Monthly Archives: March 2010

DOH Confirms ALL Records Denied

The DOH Confirms That They Denied Access to Everything Terri Requested

This post tells the wide-angle story of Terri’s dealings with the DOH and OIP. The latest development is in
red.

PART ONE: OFFICE OF INFORMATION PRACTICES ATTORNEY, LINDEN JOESTING, TWICE CONFIRMS THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHOULD SAY IF THEY DO NOT HAVE THE REQUESTED RECORDS

On 8/18/09 Terri asked Linden Joesting, Staff Attorney at the OIP, if she could request the following from the DoH:

 

1.) …the blank/voided or ‘unfilled’ forms issued by the Department of Health that Dr. Fukino saw per her public statement below, be disclosed OR a list of those forms & types of records. I would also like included copies of any notations, amendment notes and stamp impressions that are found on these documents. If any of the following records I requested are already available for downloading on the web, please send me direct links to their location(s). Please let me know if this is not clear or if there is a more suitable record(s) to be requesting:

 

2.) …any record of receipt by the DoH for all proof that was offered and/or used to amend any of the vital records that Dr. Fukino saw per her public statement below, be disclosed:

 

3.) …per Dr. Fukino’s public statement on 7/27/09, I would like a copy of the record OR portion of the record(s) that has the word ‘Amended’ stamped or written and also initialed by the DoH reviewer. In addition to this I would like a copy of the record or portion of the record that states what type of information was amended, when and why. Please provide me electronic copies.

 

Joesting responded that same day with (emphasis mine):

 

“You may certainly send this request for records to the Department Health. Please note however that you do not need to reference that the request is for their policy and procedure. A list simply of the documents would be adequate. If they agency does not have any such documents they should say so. For example, Dr. Fukino does not make any reference to an amended vital record of Barack Obama and therefore there may not be any.

 

Thank you for your inquiry.

 

Later that day Terri clarified and further queried with this response:

 

“Thank you. I understand she didn’t make any reference to an ‘amended’ record, however she did make reference to more than one record “original vital records”(plural). I suppose I understand that to mean there MUST be an amended record and supportive material (vital recordS). Otherwise, why would more than one record need to be seen verifying the President is a natural born citizen and/or born in Hawaii. A simple original long form birth certificate would do it….”

 

“…Could you also tell me if this is a valid request if you haven’t already answered my earlier email?

 

  1. I request an electronic copy of the invoice and receipt for the fee(s) charged to and paid by President Barack Obama, or anyone claiming to represent him, for amendments made to his vital records. ”

 

And Joesting responded the same day (again, emphasis mine):

 

“You also asked if: Could you also tell me if this is a valid request if you haven’t already answered my earlier email?

  1. I request an electronic copy of the invoice and receipt for the claiming to represent him, for amendments made to his vital records.

     

Yes, you may ask for a copy of the invoice and receipt. If the agency has the documents in electronic form, or can easily convert the documents into an electronic form, then they may send it to you electronically. If no amendments were made, there would not be any such documents and the agency should inform you of that fact.

 

PART TWO: JOESTING WAS MERELY STATING THE RULES THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION PRACTICES HAS IMPOSED ON ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN IMPLEMENTING THE UNIFORM INFORMATION PRACTICES ACT (UIPA). IF THE AGENCY DOES NOT MAINTAIN THE RECORD THEY ARE REQUIRED TO SAY SO.

 

Part IV of the UIPA Manual describes the process an agency may use to answer a UIPA request. Page 32 includes as part of the FIRST STEP (emphasis mine):

 

B. Determine if the Agency or a Unit of the Agency Maintains the Record.

The agency must make an initial determination of whether any unit or division of the agency “maintains” the requested record. As explained above, an agency “maintains” a government record if the record is in the physical possession of the agency and/or under its administrative control.

 

Under OIP’s administrative rules, if one unit or division receives a request for a record that is maintained by another unit or division within the agency, then it must forward the request to the appropriate unit or division. The time for response to the request will then begin to run once the request is received by the unit or division that maintains the record. See Haw. Admin. R. §2-71-13(d).

 

Pages 38-39 of the same document say (highlighted emphasis mine):

 

The Notice to Requester must include the following information as applicable: ….

 

(3) Where agency is unable to disclose the record or part of the record, the notice must
state that:

 

(a) The agency does not maintain the record;

 

(b) The agency requires a further description or clarification of the requested record to identify and search for the record; or

 

(c) The request requires the agency to create a summary or compile information not readily retrievable.

 

PART THREE: RULINGS BY THE OIP SAY THAT A DENIAL MUST HAVE A GLOMARIZED RESPONSE IN ORDER TO AVOID CONFIRMING THE EXISTENCE OF THE RECORD BEING WITHHELD.

 

OIP Opinion Letter 07-01 says (emphasis mine):

 

“For those whose identities are not public, a response that neither confirms nor denies the existence of responsive records maintains the confidentiality of the individual’s identity required by the registration statute. 13 See Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 92F-13(3). Accordingly, OIP believes that HPD should deny such a request by stating that records that would be responsive to the request, if any, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to sections 92F-13(3) and (4).”

 

Now-OIP Director, Cathy Takase, explained the use of the “if any” statement I received from the DOH this way:

 

“I believe the agency response is made in the form it is because what it appears you were trying to do was verify information that would be contained on an individual’s birth certificate.  The Department of Health’s position is that it is prohibited by statute from releasing any information that is contained in a birth certificate.  Thus, the Department is trying to respond to a request that refers to specific information supposedly on a Department record, without actually verifying whether a record containing such information exists, because doing so would effectively disclose protected information.  OIP has generally advised DOH that OIP has recognized that, what is called under federal FOIA law, a “glomar” response, which may be appropriate when merely acknowleding the existence, or nonexistence, of a particular record would reveal information protected by statute.”

 

Without the Glomarized “if any” statement, a denial of access to a record is an acknowledgment of that record’s existence.

 

 

PART FOUR: THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DENIED ACCESS TO RECORDS OF OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE AMENDMENT. THE DOH CLARIFIED ON MARCH 23, 2010 THAT THEY DENIED ACCESS TO ALL THE RECORDS TERRI REQUESTED, WHICH SHE ENUMERATED FOR THEM AGAIN.

On Aug 19 , 2008 Terri K sent this request:

Dear Dr. Fukino,

I have been told that you are the correct person to send this UIPA records request to. PLEASE READ ALL OF IT CAREFULLY.

 Under the Uniform Information Practices Act of the State of Hawaii, “…the people are vested with the ultimate decision-making power. Government agencies exist to aid the people in the formation and conduct of public policy. Opening up the government processes to public scrutiny and participation is the only viable and reasonable method of protecting the public’s interest. Therefore the legislature declares that it is the policy of this State that the formation and conduct of public policy—the discussions, deliberations, decisions, and action of government agencies —shall be conducted as openly as possible.”

1.) I request an electronic copy of any and all UIPA requests made by President Barack Obama or anyone claiming to represent him for access to his personal vital records so that he could make’corrections’ to his vital record information.

2.) I request an electronic copy of the ruling(s) or opinion(s) of those record requests.

