantime, OIP is not accepting new cases until clarification of its authority to do so is received or the Supplementary Proclamation is terminated. Moreover, in accordance with the Governor’s emergency directives and the State’s social distancing efforts to keep the community and government employees safe and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis, OIP is operating via teleworking and with a reduced staff physically in its office until further notice. OIP will continue to operate during its normal weekday business hours from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but will not accept walk-ins for requests for advice at its office. OIP still has an assigned Attorney of the Day to respond to Sunshine Law and UIPA questions, which should preferably be submitted by email to [email protected]. OIP is also responding to telephone inquiries, but the staffing adjustments may make phone calls more likely to go to voice mail and take longer to be returned.
OIP thanks the public and government agencies for their patience and understanding during this challenging time. OIP urges government agencies and boards to also do what they can to keep the public informed and, to the extent possible, allow for remote participation at public meetings using technology, such as livestreaming, teleconferencing, or other forms of online virtual meetings. Mahalo, everyone and stay healthy.