Hawaii FOIA Laws

Hawaii Sunshine Law

The Hawaii Sunshine Law legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. The law defines meetings as any gathering of a quorum of a public body. Every meeting of all boards are open to the public with a few exceptions. The boards must allow anyone interested an opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments, in writing, on any agenda item. Attendees must be allowed to present oral testimony on any agenda item.

Violations of the Hawaii Sunshine law are considered misdemeanors and punishable by appropriate penalties.

Sunshine Law Haw. Rev. Stat. §92-1 et seq.
Closed: To consider personnel information relating to those applying for professional or vocations licenses; hiring or firing of an employee; labor negotiations; property negotiations; attorney consultation; misconduct investigations; and public safety or security. State boards and commissions may meet in private if no commitment to vote is made or sought; also can meet with the governor as long as it does not relate to a quasi-judicial matter.

Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act

The Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act, established in 1975, is the law that governs access to public records. Records include all materials maintained in government offices and agencies including all records whether they be written, auditory, visual, electronic, or other physical form. Exemptions of this act are records that constitute an invasion of privacy, records of current judicial proceeding of which the agency receiving the request is a part, and confidential government records, inchoate and draft working papers of legislative committees including budget worksheets and unfiled committee reports.

Anyone can request public records and Hawaiian law does not require a statement of purpose. There are no restrictions on how the public records are used. Allow up to ten days for a response to public records.

Uniform Information Practices Act Haw. Rev. Stat. §91-1 et seq.
Exempt: Medical, psychiatric, or psychological information; criminal investigations; social services or welfare benefits information; personnel files; fitness to be granted a license; and personal recommendations and evaluations.

Visit, Hawaii Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.