Opinion Letter No. 99-04
October 15, 1999
Attempted Disclosure of Government Record While OIP Opinion Was
A requester who was refused access to health insurance
contracts with a community hospital asked
the OIP for an opinion on whether the information requested was
public. While the OIP opinion letter
(No. 98-2) was still being drafted, the requester had discussions
with a State senator about these
The Senator requested, and was given, a copy of the hospital’s
contract with the insurance company.
The requester alleged that the Senator then attempted to give the
contract to him, but he refused to
take the copy.
The requester asked the OIP whether the Senator violated section
84-12, Hawaii Revised Statutes,
by obtaining a copy of the contract under section 92F-19, Hawaii
Revised Statutes, and then
attempting to give a copy to the requester.
Section 92F-19 allows agencies to share private or confidential
information with the legislature or a
county council. Section 84-12 forbids legislators from disclosing
confidential information acquired in
the course of the legislator’s official duties.
The OIP opined that the Senator did not violate chapter 92F because
the information he attempted to
give to the requester was always public (see OIP Opinion Letter
No. 98-2, April 24, 1998). The
OIP cannot opine on whether the Senator violated chapter 84, Hawaii
Revised Statutes, as it is
outside the scope of the OIP’s jurisdiction.