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Hawaii Public Records

The Hawaiian open records law is called the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) and defines what qualifies as public record and what items are exempted from public view.  UIPA also ensures that all public records are available for inspection and copying.  The Office of information Practices (OIP) was created to administer the UIPA.

Public Record in the state of Hawaii is defined as "all 'government records.'  This term is defined broadly to include any information maintained by an agency that is recorded in any physical form" including  documents, tapes, videos, books, recordings, emails and any other form of media used to record governmental proceedings.

The Legislature of Hawaii created a list of specific categories of records that must always be disclosed.  An exception only applies where it is referred to in that list:

  • Agency rules and general policies
  • Final opinions and adjudicated orders (except as protected by §92F-13(1))
  • Government purchasing information, including all bid results (except as prohibited by  §92F-13)
  • Pardons and commutations, and directory information for inmates
  • Land ownership, transfer and lien records, including real property tax information and state land leases
  • Environmental test results
  • Agency meeting minutes required by law to be public
  • State/county loan program information
  • Certified payroll records on public works contracts without social security numbers
  • Agency contract hires and consultants’ contracts, without social security numbers
  • Building permit information
  • Water service consumption data of the boards of water supply
  • Rosters of licensee or permit holders
  • General employment information for present and former agency officers and employees (except undercover law enforcement employees)
  • Information collected for the purpose of making information available to the public
  • Information from transcript, minutes, report, or summary of a public proceeding 

Agencies must also disclose:

  • Any record for which the requester has obtained the prior written consent of all individuals to whom the record refers
  • Records expressly authorized by federal or state law to be disclosed to the person requesting access
  • Records where compelling circumstances show an effect on the health or safety of any individual
  • Records requested by court order
  • Records subpoenaed from either house of the state legislature
  • Information from the motor vehicle registration files where requester has a legitimate reason under applicable rules


(1)  The Privacy Exception (§92F-13(1)) - records whose infringement on personal privacy would outweigh the public's right to know.

(2)  The Litigation Privilege Exception (§92F-13(2)) - includes draft bills and committee proceedings the disclosure of which would hinder effective proceeding.

(3)  The Frustration Exception (§92F-13(3))  - records that if released would frustrate governmental operations and activities.  These include:

  • Law Enforcement Records - if disclosure may interfere with an active law enforcement action
  • Examination Materials if disclosure would compromise the validity, fairness or objectivity of the examination;
  • Government Purchasing Information that, if disclosed, would raise the cost of government procurements or give a manifestly unfair advantage to any person proposing to enter into a contract or agreement with an agency;
  • Land Acquisition Information identifying or pertaining to real property under consideration for future public acquisition;
  • 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;
  • Confidential Business Information which includes trade secrets or confidential commercial and financial information where there is a likelihood of substantial competitive harm, for example, where disclosure would allow competitors to selectively under price, estimate profit margins, or determine market and supply weaknesses
  • Inter-agency or Intra-agency Memoranda or Correspondence used in the agency’s decision-making that falls under the “deliberative process privilege.”  This privilege allows an agency to withhold recommendations, draft documents, proposals, suggestions and other opinion materials that comprise part of the process by which the agency formulates its decisions and policies.  It protects the quality of agency decisions by encouraging the uninhibited exchange of ideas, recommendations and opinions within an agency. 

(4)  The Law or Order Exception (§92F-13(4))   where as the records are protected from disclosure by law or order of an executive or judicial nature

(5)  The Legislature Exception (§92F-13(5))  whereas the records of proceedings would hinder the ability of the legislature to effectively operate.

Requests for information may be made with the specific agency.  The OIP has created a model form that you can use to effectively make records requests:  Online information request forms

Office of Information Practices
No. 1 Capitol District Building
250 South Hotel Street, Room 107
Honolulu, Hawaii  96813
Phone:  (808) 586-1400

Brief History of Hawaii

Hawaii became a state in 1959 and is not only the youngest state in the US today, but is also the only state not part of North America.  Archeological evidence puts Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands first to have settled the land of Hawaii more than 1500 years ago, bringing with them pigs, dogs, sugar, pineapples and more. Approximately 500 years later, settlers from Tahiti arrived, bringing with them their beliefs  and creating a caste system known as Kapu (taboo).   For centuries, the peoples of Hawaii flourished and the population steadily grew, although the islands and people were not united and were often in territorial wars with one another.

In 1778, British explorer Captain James Cook, landed on Kauai at Waimea Bay.; Cook named the archipelago the "Sandwich Islands" in honor of the Earl of Sandwich, and opened the doors to the west. Cook was killed only a year later in a misunderstanding and bad timing.  By 1791, a chieftain named Kamehameha united the warring factions of the Big Island and went on to unify all of the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom by 1810.  In 1819, less than a year after King Kamehameha's death, his son, Liholiho, abolished the ancient Kapu system.   Just a year later, the first Protestant missionaries arrived on Hawaii filling the void left after the end of the Kapu system.  Hawaii subsequently became a port for seamen, traders, and whalers. Throughout these years of growth, western disease took a heavy toll on the native Hawaiian population.

Western influence continued to grow and in 1893, American Colonists and businessmen who controlled much of Hawaii's economy overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom in a peaceful, yet still controversial coup.  5 years later, Hawaii became a territory of the United States.  In the following century,  sugar and pineapple plantations fueled Hawaii's economy bringing an influx of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Portuguese immigrants. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the US Military Base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, effectively bringing the US into WWII. Four years later, after the bombings of Iwo Jima and Nagasaki, Japan signed its unconditional surrender on the USS Battleship Missouri, which still rests in Pearl Harbor as a symbol of that time.

