IGNORES UIPA GUIDELINES AND STATE LAWS
by John Charlton
(Sept. 24, 2009) — As reported on Wednesday, Attorney Leo Donofrio is assisting a citizen who made requests to both Dr. Fukino and Janice Okubo, Director and Communications Director respectively, for the Department of Health of the State of Hawaii, for pertinent information regarding the public statements prepared by Director Fukino regarding the vitals records of Barack Hussein Obama.
Now The Post & Email can confirm that Okubo has refused another request, that she received today from another citizen, as per the email forwarded to us in the CC line of the correspondence issued by the citizen.
That request read as follows (personal information redacted):
—–Original Message—–From: xxxSent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 5:41 AMTo: Okubo, Janice S.Subject: Dear Dr. Janice OkuboDear Dr. Janice Okubo,I am writing you in your capacity as Communications Director of the Department of Health of the State of Hawaii.In virtue of Section 338-18 (d) of the Hawaiian Revised Statutes, which reads:(d) Index data consisting of name and sex of the registrant, type of vital event, and such other data as the director may authorize shall be made available to the public.I am requesting the index data (excluding the Social Security number, if it is contained therein) regarding the original vital records, cited in Director Fukino’s press release of July 27, 2009, which reads:“I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai’i State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai’i and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago.”I would point out that according to the Office of Information Practices Opinion Letter No. 90-07 (Official citation is OIP Op. Ltr.No. 90-7.), all records required by statute to be made available in 92F-12 under the UIPA are not subject to privacy exceptions.Hence, in accord with 92F-12(15), which lists the following as information which must be made public:(15) Information collected and maintained for the purpose of making information available to the general public;I hereby also request all such information collected and maintained for the purpose of making the 2 public announcements made by Director Fukino in this regard (cited above and on Oct 31, 2009, in regard to Barack Obama’s “birth certificate.”)Please note, that in accord with Hawaiian laws and the UIPA rules, you are obliged to make known this information, upon public request, for the following reasons:Please take note of the the Hawaiian OIP’s Opinion Letter 07-07 (written on April 18, 2007), which states:“OIP further notes that, pursuant to statute, DOH itself discloses certain information in the vital records it maintains, and, therefore, individuals would not have a significant privacy interest in that information. Specifically, the statute provides that ‘[i]ndex data consisting of name and sex of registrant, type of vital event and other such information as the director may authorize shall be made available to the public.’ Haw. Rev. Stat. 338-18 (Supp. 2006). According to its director, DOH creates a daily list of the vital statistics records it receives and the public may inspect. The daily list consists of the name and sex of the registrant and the type of vital event.Accordingly, OIP believes that DLNR should, upon request, disclose a copy of an individual’s vital record maintained by DLNR, but may redact out all information except…information of the type discussed by DOH.”Therefore in accord with this opinion, I request you to disclose to me a copy of the Barack Obama’s original vital records, redacted as to that information which cannot be released according to the said opinion, just cited, on the grounds OIP Opinion Letter 07-07 clearly indicates that once information contained in a vital record is released by the DOH, the person no longer has a privacy interest in the exposed information. And therefore, the relevant original vital records should be made public in redacted form when disclosure of the relevant information is mandatory according to statute -in this case more than one, specifically the UIPA at 92F-12(15) and Haw. Rev. Stat. 338-18(d).Please note that the above cited statutes place no restriction as to whom may ask for the above cited information, when made for the above cited reasons, and that therefore I do not have to meetany criterion for such a release, as being a person of interest.Please send the above requested information and documents by surface mail to:[Address redacted]If you wish further correspondence with me, please contact me by email, or surface mail. Thank you.Sincerely,[Name withheld for privacy reasons]
Subject: RE: Dear Dr. Janice Okubo
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 09:09:29 -1000
Thread-Topic: Dear Dr. Janice Okubo
From: “Okubo, Janice S.” <email@example.com>
X-Antivirus: AVG for E-mail 8.5.409Aloha Mr. XXXX,State law prohibits the Department of Health from disclosing any information about a Hawaii vital record unless the requestor has a direct and tangible interest in the record. This includes verification of vital records and all the information contained in a record. Direct and tangible interest is determined by HRS §338-18(b) which can be found at: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol06_Ch0321-0344/HRS0338/HRS_0338-0018.htmAgencies are not required by the UIPA to disclose government records which, pursuant to state or federal law are protected from disclosure. Haw. Rev. Stat. §92F-13 (4) (Supp.1989)For information on the law that governs vital records in the State of Hawaii, please refer to HRS §338 at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Past statements by the health director are at www.hawaii.gov/health under “news releases.”This concludes our responses to your questions, no further response will be provided.Janice OkuboCommunications OfficeHawaii State Department of Health1250 Punchbowl StreetHonolulu, Hawaii 96813Phone: (808) 586-4442Fax: (808) 586-4444email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 00:20:38 +0200
To: “Okubo, Janice S.” <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Dear Dr. Janice Okubo
“The Post &Email” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Dr. Janice Okubo,
Thank you for your letter regarding my UIPA request.
I have quoted the pertinent statutes and opinions of the OIP office regarding my request (see below), that authorize and require you to release the kind of information I requested, on account of the public statements made by Director Fukino.
In opposition to my request you have cited Haw. Rev. Stat. §92F-13 (4) (Supp.1989) and HRS §338-18(b).
But my request is made in regard to Haw. Rev. Statute §92F-12(15), and Haw. Rev. Stat. 338-18(d). Please note that I am citing subsections 12(15) and 18(d), not 13(4) and 18(b). Nor am I asking for the unredacted vital record. I have also cited the OIP office opinions which authorize and allow and require you to comply with my request as regards the open government laws of Hawaii.
I am not making the kind of request that would be excluded by the sections you cite, because I am making a different kind of request; which you must comply with on the grounds of the public statements made, and the UIPA guidelines which require an open government and free access to the information used to prepare public statements, which statements being public have waived the right to privacy of the information used to make them.
Failure to comply with this request, as the UIPA guidelines require you to, would be in direct violation of Hawaii statutes and UIPA guidelines, making you and Director Fukino subject to prosecution. Are you really willing to do that? And yes, I will file a criminal complaint against you to the State Attorney General on this basis, and another to the Federal AG in your district for denying me my civil rights, if you fail to comply with this lawful request.
A copy of our correspondence is quoted below, containing this request, which I herein renew.
I am CCing this to all the other officials in your office, for legal copy; and Bcc-ing it to a number of attorneys so that this correspondence can be duly verified in court, if need be.
Sincerely,[Name redacted — re-citation of the copy of request omitted]
It is clear from this correspondence that the concerned citizen availed himself of arguments provided by Attorney Leo Donofrio regarding this issue.