 3.) Please provide me electronic copies of all communication concerning formal or informal UIPA request(s) made by President Barack Obama or anyone claiming to represent him for access to his personal vital records.

 4.) Please send me an electronic copy of any and all invoices and receipts of fees paid on behalf of or by President Obama for access to his vital records, amendments or anything pertaining to his vital records. 

I am not waiving any fees. Please disclose the records incrementally if some are not immediately accessible. If portions are confidential–don’t disclose those portions. I only want public records–none of them are vital records.

This request is a Hawaii UIPA (Uniform Information Practices Act) request under section 92F-12.

Thx

The next day she sent to add this:

Dear Dr. Fukino-

I would like to add the following argument to my UIPA request sent yesterday (I have copied it below, too):

Since President Obama’s UIPA request(s) is not covered by HRS §338 and OIP Op. Ltr. No. 90-37 sets out only a general rule that UIPA requests made under Part II for general records will generally be disclosed subject to redaction under an applicable exception under section 92F-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and in that letter is a paragraph that references FOIA and states “that the U.S. Department of Justice has GENERALLY concluded that individuals have a protectable privacy interest…” rather than saying “ALWAYS concluded” I ask that you will consider my UIPA request on it’s merits.

In particular, I would like to argue that I am referencing indirectly Dr. Fukino’s public statement (7/27/09) that she saw ‘original vital records’ (plural) by requesting the President Obama’s UIPA request(s). Using deductive reasoning, I see that the only way MORE than one record would verify birthplace and natural-born citizenship is if there were evidence filed in an amendment that would correct factual errors made when his original birth certificate was filed.

I am not having luck with verifying the deductive reasoning I used with the Hawaii DoH because they won’t answer simple procedural/policy questions even when I don’t reference any specific individual. However, the typical person (I use that term loosely) would have only a single long-form birth certificate to verify both birthplace and natural-born citizenship. Let me know if I have not explained that clearly.

Furthermore, I am curious about ‘clerical errors’ and feel the public has a right to know when a clerical error is made by the state. I don’t seek any of the significant privacy information and do not seek the incorrect or correct or corrected information–just a record that the state made an error. Even if it was 48+ years ago.

Please confirm that you received this email and added it to my UIPA request.

 Thx        

She followed shortly after with this:

Unless, I hear otherwise–my understanding is that my argument was, INDEED, added to my UIPA request.

Thx        

And this:

In case it isn’t obvious, this portion of my argument and OIP Op. Ltr. No. 90-37 refers to record requests made under PART III of UIPA:

  “…and in that letter is a paragraph that references FOIA and states “that the U.S. Department of Justice has GENERALLY concluded that individuals have a protectable privacy interest…” rather than saying “ALWAYS concluded” I ask that you will consider my UIPA request on it’s merits.”

Thx

On Sept 3, Department of Health Communications Director, Janice Okubo, replied with this:

Aloha Terri K,

 I am responding to your latest e-mails on behalf of Dr. Fukino and the Department of Health.

Section 92F-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, says that disclosure is not required for government records that are protected from disclosure by state law. Section 338-18, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is just such a law. It prohibits disclosure of vital statistics records to anyone who does not have a direct and tangible interest in the record. Those persons with a direct and tangible interest are listed specifically in the statute. Under section 338-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, vital statistics records include registration, preparation, and preservation of data pertaining to births and other vital events, as well as related information.

Therefore, neither a birth certificate nor any information related to a birth certificate may be disclosed to a person who does not have a direct and tangible interest in it. You have not shown that you have such an interest in President Obama’s birth certificate, so we cannot disclose to you the birth certificate or any related information.

We now consider this matter closed. We do not plan to respond to further UIPA requests from you for President Obama’s birth certificate or any related information.

Much later, Terri double-checked with the DOH to clarify exactly what records they were denying access to. On March 8, 2010 she wrote:

Dear Ms. Okubo and Ms. Takase:

I received the attached denials from the DOH and on appeal with the OIP to my UIPA request of August 18, 2009. However the particular records to which I was denied access, were not specified per the OIP administrative rules [§2-71-14(b)(1)].

This is the reference I received to the records that I requested, but it is not specific to my actual UIPA request (attached and also below):

“Therefore, neither a birth certificate nor any information related to a birth certificate may be disclosed to a person who does not have a direct and tangible interest in it. You have not shown that you have such an interest in President Obama’s birth certificate, so we cannot disclose to you the birth certificate or any related information.” -Ms. Okubo

I did not request “President Obama’s birth certificate” and that was the only specific record mentioned in the denial.

Please specify exactly which records to which I was denied access per that rule. Below are the records I requested that day:

1.) I request an electronic copy of any and all UIPA requests made by President Barack Obama or anyone claiming to represent him for access to his personal vital records so that he could make ‘corrections’ to his vital record information.

2.) I request an electronic copy of the ruling(s) or opinion(s) of those record requests.

3.) Please provide me electronic copies of all communication concerning formal or informal UIPA request(s) made by President Barack Obama or anyone claiming to represent him for access to his personal vital records.

4.) Please send me an electronic copy of any and all invoices and receipts of fees paid on behalf of or by President Obama for access to his vital records, amendments or anything pertaining to his vital records.

Thanks for your help!

It should be noted here that the UIPA Booklet (p 38) requires that each part of a request must be handled individually, with the proper request given for each part:

(2) Where agency is denying access to all or part of a record, the notice must identify:

(a) The specific record or part that will not be disclosed; and

 

(b) The §92F-13 exception that allows withholding (and any other applicable laws) and a brief explanation (a few words) of why the agency cited that exception.

 

On March 23, Okubo responded (carbon-copied to Cathy Takase): (emphasis mine)

 

Aloha (redacted),

Your request was denied in its entirety.  All the information available to the public regarding the records you are requesting is available at http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/obama.html

The site provides an explanation and links to the law that restrict access to records for vital statistics.  “Public health statistics” includes the registration, preparation, transcription, collection, compilation, and preservation of data pertaining to births, adoptions, legitimations, deaths, fetal deaths, morbidity, marital status, and data incidental thereto. [L 1949, c 327, §2; am L 1951, c 92, §1; RL 1955, §57-1; HRS §338-1; am L 1973, c 17, §5; am L 1975, c 66, §2(1); am L 1982, c 112, §2; gen ch 1985; am L 1987, c 100, §1; am L 1993, c 131, §1; am L 2009, c 11, §44]

 

PART FIVE: WHEN TERRI APPEALED THE DENIAL OF ACCESS TO THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION PRACTICES, LINDEN JOESTING CONFIRMED THAT IT WAS A PROPER DENIAL OF ACCESS.

 

OIP Opinion Letter 97-08 concludes by saying that (emphasis mine):

 

The UIPA provides that information contained in government records is open for public inspection and copying unless some exception to disclosure applies. Based on what the OIP believes was a reasonable search by Deputy Wolsztyniak,
the OIP concludes that the Corporation Counsel does not maintain the information
you requested as a government record. The UIPA applies only to existing records.

 

We’ve already seen that the UIPA Booklet requires an agency to say if the requested records don’t exist. Joesting twice told Terri K that was the proper response if the records did not exist. Joesting’s official response to Terri’s appeal came on Sept 17th and stated that the DOH had denied access based on the idea that “related” documents are considered part of the vital “record” to which access is restricted. She stated that their understanding was correct.