Today, while tourism is the number one economical contributor, Hawaii is not only a prime tourist destination;  it is the  primary exporter to the US of pineapples and macadamia nuts.  Hawaii is also the only US state that grows it's own coffee.  Importing and exporting of goods is only a fraction of the states income though, because the distance and cost to ship is prohibitive.  Also, the tax burden placed on tourists and residents and business alike make Hawaii a less than ideal place to be from a cost perspective.

Fast Facts:

  • Capital City: Honolulu
  • Biggest City: Honolulu
  • Population: ~1,288,198
  • State Bird: Nene -Hawaiian Goose
  • State Flower: Hibiscus
  • State Tree: Kukui (Candlewood)
  • Nickname: Aloha State

Hawaii Government Info

Hawaii's local government structure is unique in the way it has organized its municipal governments. There are no incorporated cities in Hawaii except Honolulu County. All other municipal governments are administered at the county level. The county executives are the Mayor of Hawaii, Mayor of Honolulu, Mayor of Kauai and Mayor of Maui.

Office of the Governor

Constituent Services
State Capitol, Room 415
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 586-0221 or (808) 586-0222
Fax: (808) 586-0019

Governor's Office

Phone: 808 586-0034
Fax: 808 586-0006

Lieutenant Governor

Phone: 808 586-0255
Fax: 808 586-0231

Hawaii State Legislature

Legislative Archives

Hawaii State Judiciary

Hawaii state courts operate within a totally integrated system; court rules, procedures and forms are consistent throughout all jurisdictions, and a central administrative office assists in supervising operations statewide.

Office of Elections

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State Departments

Accounting & General Services

Kalanimoku Building
1151 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: 808 586-0400
Fax: 808 586-0775

District Offices:

State Archives

Agriculture (HDOA)

Office of the Chairperson
1428 S. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone: 808 973-9560


Attorney General (ATG)

425 Queen Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Telephone: (808) 586-1500
Fax: (808) 586-1239


Budget & Finance
P.O. Box 150
Honolulu, HI 96810
Phone: (808) 586-1518

Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Commerce & Consumer Affairs


Office of the Adjutant General
3949 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone: (808) 672-1201
Fax: (808) 733-4238

Administrative Services Office
Phone: (808) 672-1207
Fax: (808) 733-4238

Public Affairs Office
Phone: (808) 733-4258
Fax: (808) 733-4236

DOD Personnel Office- State
Phone: (808) 733-4207
Fax: (808) 733-4234

Human Resources Office- Federal
Phone: (808) 672-1006
Fax: (808) 672-1225

U.S. Property & Fiscal Office
Phone: (808) 682-5685
Fax: (808) 682-6447

DOD Engineering Office
Phone: (808) 672-1528
Fax: (808) 672-1225

Environmental Office
Phone: (808) 672-1279
Fax: (808) 672-1262

State Equal Employment Manager
Phone: (808) 672-1245
Fax: (808) 672-1225

State Family Program
Phone: (808) 672-1442
Fax: (808) 734-4273

DOD Divisions

Hawaii Army National Guard

Commander and Chief of Staff Offices
3949 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone: (808) 672-1012
Fax: (808) 672-1252

Military Personnel Office
Phone: (808) 672-1015
Fax: (808) 672-1302

Recruiting & Retention
Phone: (808) 672-1020
Fax: (808) 737-3711

Phone: (808) 844-6425
Fax: (808) 682-6373

29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
91-1227 Enterprise Avenue
Kapolei, HI 96707-2150
Phone: (808) 844-6029
Fax: (808) 844-6063

103rd Troop Command
96-1210 Waihona Street
Pearl City, HI 96782-1997
Phone: (808) 672-1750
Fax: (808) 682-1764

298th Regiment, Regional Training Institute
Bellows AFS
711 Tinker Road
Waimanalo, HI 96795
Phone: (808) 259-2620/2621
Fax: (808) 259-2639

Hawaii Air National Guard

3949 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone: (808) 733-4232
Fax: (808) 733-7227

Director of Staff
Phone: (808) 733-4231
Fax: (808) 733-7227

Director of Operations
Phone: (808) 733-4229
Fax: (808) 733-7227

Director of Personnel
Phone: (808) 733-4230
Fax: (808) 733-7227

Senior Recruiting Advisor
Phone: (808) 733-4228
Fax: (808) 733-7227

154th Wing
360 Mamala Bay Drive
Hickam AFB, HI 96853-5517
Phone: (808) 448-7434
Fax: (808) 448-7253

201st Combat Communications Group
25 Loko Drive
Hickam AFB, HI 96853-5513
Phone: (808)
Fax: (808) 448-7628

State Civil Defense
Emergency Operating Center
Diamond Head Crater, Honolulu
Phone: (808) 733-4300
Fax: (808) 733-4287

Office of Veterans Services
429 Patterson Road E Wing, Room 1-A103
Honolulu, HI 96819-1522
Phone: (808) 433-0420
Fax: (808) 433-0385

Hawaii National Guard Youth Challenge Academy
Post Office Box 75348
Kapolei, HI 96707-0348
Phone: (808) 673-7530
Fax: (808) 673-7536

Education (K-12)

Hawaiian Home Lands

91-5420 Kapolei Parkway
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 1879
Honolulu, Hawaii  96805

Office of the Chairman
808-620-9501 / Fax 808-620-9529

Information & Community Relations Office
808-620-9590 / Fax 808-620-9599

Land Development Division
808-620-9270 / Fax 808-620-9299


Human Resources Development

Human Services

Labor & Industrial Relations

Land & Natural Resources

Public Safety