Hawaii Open Records Agency Barely Makes a Dent in Backlog01/08/2013
The Hawaii Office of Information Practices (OIP) reduced its backlog just by just six cases in the 2012 fiscal year, leaving 78 pending cases on its list — some of them years old, according to the office's director. During the 2010 fiscal year, the office cleared 37 cases from its backlog.
OIP, which administers the state's public records and open meetings law, says the slow progress is due in part to staffing shortages and a major uptick in requests for assistance.
The office received 253 more requests for assistance during the 2012 fiscal year than it did the year before, a 31 percent spike, according to its recently released annual report.
OIP Director Cheryl Kakazu Park attributed the increase to greater awareness among both the public and government agencies of the state’s open government requirements.
“We just worked really hard (at getting the word out),” Park said, noting that “Attorney of the Day” advice calls accounted for much of the increase.