A Quick Guide to the New OIP Rules
Recent OIP Opinion: Disclosure of Police Records
OIP Staff Update
The Office of Information Practices ("OIP")
has adopted administrative rules entitled "Agency Procedures
and Fees for Processing Government Record Requests."
These rules, which took effect on February 26, 1999,
are set forth in Chapter 71 of Title 2 of the Hawaii Administrative
Rules. The OIP was required to adopt these rules by the Uniform
Information Practices Act (Modified) ("UIPA").
Here is a quick guide to help government agencies
and the public understand the new rules.
Which agencies must comply
with these rules?
ALL executive and legislative agencies of the State and of all counties
in the State. These rules also apply to the administrative functions
of the Judiciary.
When do these rules apply?
An agency must comply with these rules whenever an agency receives
a request for access to a government record, either to view or obtain
a copy of the record.
What are the requirements for
submitting a request for access to a government record?
To make the request clear and easier to respond to, a requester
should submit a "formal request" which:
- is written, or in some other form;
- provides information enabling the agency to contact
- requests either to inspect or to copy a particular
describes that government record; and
- if the requester wishes to request a waiver
of search, review, and segregation fees, includes facts supporting
the waiver request.
What are the time limits for an agency's
response to the record request?
Public Records: The agency has 10 business days to disclose public
government records that will be disclosed in their entirety.
Partially Public Records: For those records, parts of which will
be segregated, the agency has 10 business days to provide notice.
The agency then must disclose public parts of the record within
5 days of providing notice. Prepayment may be required before disclosure.
Extenuating Circumstances: When an agency's response time is affected
by extenuating circumstances, the agency may first provide written
acknowledgment, thereafter provide a notice within 20 days after
receiving the request, and then disclose public parts of the record
within 5 days of providing notice.
What must an agency's notice state?
Notice of Access: If an agency will be disclosing all or part of
the record requested, the notice must tell the requester how the
record will be made available--for example: (1) whether it will
be made available for inspection or copying and where,
(2) the estimated amount of fees to process the record request,
and (3) any other instructions.
Notice of Denial: If an agency will be denying access to all or
part of the record requested, the notice must inform the requester
whether all or only a portion of the record will not be disclosed.
The notice must also state the specific legal authorities for the
Notice of Agency Unable to Disclose: If an agency is unable to disclose
a record, the notice must state the reason.
Model notice forms can be downloaded from the OIP's web site as
they become available.
What must an agency do when
the record requested is partially confidential?
Before disclosing the public parts of the record, the agency must
segregate the confidential parts. The agency's notice must inform
the requester about those parts that are not disclosed, as well
as how the public parts will be made available.
What kind of fees do the rules
allow agencies to charge?
In order to process a request for access to a government record,
an agency may, but need not, charge the requester the following
fees, in addition to any other lawful fees:
$2.50 per fifteen minutes, or fraction thereof, for
searching for the record; and
$5.00 per fifteen minutes, or fraction thereof, for reviewing and
segregating the record.
The agency may not charge the first $30 of the above fees to the
requester. In addition, a fee waiver in the public interest is also
available. The criteria for this fee waiver are set forth in section
2-71-32, Hawaii Administrative Rules, and are stated in the model
request form to be made available on the OIP's web site.
For more information about the rules or the UIPA,
go online to the OIP's web site at: www.state.hi.us/oip.
Recent OIP Opinion:
Disclosure of Police Reports
Police reports for a closed criminal investigation,
which resulted in a deferred acceptance of nolo contendere plea,
must be made available for public inspection and copying.
A local newspaper had requested disclosure of the
police reports, after deletion of the information identifying the
victim and witnesses.
After reviewing the Kauai Police Department's objections
to disclosure, the OIP determined that the State law governing the
deferred acceptance of nolo contendere plea, the State expungement
statute, and the State law regarding criminal history record information,
did not protect the police reports from disclosure under section
92F-13(4), Hawaii Revised Statutes.
In addition, because the police reports did not involve
a Family Court proceeding, the statute that makes records of Family
Court proceedings confidential did not apply.
Because the defendant had already been prosecuted,
was summoned and appeared in open court, and was identified by public
court records, the OIP determined that he maintained little or no
privacy interest in disclosure of his identity, and information
regarding his identity was not protected from disclosure.
However, the OIP found that information regarding
the defendant's social security number, home address, and telephone
number could be redacted prior to disclosure of the police reports.
[OIP Op. Ltr. No. 99-2, April 5, 1999]
OIP Staff Update
The Office of Information Practices bids aloha (and
"we have the telephone numbers for your new offices!")
to Staff Attorney Randall Port and to Coleen Yoshina, Secretary
to the Director.
Randy, who served as staff attorney from 1996 to the
end of 1998, is now Senior Legislative Assistant to Senator Jonathan
Chun in the State Senate. We miss Randy's wit and wisdom in the
office, as well as his endless tips for improving the quality of
life through the magic of duct tape.
Coleen has transferred to the Department of Accounting
and General Services, to serve as secretary to the deputy director.
We miss Coleen and her many skills, from coordinating the office's
assignments and activities, to taming unruly paperwork and wild
software, to performing great feats of baking. Coleen and Randy,
we wish you well in your new positions!
The staff welcomes Rita Newcom, who joins the OIP
from the Administrative Division of the Department of the Attorney
General. Rita, the office's new legal assistant., received paralegal
training at Kapi'olani Community College. Her interests include
hula and going to the Ice Palace with her son, Ridge.