State Whistleblower Score
Score: 58/100 points
Rank: 26/51 states
Hawaii has an average state whistleblower law with narrow coverage (10 out of 33 possible points), a high degree of usability (23 out of 33) and good remedies (24 out of 33) plus one bonus point awarded for employee notification of rights.
State Public Records Law
Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA)
Hawaii Revised Statutes (2020)
HRS Chapter 92F (Contains all amendments enacted through the Legislature’s 2020 regular session.)
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Exemptions to Disclosure
Disclosure of the following records is not required:
- Government records that, by their nature, must be confidential in order for the government to avoid the frustration of a legitimate government function;
- OIP guidance suggests this exemption may include: “Proprietary Information such as research methods, records and data, computer programs and software and other types of information manufactured or marketed by persons under exclusive legal right, owned by an agency or entrusted to it.”
- Records that if disclosed, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
- Records that pursuant to State or federal law are protected from disclosure
- Any person
- Unless request is duplicative or substantially similar in nature to an earlier request made w/in the past year which has already been responded to, and which was made by the same requestor
- Reasonable access to facilities for duplicating records and making memoranda or abstracts
- Agency can adopt rules to protect from damage to or loss of records, and to prevent manifestly excessive interference w/ the discharge of its other lawful responsibilities and functions
- Regular business hours
Destruction of Public Records
- Need permission of comptroller per Section 94-3 to destroy public records [Section 92-31]; may be required to keep copy in archives
- A listing of all destroyed documents is kept at the department where the record originated, at the office of the attorney general, and at the state archives.
What’s New in Hawaii?
The National Park Air Tour Management Act of 2000 requires the FAA, in consultation with NPS, to develop plans to limit noise and disruption in any park with more than 50 overflights a year. Yet, in the more than two decades since, the agencies have not developed a single air tour management plan. In May 2020, PEER won a judgment against the two agencies before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on the basis of their unreasonable delay.