On the heels of its last formal opinion about the deliberative process privilege, the Office of Information Practices (OIP) has posted its latest formal and informal opinions on OIP’s Opinion page at https://oip.hawaii.gov/.
In OIP Op. Ltr. No. F19-02, OIP found that the agenda and handouts for a meeting between a state agency and individual legislators were responsive to the request seeking “notes for” and “minutes from” that meeting. OIP determined that the deliberative process privilege did not apply to the agenda and handouts because they had been shared outside the agency and were not a direct part of the agency’s internal decision-making process. As the agency did not state any further basis for withholding the records and did not provide them for OIP’s in camera review, OIP concluded that the agenda and meeting handouts should be provided to the Requester without redaction, as no exception was applicable under the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), chapter 92F, HRS (UIPA).
In U Memo 19-4, OIP concluded that a search for a requester’s personal record would have been fruitless as the agency had actual knowledge that the record had been immediately destroyed when the agency realized that it had been created in error and before the agency received the record request. OIP found the agency’s statements to be credible and made in good faith, and thus, the agency was not required to conduct a search and had properly responded that no responsive records existed.
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