 

The above-cited OIP Opinion Letter, 97-08, involved an agency which denied access to a document which didn’t actually exist. The first step the OIP attorney made in deciding the case was to request to see the document in question – since a denial of access is an acknowledgment that the record exists. The OIP went through the same steps as the agency is required to go through, in order to determine what the correct response should be. The final opinion letter says that the agency’s response was ambiguous because they denied access to a record which doesn’t exist.

 

Joesting presumably went through the same process to determine the correct response to Terri’s request. She had already told Terri that the proper response if the requested records didn’t exist would be a statement that they didn’t exist. The OIP Rules say that a notice must be given to the requestor saying that they can’t disclose the records because they don’t have them, if that is the case. If the existence of the records isn’t discloseable a Glomarized denial would be the proper response.

 

Joesting’s final answer didn’t say that the DOH’s denial was ambiguous because the denied records didn’t actually exist. Nor did she say that the existence of the records was not discloseable. She said that access to the records was denied – a denial that is only proper if the records exist. And she said the DOH interpretation was correct.

 

Terri K consulted with attorney Leo Donofrio, who confirmed that the denial of access was a statutory confirmation of the record’s existence.

 

Later, in response to claims that she had misunderstood or read too much into Joesting’s response, Terri contacted Joesting again, asking for clarification of whether the denial of access is confirmation that the requested records exist. The full account of that interaction is posted here , but the summary is that after asking clarifying questions for several days Joesting suddenly responded with this:

 

Since we have so many requests for assistance on matters pending before agencies, I am reluctant to take the time away from those cases to answer your questions.

Please accept my regrets as I am trying to complete pending requests for assistance.

 

To summarize, Terri K asked Joesting twice whether she could ask for the records and was twice told that she could and that she should be told if the records don’t exist. The OIP rules require an agency to say if the requested records don’t exist. A Glomarized response is required to avoid a denial actually confirming a record’s existence. The procedure for the OIP to rule on an appeal of a records denial such as Terri’s involves the attorney seeing the actual records being denied. Terri gave the DOH the opportunity to change their answer or to clarify which records were being denied and the DOH confirmed that everything she requested was being denied (and thus exists). Terri gave Linden Joesting an opportunity to say her statements had been misunderstood but she declined to correct Terri’s understanding that a denial of access is statutory confirmation of the requested record’s existence.

Terri has done everything possible to double-check the content posted about her requests and responses on this blog, and nobody will say that there was a misunderstanding. Everyone stands by their original answers – which mean that Obama’s birth certificate has been amended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Judiciary Committee Testimony

Dear Esteemed Members of the Judiciary Committee:

Having so little notice of this hearing, I have little time to do anything but submit an article that I’ve already posted on my blog regarding SB2937. I recommend that this bill be tabled until everyone has had a chance to look at the “Red Flags in Hawaii” article referenced herein, as well as the many pages of documentation linked to in that article, which is found at https://butterdezillion.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/red-flags-in-hawaii-2/ These are very serious claims and Hawaii’s attempt to silence those calling for an investigation rather than address these serious issues is causing people across the country to seriously question the integrity of the entire system of government in Hawaii.

Finding documents (see http://www.thepostemail.com/2010/03/09/hi-director-of-department-of-health-perjures-herself-before-hi-senate-committee/) which showed that Chiyome Fukino’s late testimony regarding SB2937contained an exaggeration of over 400% doesn’t help ease nationwide doubts. Private citizens paid a large amount of money to reimburse Hawaii for the cost of responding to the UIPA request which revealed Fukino’s inaccuracy. I would say that UIPA request was a service to Hawaii’s ombudsman who will almost certainly be called upon to investigate this misconduct – a service paid for by the very people this bill attempts to silence – including a news editor who still believed we have freedom of the press in this country.

Thank you for hearing me out. May the rule of law and the United States Constitution live long and prosper in this nation and all its states.

Nellie

“Vexatious Requestor” Bill, Intended to Undo UIPA, is Response to “Red Flags”

 On January 27th Hawaii State Senator Will Espero introduced SB2937 , which would add to Hawaii’s existing open records law, UIPA, a provision to label as “vexatious requestors” people who exhibit 2 or more behaviors that the bill calls “abuses” of UIPA. A person labeled as a “vexatious requestor” would be denied access to government records for 2 years.

 Some of the actions that would get a person into trouble deserve closer inspection. In the language of the bill:

 “When the person has been working in concert with another person to make requests, including making identical requests, both persons’ requests may be considered as part of the person’s pattern of conduct.

People working together to make requests would actually reduce the number of requests since only one person needs to ask instead of them all. 

And there are perfectly valid reasons to make identical requests. For instance, a record confirmed as existing at one point could be requested later, to see if the required retention time had run out – which would indicate when the record came into existence. And asking the same request serves as cross-examination to eliminate any questions of whether a clerical error or misunderstanding had occurred.

What this part seems to find troubling is actually called in the Bill of Rights “the right of the people to peacably assemble”, or “freedom of association”. People have the right to be able to work with others to find answers. There are other, more reasonable steps that can be taken to keep a group from being able to “spam” an agency to a standstill. More on that later. Blacklisting people because they practice the First Amendment right of association is a bit extreme – as well as unconstitutional.

-(2) Splitting requests to avoid or minimize fees;

The DOH at one point illegally changed their fees so that it costs $7.50 for a person to receive from the DOH index data such as “Smith, Joe, male, birth” another $7.50 to get “Smith, Joseph, male, birth”, and another $7.50 to get “Smith, Joseph P, male, birth”. Index data is required to be available to the public and has never cost anything. Because the rule change also requires index data requests to be done through snail-mail this measure will cause MORE – not less – work for the DOH. This is a punitive rule change that was not effected through the legally-required process.

 -(4) Requests for records submitted for a purpose other than obtaining access to the records, including nuisance value or harassment;

This would undo a hard and fast rule of interpretation for UIPA currently: the reason for the request cannot impact how an agency responds. (See the UIPA Manual , page 12).

 One of the ways a person gets information is by finding out the existence of a record. Where the record’s existence is not protected from disclosure, its very existence is a piece of information that is supposed to be available to the public. This change would punish a person for making requests in order to find out if a record exists. This gives government bureaucrats permission to pretend to read minds and punish those who they suspect of thinking the wrong thing. Again, there are better ways to reduce the potential for harassment.

-(5) Institution of proceedings under this chapter, including appealing requests or submitting complaints or investigation requests, without a reasonable ground, or to accomplish an objective unrelated to the purpose of the proceedings;

This punishes a person for asking whether their request was answered properly – the chief reason for the Office of Information Practice’s very existence. (See HRS 92F-41 and 92F-42 ) One of OIP’s statutory jobs is to encourage public comment and involvement in the interest of keeping government accountable, but this point punishes requestors for scrutinizing government.

(6) Abandonment of requests when the fee is not waived, and the request is for a purpose other than obtaining access to the records

If we give up after finding out it’s going to cost $200 to find out what name the DOH means when they say “President Obama”, it means we don’t deserve access to any government records – according to this point.

