UIPA Memo 11-9
OHA Employee Salary Information
Requester asked whether the Office of Hawaiian Affairs
(OHA) must disclose the names, titles, and salaries of all OHA employees
(Salary Information) in response to a request made under part II
of the UIPA.
OHA asked for guidance in light of OHA’s unique
funding, which results in its employees’ salaries being paid
either fully or primarily with funds derived from the public land
trust described in HRS § 10-3. OHA argued that these monies
from receipts derived from ceded lands flow directly to OHA, do
not belong to the State, and thus are not public funds. OHA thus
more specifically asked whether its employees whose salaries are
paid in full or in part with these trust funds, i.e., not “public
funds,” are considered “public employees” for
purposes of the UIPA’s disclosure requirements.
The UIPA requires an agency to disclose the names,
titles and salaries (or salary range for covered employees) for
all present or former officers or “employees of the
agency,” except present or former undercover law
enforcement personnel. HRS § 92F-12(a)(14) (emphasis added).
OIP found that the phrase “employees of the agency”
is not ambiguous, and that its common and ordinary meaning includes
all individuals employed by the agency without
regard to what funds are used to pay their salaries. Moreover, this
meaning is consistent with the purposes and policies of the UIPA.
See HRS § 92F-2.
OIP thus found that a plain reading of HRS §
92F-12(a)(14) provided no basis to differentiate among various agency
employees based upon whether or not their salaries are paid by their
employing agency from general funds.