Opinion Letter No. 05-03
January 19, 2005
Charter Provision Providing Greater Disclosure
The Department of Finance, County
of Kauai (“Finance”) asked the OIP for an opinion concerning
the disclosure of the job titles and the exact salaries of covered
employees by Finance to the Kauai County Council (“Council”).
Finance asked whether a provision
in the Revised Charter of the County of Kauai (“Charter”),
requiring the Council to make the information publicly available
upon its receipt from Finance, is in conflict with and contrary
to the UIPA provision that recognizes a covered employee’s
significant privacy interest in such information.
The OIP found that a county charter
provision requiring disclosure of the exact salaries of covered
employees is not contrary to the UIPA. The UIPA is premised on disclosure,
i.e., on allowing public access to records maintained by state and
county agencies. While the UIPA confers on an agency the discretion
to withhold certain types of records (or certain types of information
contained in records), it does not require an agency to deny access
to those records.
Accordingly, the OIP does not
believe that a county charter provision that requires disclosure
of records that could otherwise be withheld under the UIPA violates
or otherwise contradicts the statute.