November 13, 2008
Mr. Clyde W. Namu'o
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
711 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 500
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Re: Request for Assistance to Access Records (U RFA-P 09-24)
Dear Mr. Namu'o:
The Office of Information Practices ("OIP") has received a request for assistance from Mr. Gerard A. Jervis, on behalf of his client, Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele with respect to his request made under part II of the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), chapter 92F, Hawaii Revised Statutes ("HRS") ("UIPA"), for financial information (see attached) from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs ("OHA"). Mr. Jervis indicates that he made his request on October 20, 2008 to OHA, and that he has not yet received a response from OHA. Copies of Mr. Jervis' request to OIP and his record request to OHA are enclosed for your information.
Under OIP's administrative rules, an agency must respond to a written UIPA request for access to government records within a reasonable time, not to exceed ten business days. Haw. Admin R. § 2-71-13 (1999). Given the length of time since Mr. Jervis' request, please provide the requested records to Mr. Jervis within ten business days from the date of this letter or, if OHA intends to deny all or part of Mr. Jervis' request, please provide the required response to Mr. Jervis by that date. See Haw. Admin. R. §§ 2-71-13, 2-71-14 and 2-71-15 (1999).
If OHA denies Mr. Jervis' request in full or in part, please provide OIP by that same date with a detailed explanation of OHA's basis for denying the request. That explanation should specifically: (1) identify all of the specific records or the parts of records to which access is being denied; (2) identify the statutory exemption under section 92F-13, HRS,1 that OHA is relying upon to deny access; (3) state any and all facts that are relevant to OHA's denial, including any representation necessary to support its withholding; and (4) provide OHA's reasoning as to why the statutory exception relied upon allows it to withhold the records. See Haw. Admin. R. § 2-71-14(b) (1999).
This notice should be made in sufficient detail to allow Mr. Jervis and OIP to determine the applicability of the exemption claimed to the records or information being withheld. Please remember that the UIPA places the burden on the agency to establish justification for the nondisclosure of government records. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-15(c) (1993).
Please be advised that, for purposes of complying with the UIPA, OHA should not destroy a requested record that may be required to be made available for public inspection by OIP or the court. See OIP Op. Ltr. No. 92-13 at 6 n.1.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance in this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Very truly yours,
Linden H. Joesting
cc: Gerard A. Jervis, Esq. (without enclosures)
1 The UIPA also provides generally that where compliance with any provision of the UIPA would cause an agency to lose or be denied funding or other assistance from the federal government, compliance with that provisions shall be waived but only to the extent necessary to protect eligibility for such federal assistance. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-4 (1993).