-(7) Requests that only marginally promote the public interest in disclosure under this chapter, including requests focused on an agency’s handling of the requester’s own requests or correspondence.

The reference to “marginally promote the public interest in disclosure” is bitter irony because government disclosure is required under UIPA if there is a SCINTILLA of public interest in disclosure. See OIP Opinion Letters 01-03 (p 6), 92-15 (p. 4), and 94-15 (p. 4) This reference is intended to undo that standard for disclosure.

And the “agency’s handling” cuts to the chase of the whole bill. The agency’s handling is not to be questioned. But that is the primary reason for even having open records laws: to keep government honest. Under this bill, a person acting in accordance with the purpose of UIPA is to be denied the rights given by UIPA.

 This bill is a badly-concealed attempt to undo UIPA.

 So why did this bill come up? Will Espero introduced this bill on January 27, 2010 – 2 weeks after I published “Red Flags in Hawaii”, a blog post using official UIPA responses and government publications to expose unethical and criminal behavior on the part of Hawaii government officials. I had requested an investigation from every government entity I could contact in Hawaii and in that blog post I published their refusals to investigate. I documented the breaches of laws and rules.

Instead of giving me the investigation I requested, they hurried to write a bill that would undo UIPA so no more “vexatious requestors” could expose the corruption in their own government.

On Thursday, Feb 18th, 2010 a hearing was scheduled for the following Tuesday. The next day the Honolulu Advertiser printed an article about persistent requests to the Department of Health, mentioning Espero’s bill. On Feb 23 a hearing was held regarding the bill.

There were three people who testified at the hearing: Acting OIP Director, Cathy Takase; Ombudsman Robin Matsunaga, and Alice Hall, Acting President and CEO of the quasi-governmental Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. Takase testifying makes sense because in the bill the OIP would make the determination that a person was a “vexatious requestor”. Matsunaga testifying makes sense because the Ombudsman would have the power to overturn the determination. But Alice Hall takes a little more explaining.

The Hawaii Health Systems Corporation is the company that oversees most of the hospitals in Hawaii. DOH Director, Chiyome Fukino, sits on the board of directors of that Corporation. This bill was tailor-made to address the requests Fukino’s DOH office had received, so Fukino was obviously involved in the crafting of this bill. That she supports this bill is self-evident. But to draw in the HHSC is significant

Why? Because when Leo Donofrio stated on his blog that he was going to ask then-OIP Director Paul Tsukiyama to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Fukino for ethics breaches, Tsukiyama accepted an offer one week later for a prestigious and influential position in the HHSC. In my blog I suggested that Fukino had used her influence on the Board of Directors of the HHSC to offer Tsukiyama the job in order to keep him from initiating disciplinary proceedings against her.

In fact, all 3 people who testified at this hearing were themselves (or represented groups who were) subjects of the investigation I requested – in a letter I sent on January 4, 2010 to all members of the Hawaii House and Senate, as well as to the governor and lieutenant governor.

This bill was introduced by Senator Espero 23 days after I requested an investigation from Hawaii legislators and 14 days after I went public with the documentation for my claims. Look at #5 above. Requests for an investigation are definitely singled out as behavior that will get a person black-listed.

The timing and the testimony by the otherwise-unlikely CEO of HHSC lead me to believe that this bill is targeting me – and specifically because of the blog post in which I dared to go public with my request for an investigation and the reasons and documentation to support why I think an investigation is needed.

The testimony given by these 3 women was very interesting. OIP Director Cathy Takase strongly supports the bill in order to protect agencies from people who are too “mentally ill” to realize their request has already been answered. (Note: labels of mental illness have always been used to dispose of people questioning government actions). Ombudsman Robin Matsunaga doesn’t want the power to overturn OIP’s “vexatious requestor” determinations. Alice Hall supports the bill. 

Only one senator voted to protect the intent and effectiveness of Hawaii’s open records law, UIPA.

I propose a better way to handle legitimate requests while decreasing the potential for harassment from the public:

1) Make sure that the DOH (or other agency) has the legally-required documentation about their procedures and makes it available to the public online.

2) Make sure that the DOH (or other agency) understands what their own Administrative Rules mean – and follow the proper procedure to change outdated terminology and procedures.

3) Make all authorized index data – including data intended to be grandfathered in as public index data when UIPA was passed in 1988 – available in a searchable database online.

4) Send immediate notice that an e-mailed UIPA request has been received so that there is no question of whether e-mails have been “lost”. This would have eliminated a lot of my requests – one of which was sent SEVEN TIMES before Okubo acknowledged that she got it. I didn’t want to be a nag, but I’ve had requests to both DOH and OIP that were “lost” so I waited 20 days to hear back only to find that they hadn’t been received.

 5) Use Glomar responses only when they are appropriate, and don’t try to hide a Glomar response by making mutually-exclusive claims on the “Notice to Requestor” form. These responses only confuse the requestors and result in multiple requests having to be made just to clear the smoke.

6) Answer questions. This isn’t required by law but answering one question is a lot easier than having to find all documents about a certain subject and sending them all.

7) Be truthful in all statements. For instance, HRS 338-18(a) does not forbid all disclosures. It forbids disclosures that are NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW OR ADMINISTRATIVE RULES. If the rules authorize disclosure, disclosure is not forbidden.

 8) Don’t allow the DOH Director to illegally hide the Administrative Rules for 2 years when lots of people are asking about them and requesting to see them.

9) Stop the punitive rule changing. Requiring index data requests to be done by snail-mail and charging $7.50 for “Joe Smith, male, birth” is not saving anybody any work at the DOH office. It is ADDING work. The purpose is transparent: to punish people for asking for what they are authorized to receive.

10) Don’t spend over a year saying that law prohibits you from saying what is on a birth certificate and then all of a sudden make a press release saying what’s on a birth certificate without saying why you’re now suddenly able to do what you said was prohibited.

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Joesting Won’t Correct Terri K

OIP Attorney Linden Joesting Declines to Correct Terri K’s Understanding

NOTE: This post has had to be edited because all of a sudden Word won’t publish my documents to my blog; it “has encountered a problem” and shuts down when I try.

After “Red Flags in Hawaii” was posted, skeptics questioned whether a denial of access is truly confirmation of a record’s existence, as the many documents and statements cited in the supporting link all agreed. Terri K/Miss Tickly decided to ask Linden Joesting directly, whether Terri was misunderstanding what Joesting had meant – specifically by concluding that the records requested must exist since access to them was denied. The complete record of communication is below. (Note that MT’s communications are listed according to Hawaii time, so the real time for MT and for comparison purposes would be 5 hours later than the time that appears. Joesting’s communications show in Eastern time so to Joesting the time would have been 5 hours earlier than the time that shows. Highlighting emphasis is mine).

Summarizing, the question was asked on Monday. Monday through Tuesday morning, Joesting asked for clarification so she could address the question, signaling that she had the time and intent to do so. Tuesday afternoon was when the hearing on the “Vexatious Requestors Bill” was held – at which Joesting’s boss (OIP Director Cathy Takase) testified that the bill was necessary because staff was being overworked because of all the “mentally ill” people who can’t even recognize when their request has been answered. At that hearing it was decided to move the bill forward. Three days after that meeting, on Friday, Joesting told Miss Tickly she was sorry but she (all of a sudden) didn’t have time to respond.

