Opinion Letter No. 04-17
October 27, 2004
Personal Calendars and Telephone Message Slips
Not Government Records
The OIP found it to be consistent with the definition
of “government record” under the UIPA and its legislative
history to distinguish between records held by an agency official
in his or her personal capacity versus official capacity.
In line with other state and federal courts that have similarly
construed other open records laws, the OIP found that the determination
of whether or not a record is a “government record”
subject to disclosure under the UIPA or a personal record of an
official depends on the totality of circumstances surrounding its
creation, maintenance, and use.
The records at issue were the personal appointment or scheduling
calendars (the “Calendars”) and telephone message slips
of certain current and former officials of the City and County of
Honolulu (the “City Officials”).
Through the Corporation Counsel, the City Officials represented
that their Calendars and telephone message slips are not required
to be kept or maintained to document their official functions but
are created solely for their personal convenience; are not circulated
or intended for distribution within agency channels for official
purposes, such as notifying others of their schedules; are not integrated
into agency files but are maintained in a way indicating a private
purpose with limited access by their respective secretaries; are
not under agency control; and may be discarded at their sole discretion.
Based upon the totality of these representations, the OIP found
the Calendars and the telephone message slips generally to be personal
records of the City Officials and not “government records”
subject to disclosure under the UIPA.