OIP POSTS UIPA OPINION SUMMARIES

Posted on Aug 28, 2019 in Featured, What's New

The State Office of Information Practices has posted summaries of the following UIPA memorandum opinions on its UIPA opinions page at oip.hawaii.gov.

U Memo 19-11:  The State Ombudsman is allowed under the UIPA to withhold all information its case files in order to maintain secrecy regarding its investigations as required by HRS § 96-9(b).

U Memo 19-12:  Emails and summaries/tables between the County of Kauai’s Mayor, including his policy team (MAYOR-K), and the Kauai County Attorney and a Deputy County Attorney, relating to the rendering of legal services for a County Project, were not required to be disclosed because the records contained information protected by the attorney-client privilege.  Also, MAYOR-K conducted a reasonable search for records that could not be located, so it properly responded that it did not maintain those records.

U Memo 19-13:  During an investigation, the Department of Agriculture (DOA) could properly withhold all records of the investigation if: a) a law enforcement proceeding is pending or prospective, and b) disclosure of the records could reasonably be expected to cause articulable harm.  However, once the investigations have concluded, Requester may make a new request for the closed investigation files.  If so, then DOA may redact certain personal information falling within the privacy and frustration exceptions, such as the identity of witnesses and complainants in investigative reports, home addresses, direct work telephone numbers and email addresses, social security numbers, ethnicity, and dates of birth.

U Memo 19-14:  Article XIV of the Hawaii Constitution makes confidential only the financial information disclosed in certain financial disclosures and is not applicable to other associated information, such as the names of individual filers and their dates of filing.  While the Ethics Commission of the City and County of Honolulu properly withheld financial information pursuant to Article XIV and the names of dependent children under the UIPA’s privacy exception, it must disclose the filer’s name, position title, employing agency, personnel agency officer, government salary range, and date of filing under the UIPA’s disclosure requirements.

U Memo 19-15:  The State Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) is not required to search for records of individual retirement accounts, which it does not offer or maintain.  The ERS also properly withheld from disclosure estimates of a judge’s service retirement benefits, which fell within the UIPA’s privacy exception.

U Memo 19-16:  The Judiciary was not required to provide copies of oaths of office that it did not maintain.  Also, the Clerk of the House of Representatives was not required to perform a search for records that he actually knew did not exist.

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