Miss Tickly had asked Joesting to correct her if her understanding was wrong. It would have taken no more time for Joesting to say, “You misunderstood what I meant” than to say, “I’m too busy to respond.” Joesting’s response wasn’t because she was too busy; it was because she was told not to answer the question. Her answer, when asked to correct any misunderstanding by Miss Tickly, was essentially “no comment”.

This tells me 3 things:


1. Miss Tickly did not misunderstand what Joesting was saying. In a 30-second e-mail Joesting could have ended what the OIP considers to be “harassment” from the public, if she could only have said it was all a misunderstanding. They’d have jumped on that chance. But they didn’t have that chance because Miss Tickly’s understanding was correct. The most non-incriminating answer they could give was simply to refuse to answer. So that’s what they did. Just like Obama.

2. Linden Joesting is being gagged by Cathy Takase.

3. The “over-burdened” argument for the “Vexatious Requestors Bill” is just an excuse to not be forced to answer to the public.

The same thing happened in December when Janice Okubo sent out acknowledgments to requestors saying that she was too busy to answer their requests. Out of curiosity I requested all the UIPA responses she had sent out in the previous 10 work days. She took the time to answer my request promptly (even as these other requests for simple one-glance responses sat waiting, some of my own for another month) – and sent me the huge workload she was burdened under in those 2 weeks: 5 form-letter denials (which took a minute or less each to respond to) and 2 denials consisting of 2-4 paragraphs – none of which involved ANY research or inspection of records. Okubo later told the Advertiser that she averaged 50 requests each week. For the 2-week period she was checked on (during the time she was claiming to be too busy) that would be an “exaggeration” of 1400%.

Fukino’s testimony in support of the “Vexatious Requestor Bill” toned the claim down to 50 e-mail requests for Obama’s records each month (not even 2 per day) but that has recently been proven as an exaggeration of over 400% even when all the requests not related to Obama specifically are included as if they were requests for Obama’s info.

I wonder what would show up from a UIPA request to see the “so many requests for assistance on matters pending before agencies” the OIP was dealing with when Joesting gave her response. This is how these people make more work for themselves… I’m not going to make that request because in 2 similar situations we’ve already proven how untrue the excuse has been in the past, but you see my point. They (Takase and Fukino via their spokesmen) are willing to use any excuse that allows them to not have to answer questions or provide documentation – including outright lies to the Hawaii Senate. When backed against a wall their response is to soil their armor and run (Brave Sir Robin). Why not just answer the questions? Why not just follow the laws and rules?

Miss Tickly/Terri K’s request for clarification:
(Email redacted)
02/22/2010 09:25 AM
To oip@hawaii.gov
cc
Subject Attn: Linden Joesting

Dear Ms. Joesting,
Aloha and I hope all is well with you. I am very reluctant to bother you again, but last summer you advised me on a few UIPA requests for records that I made to the Department of Health. I am hoping now that you might clarify both the advice you gave me and your ruling on appeal.
Some have insisted that I am putting words in your mouth and in Dr. Fukino’s mouth by sharing my interpretation of your advice and rulings on one particular UIPA request. That is the last thing I wish to do so I feel the best thing for me is to ask for clarification. I have assumed that because you both denied me access to copies of receipts and invoices generated by the amendment to the President’s birth certificate as well as my request for President Obama’s own UIPA request made under Part III to access and amend his birth certificate, that was a ‘stautory’ acknowledgment that those records exist. You both were very particular on the statutes you cited to deny access. Is my understanding correct?
It is also my understanding that there is no statute that would protect a nonexistent receipt, invoice or records request. Your advice prior to the ruling by the DoH and your ruling on appeal is that Dr. Fukino should have told me if those records did not exist. She did not and you did not, instead I was denied access.
If I am unclear on what your advice meant and on my interpretation of the ruling and appeal, will you please correct me? I do not wish to misconstrue anything.
Below are two statements that you sent me last summer for quick reference.

Thank you so much and I am very sorry to waste your time on this again. If you simply cannot comment, I understand and thank you, anyway, for all your help.
-(Name redacted)

This statement:
“Yes, you may ask for a copy of the invoice and receipt. If the agency has the documents in electronic form, or can easily convert the documents into an electronic form, then they may send it to you electronically. If no amendments were made, there would not be any such documents and the agency should inform you of that fact.”

And also this:
“You may certainly send this request for records to the Department of Health. Please note however that you do not need to reference that the request is for their policy and procedure. A list simply of the documents would be adequate. If they agency does not have any such documents they should say so. For example, Dr. Fukino does
not make any reference to an amended vital record of Barack Obama and therefore there may not be any.”
First response:
________________________________________
From: “oip@hawaii.gov”
To: (redacted)
Sent: Mon, February 22, 2010 8:41:15 PM
Subject: Re: Attn: Linden Joesting

Ms. (redacted),

Thank you for your email. Does this request relate to an email of 18 August 2009 on the subject of a “second UIPA records request?” The email was from (email redacted) and was responded to the same day by this office.
Sincerely,
Linden Joesting
Staff Attorney

Office of Information Practices
State of Hawaii
No. 1 Capitol District Building
250 S. Hotel St., Suite 107
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tel.: 808-586-1400
Fax: 808-586-1412
E-mail: oip@hawaii.gov
Web site: http://www.hawaii.gov/oip

Miss Tickly’s response:

E-mail redacted
02/22/2010 04:13 PM
To oip@hawaii.gov
cc
Subject Re: Attn: Linden Joesting

Ms. Joesting- Yes, that is the email exchange to which I am referring. I appreciate your helping me.

-(Name redacted)
Request to see particular request and response, if request is not pending
________________________________________
From: “oip@hawaii.gov”
To: (redacted)
Sent: Tue, February 23, 2010 1:07:05 PM
Subject: Re: Attn: Linden Joesting

Dear (redacted),

Do you have a request pending with the Department of Health for records on either topic – amendments to or requests for copies of President Obama’s birth certificate?

If not, and you made such a request earlier, could you share with me the requests and responses?

Thank you in advance!

Sincerely,
Linden Joesting
Staff Attorney

Office of Information Practices
State of Hawaii
No. 1 Capitol District Building
250 S. Hotel St., Suite 107
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tel.: 808-586-1400
Fax: 808-586-1412
E-mail: oip@hawaii.gov
Web site: http://www.hawaii.gov/oip

Miss Tickly gives the particulars

(redacted)
02/23/2010 09:07 AM To oip@hawaii.gov
cc
Subject Re: Attn: Linden Joesting

Hi Ms. Joesting,

I have no pending requests, the last one I made was in October and was answered in November.

Below is the records request to which I am referring and attached is the ruling you gave it on appeal. Please let me know if you need more information.

Thanks again—(Name redacted)

“1.) I request an electronic copy of any and all UIPA requests made by President Barack Obama or anyone claiming to represent him for access to his personal vital records so that he could make ‘corrections’ to his vital record information.

2.) I request an electronic copy of the ruling(s) or opinion(s) of those record requests.

3.) Please provide me electronic copies of all communication concerning formal or informal UIPA request(s) made by President Barack Obama or anyone claiming to represent him for access to his personal vital records.

4.) Please send me an electronic copy of any and all invoices and receipts of fees paid on behalf of or by President Obama for access to his vital records, amendments or anything pertaining to his vital records.”

Final Response 3 Days Later : Too busy to answer you

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: “oip@hawaii.gov”
To: (redacted)
Sent: Fri, February 26, 2010 12:44:15 PM
Subject: Re: Attn: Linden Joesting

Ms. (redacted),

Since we have so many requests for assistance on matters pending before agencies, I am reluctant to take the time away from those cases to answer your questions.

Please accept my regrets as I am trying to complete pending requests for assistance.

Sincerely,
Linden Joesting
Staff Attorney

Office of Information Practices
State of Hawaii
No. 1 Capitol District Building
250 S. Hotel St., Suite 107
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tel.: 808-586-1400
Fax: 808-586-1412
E-mail: oip@hawaii.gov
Web site: http://www.hawaii.gov/oip

Joesting Declines to Corrent Terri K

My Word program is suddenly not letting me publish to my blog directly. Hopefully this will upload with the links intact.

Joesting Balks Word

Clearer Joesting Appeal Doc

Dr Conspiracy on Birth Certificates

Doctor Conspiracy on Birth Certificates

This is taken from http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2010/02/green-flags-in-hawaii/#comments For further context please check out Dr. Conspiracy’s site and look for this post. I’ve posted this here to eliminate the need to search for the specific post. I extend my thanks to Dr. Conspiracy for setting me straight on this.

  1. February 14, 2010 at 10:08 pm   (Quote)

    Butterdezillion: I haven’t posted this on my blog yet but discussed it some last night. The DOH has changed so that their standard birth certificate includes 17(?) items.

    Oh, take a deep breath and read the following material carefully.

    All states collect the same basic information about a birth. They do this because the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) contracts with the States to collect this information set, and pays them for this statistical information when it meets their standards. States may collect additional information and this varies from state to state. The national standard birth certificate (which is actually a model) is revised every few years. The latest revision is 2003. Some states are just now adopting the 2003 standard. The standard is detailed on the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System page. This site includes an image of how such a standard birth certificate might be laid out. NCHS encourages states to make their forms look like the national standard, adding state-specific information at the end of the sections so as to promote uniform data collection across the country.

    You may be sure that Hawaii’s birth certificate looks more or less like this, and that the information collected contains all of these items.

    This is not to be confused with a “Certified Copy” which is the birth certificate private individuals gets. In paperless states like Hawaii, certain data items are abstracted from the birth registration database and printed on security paper, and this is the COLB. The content of the COLB is just the legal portion of the record, corresponding to the Child, Father, Mother parts of the national certificate. The hospital collects the full certificate data set, but the birth certificate the state issues is only a small part and what it includes may vary from state to state. In many states, there is no paper form at all; the hospital’s electronic medical records system transmits the certificate information directly to the state’s system. In states where paper is still used, when a birth certificate is issued for someone, they visually crop the paper form, giving only the top portion to the requester. In every state, a signature (either paper or electronic) of the one attesting to the facts of the birth accompanies every certificate submitted. For hospital births, the signature is that of the attending physician.

    You have gotten yourself so worked up over this issue that you’re not seeing straight. Hawaiian officials, are not changing the birth registration process to protect Obama. In the real world Obama’s birth certificate is a non-issue. Hawaii is doing exactly what all the other states do in collecting birth registrations. You are confusing what the hospital reports to the health department with what the health department prints on a certificate for private individuals.

    I do this for a living, and I know what I’m talking about. Go back and read your material. You will nowhere find that those 17 (?) items are what the hospital reports, because it isn’t so.

    Notes: Birth registrations and certificate contents have been discussed in several articles on this blog including:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/09/a-certification-is-not-a-certificate/
    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/03/birth-certificates-101-part-1/

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 8 
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    Reply to this Comment

DOH Falsifies Communication Record

DOH Deletes Critical Communications from E-mail History

 

Looking at my “Sent Messages” I see all the communications I had regarding a single request to see the definitions or forms for abbreviated and standard birth certificates, Certification of Live Birth, and verification forms. Hawaii law requires that all forms used by a department be available for the public to see, along with documents explaining the procedures the department uses to process those forms – including answering questions to explain unclear terminology. Everything I asked for is supposed to be on hand at the department for anybody to see on request.

I found that:

  1. What the department claims is the “standard birth certificate” does not meet the requirement in Hawaii law – that the standard birth certificate have AT LEAST the items required by the US standard birth certificate, which currently has over 50 items.

 

  1. The DOH removed my critical e-mails from the communication log included in their e-mail responses to me, in order to paint me as mentally ill according to OIP Director Cathy Takase’s definition of mentally ill – unable to recognize when the response has already been received – which would allow her to label me as a “vexatious requestor” and blacklist me for 2 years if Will Espero’s “Vexatious Requestor Bill” becomes law as strongly recommended by Takase.

 

It’s long. It will either make you laugh or make you cry, but here’s the history of ONE request for documents which are supposed to be readily-available for anyone who asks. A summary is in bold at the end.

Communication #1 

—– Original Message —–

From: Nellie

To:
Okubo, Janice S.

Sent: Monday, December 21, 2009 6:02 PM

Subject: UIPA Request for Forms

12-21-09

 
 

Aloha, Ms. Okubo

 
 

“Public Health Regulations, Chapter 8b, 2.4 B (2), (c) and (d) give the director of the DOH the discretion to decide what is to be contained on abbreviated copies, but abbreviated copies may only be issued when ALL the information required on the abbreviated form is included on a person’s original birth certificate on file. Pursuant to UIPA, I request either the department documents which describe what information is required to be included on an abbreviated copy of a birth certificate OR a blank, voided copy of the form for an abbreviated birth certificate.

 
 

I also request any documents defining  “standard birth certificate”, “abbreviated copy of a birth certificate”, “Certificate of Live Birth”, and  “Certification of Live Birth” as well as listing the the required information for each.

 
 

I also request any documents clarifying the difference between a verification and a Certification of Live Birth.

 
 

I prefer to receive these as electronic copies, e-mailed to (redacted).

 
 

As always, I will continue sending this request until I receive confirmation that you have received it.

 
 

Thank you.

Nellie

Communication #2 (I forwarded the original e-mail under a different subject when I did not receive a response to the “Read Receipt” I requested.

From: Nellie
Sent: Monday, December 21, 2009 3:34 PM
To: Okubo, Janice S.
Subject: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Communication #3

—– Original Message —–

From:
Okubo, Janice S.

To:
Nellie

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 5:04 PM

Subject: RE: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Aloha Ms. ,

I have confirmed with our vital records office that there are no documents that provide the definitions you are requesting.  I have attached a blank, voided copy of the form for a Hawaii birth certificate which includes what information may be included, however not all information on the certificate is required.  For example, if a child does not have an identified father, there would be no father’s name, race, or state/country of birth.


Communication #4 

—– Original Message —–

From: Nellie

To:
Okubo, Janice S.

Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 7:45 PM

Subject: Re: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Since you don’t have anything that defines a standard birth certificate, please show me a blank, voided copy of the form for a standard birth certificate, including the confidential portion referred to in Chapter 8b 2.4(B)(d), the place for signatures as referenced in Chapter 8, section 1, Chapter 8a, Section B (2)(b), and Chapter 8a, 4(b)(6).

 
 

Since you don’t have a definition for a Certificate of Live Birth, I request you to send a blank voided copy of a Certificate of Live Birth.

 
 

I also request a blank voided copy of a Certification of Live Birth.

 
 

I request to see a blank voided copy of a verification of a birth certificate.

 
 

This form for an abbreviated copy of a birth certificate has the “prima facie” statement on it. Please send a blank voided copy of both the standard copy and abbreviated copy form used when a certificate no longer qualifies as prima facie evidence – such as amended or delayed birth certificates.

 
 

I request to see a blank voided copy of a “Late” or “Delayed” birth certificate.

 
 

Thank you.

Nellie

Communications #5

—– Original Message —–

From:
Okubo, Janice S.

To:
Nellie

Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:55 PM

Subject: RE: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Aloha Ms. ,

Please see the attachments in response to your requests.  The standard birth certificate and late certificate of birth are attached.  Please see below for additional information.

Janice Okubo
Hawaii State Department of Health


From: Nellie
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 3:46 PM
To: Okubo, Janice S.
Subject: Re: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Since you don’t have anything that defines a standard birth certificate, please show me a blank, voided copy of the form for a standard birth certificate, including the confidential portion referred to in Chapter 8b 2.4(B)(d), the place for signatures as referenced in Chapter 8, section 1, Chapter 8a, Section B (2)(b), and Chapter 8a, 4(b)(6).

A redacted birth certificate is attached.

 
 

Since you don’t have a definition for a Certificate of Live Birth, I request you to send a blank voided copy of a Certificate of Live Birth.

A redacted birth certificate is attached.

 
 

I also request a blank voided copy of a Certification of Live Birth.

A redacted birth certificate is attached.  Earlier versions of this form cannot be produced by the department and the department does not maintain a copy of earlier vital records forms.

 
 

I request to see a blank voided copy of a verification of a birth certificate.

A verification of a birth certificate is the certificate itself.  The blank voided copy of a birth certificate is attached.  When someone requests a verification of a birth certificate, they follow the same procedures as they would to request a birth certificate.  If the birth record is found, a certified copy is sent to the individual.  If the birth record is not found, a letter is sent to the requestor saying that no record could be found.  Regardless of whether a record is found, the $10 prepaid fee is retained for the cost of the record search. (Ed: But see next-last paragraph here to see that letters of verification are distinct from the certificate.)

 
 

This form for an abbreviated copy of a birth certificate has the “prima facie” statement on it. Please send a blank voided copy of both the standard copy and abbreviated copy form used when a certificate no longer qualifies as prima facie evidence – such as amended or delayed birth certificates.

A redacted birth certificate is attached. There are no other records responsive to your request.

 
 

I request to see a blank voided copy of a “Late” or “Delayed” birth certificate.

A blank voided copy of a late birth certificate is attached.  In order to qualify for a late birth certificate the birth must have occurred a minimum of 12 months prior.

 
 

Thank you.

Nellie

Communication #6

—– Original Message —–

From: Nellie

To:
Okubo, Janice S.

Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:29 PM

Subject: Re: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Where’s the confidential section for the standard birth certificate?

 Communication #7 (This had an enclosure)

—– Original Message —–

From:
Nellie

To:
Okubo, Janice S. ; governor.lingle@hawaii.gov ; LtGov@hawaii.gov

Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:26 PM

Subject: Re: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

1-29-10

 
 

Aloha.

 
 

Enclosed is an article describing what Hawaii law prescribes to be included on a standard birth certificate. As you can see, what you sent me comes nowhere close to fulfilling the legal requirements according to your current Administrative Rules.

 
 

The standard birth certificate template that you sent says it was revised in October of 2008. Please send me the public notice for the proposed repeal of “Public Health Regulations”, Chapter 8, Section 1, announcement of the public hearing, the approval and signature of Governor Lingle, and the effective date (on or before Oct 31, 2008) of that repeal of PHR Chapter 8, Section 1.

 
 

Unless this has been repealed, the standard Certificate of Live Birth that you are currently using is against Hawaii law, not meeting the minimum requirements set forth in the current Administrative Rules (PHR, Chapter 8, Section 1).

 
 

Also, HRS 338-18 describes situations where someone may be given a verification in lieu of a certified copy. How do you accommodate this provision?

 
 

In many UIPA requests I and other requestors were told that you could not issue a verification even when we asked for things that are not on the certificate – such as to see supporting documentation. We were told that you could not tell us whether those records exist because that would be a verification, which is forbidden. If your definition of verification is basically a certifed copy (which we never asked for), then what law or rule forbids you to acknowledge the existence of certain records other than the certificates themselves? You called it a verification and used the same rules for disclosure as if it was a verification – but it certainly doesn’t qualify for what you call a “verification”. Please clarify what you mean when you say a request for information not on a certificate is a “verification”.

 
 

Thank you.

Nellie

 
 

cc: Office of the Ombudsman

      Governor Lingle

      Lt. Governor Aiona

      Attorney General Mark Bennett

      State Registrar Alvin Onaka

Communication #8

—– Original Message —–

From:
hdohinfo

To:
(redacted)

Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:22 PM

Subject: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Aloha Ms. :

There has been no repeal of “Public Health Regulations”, Chapter 8, Section 1, and therefore we do not have a record responsive to your request.

Release of vital records are governed by Hawaii Revised Statutes 338-18.  The law restricts the release of vital records to only those with a tangible interest.  Verifying a record would also release information contained in the record and therefore is restricted.

Please clarify the records you are requesting in order for the department to respond to your request.  Unless a request for DOH records is specific enough to be understood, the request cannot be responded to by the department. 

Hawaii Department of Health

Public Information Office staff

 
 

Send mail to:

State Department of Health

Office of Health Status Monitoring

Issuance/Vital Statistics Section/UIPA Request

Honolulu, HI 97801

hdohinfo@doh.hawaii.gov

Communication #9

—– Original Message —–

From:
Nellie

To:
hdohinfo

Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:56 PM

Subject: Re: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Please send me a blank copy of the entire standard birth certificate including the confidential portion mentioned in PHR Chapter 8b, 2.4(b)(C). Also, please send any documents which authorize the DOH to release an ABSTRACT taken from a standard birth certificate rather than an actual COPY of a standard birth certificate when a person requests an actual copy of their birth certificate.

 
 

Thank you.

Nellie

Communication #10

—– Original Message —–

From:
hdohinfo

To:
(redacted)

Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 6:33 PM

Subject: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Aloha Ms. :

According to PHR Chapter 8b, 2.4(B)(d), confidential information is restricted to the person(s) on the certificate or the courts.

Hawaii Department of Health

Public Information Office staff

 
 

Send mail to:

State Department of Health

Office of Health Status Monitoring

Issuance/Vital Statistics Section/UIPA Request

Honolulu, HI 97801

hdohinfo@doh.hawaii.gov

Communication #11

—– Original Message —–

From:
Nellie

To:
hdohinfo

Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 6:40 PM

Subject: Re: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

I am not asking for any one individual’s certificate. I am asking for a BLANK copy of the entire certificate of birth including the confidential portion. What you sent me includes only a tiny, tiny portion of the required 84(?) items for the US standard birth certificate – all the items of which Hawaii law requires to be on the Hawaii birth certificate. What you sent me may well be what you provide as a COPY of a birth certificate, but if that is all you have on your original birth certificates then you are in violation of Hawaii law.

 
 

Please send me a document containing all the items that are included on the original birth information to be provided by hospitals when they file electronically or the complete birth certificate form – including confidential portion – which must be filled out by someone filing a birth certificate for an unattended birth.

Communication #12

—– Original Message —–

From:
hdohinfo

To: (redacted)

Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 6:59 PM

Subject: FW: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Aloha Ms. :

Blank copies of the standard birth certificate and late certificate of birth were sent to you on January 18th—see email below.

Hawaii Department of Health

Public Information Office staff

 
 

Send mail to:

State Department of Health

Office of Health Status Monitoring

Issuance/Vital Statistics Section/UIPA Request

Honolulu, HI 97801

hdohinfo@doh.hawaii.gov


From: Okubo, Janice S.
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 4:55 PM
To: Nellie
Subject: RE: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Aloha Ms. ,

Please see the attachments in response to your requests.  The hdohinfo
standard birth certificate and late certificate of birth are attached.  Please see below for additional information.

Janice Okubo
Hawaii State Department of Health


From: Nellie
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 3:46 PM
To: Okubo, Janice S.
Subject: Re: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Since you don’t have anything that defines a standard birth certificate, please show me a blank, voided copy of the form for a standard birth certificate, including the confidential portion referred to in Chapter 8b 2.4(B)(d), the place for signatures as referenced in Chapter 8, section 1, Chapter 8a, Section B (2)(b), and Chapter 8a, 4(b)(6).

A redacted birth certificate is attached.

 
 

Since you don’t have a definition for a Certificate of Live Birth, I request you to send a blank voided copy of a Certificate of Live Birth.

A redacted birth certificate is attached.

 
 

I also request a blank voided copy of a Certification of Live Birth.

A redacted birth certificate is attached.  Earlier versions of this form cannot be produced by the department and the department does not maintain a copy of earlier vital records forms.

 
 

I request to see a blank voided copy of a verification of a birth certificate.

A verification of a birth certificate is the certificate itself.  The blank voided copy of a birth certificate is attached.  When someone requests a verification of a birth certificate, they follow the same procedures as they would to request a birth certificate.  If the birth record is found, a certified copy is sent to the individual.  If the birth record is not found, a letter is sent to the requestor saying that no record could be found.  Regardless of whether a record is found, the $10 prepaid fee is retained for the cost of the record search.

 
 

This form for an abbreviated copy of a birth certificate has the “prima facie” statement on it. Please send a blank voided copy of both the standard copy and abbreviated copy form used when a certificate no longer qualifies as prima facie evidence – such as amended or delayed birth certificates.

A redacted birth certificate is attached. There are no other records responsive to your request.

 
 

I request to see a blank voided copy of a “Late” or “Delayed” birth certificate.

A blank voided copy of a late birth certificate is attached.  In order to qualify for a late birth certificate the birth must have occurred a minimum of 12 months prior.

 
 

Thank you.

Nellie

Communication #13

From: Nellie (redacted)
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 4:08 PM
To: hdohinfo
Subject: Re: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

If that is all that is on your birth certificate then you are in violation of Hawaii law. Even Dr. Conspiracy at obamaconspiracy.com has said that what you sent cannot be the entire birth certificate. I am asking you for the entire body of information that hospitals are required to report when they submit an electronic birth record or that a person is required to submit when they report an unattended birth. I am not asking for what is sent to a person when they request a certified or non-certified copy. I am asking for the blank form for an actual birth certificate – complete with the confidential section which is referenced in your current administrative rules and which is required by state law.

Communication #14

—– Original Message —–

From:

To:
Nellie (redacted)

Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 7:32 PM

Subject: RE: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

Aloha Ms. :

We do not understand your repeated requests for a blank copy of the standard birth certificate when we have already fulfilled that request.

Perhaps it would help us to understand you better if you could cite the particular Hawai`i law you say we are violating.

Thank you.

Hawaii Department of Health

Public Information Office staff

 
 

Send mail to:

State Department of Health

Office of Health Status Monitoring

Issuance/Vital Statistics Section/UIPA Request

Honolulu, HI 97801

hdohinfo@doh.hawaii.gov

 Communication #15

—– Original Message —–

From:
Nellie

To:
hdohinfo

Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 11:17 PM

Subject: Re: 2nd Attempt: Standard, Abbrev, COLB, verification

In my e-mail of January 18th I said:

“Since you don’t have anything that defines a standard birth certificate, please show me a blank, voided copy of the form for a standard birth certificate, including the confidential portion referred to in Chapter 8b 2.4(B)(d), the place for signatures as referenced in Chapter 8, section 1, Chapter 8a, Section B (2)(b), and Chapter 8a, 4(b)(6). ”

 
 

Furthermore I am attaching the COMPLETE history of communications that I have had with Ms Okubo on this issue. What you have included in the history here is missing a critical e-mail I sent not only to the DOH but to the Ombudsman and other state officers regarding the illegality of what you are saying is your standard birth certificate. I am enclosing the history showing that you were sent that information already, as well as enclosing the information to you AGAIN.

 
 

PHR Chapter 8, Section 1 says that certificates are to comply with 57-14, which says that Hawaii certificates must include as a minimum all the items included on the national standard certificates. As the attachment I am sending shows, the CDC’s standard birth certificate includes 58 items – some of which are in the “confidential” portion referenced in the paragraph above, which is from my earlier e-mails. The rules and the law cited clearly show that there is confidential information which is to be included on the birth certificates filled out with your office.

 
 

Furthermore, Hawaii law requires you to make available to the public all forms that you use in your office, as well as explanations of the procedures you use regarding those forms. That would certainly include the forms for birth certificates. I also specifically asked for a copy of the form that would be filled out by someone (local registrar, mother, or someone knowledgeable about the event) completing a birth certificate for an unattended birth. You have not sent me anything responsive to that request.

 
 

Again – as I have said before – I am not looking for what you send out to a person when they ask for a copy of their birth certificate. I am asking for the complete birth certificate form or a document which describes the information that a hospital or someone reporting an unattended birth actually must report. According to Hawaii law, that form must have at least the 58 items included on the US standard birth certificate. The CDC’s recommended layout can be seen at 

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/birth11-03final-ACC.pdf   This link was given to me by Dr Conspiracy at obamaconspiracy.com (an apologist for Obama) as he pointed out to me that regardless of what is sent out when a person requests a COPY of their birth certificate, this information is required for all birth certificates today. He said that if you send me anything less than that you are not being truthful.

 
 

And incidentally, the DOH Administrative Rules also allow any person who specifically asks for it to receive a copy of the confidential portion of their birth certificate – the entire report filed regarding the birth. This flies in the face of recent changes where the DOH refuses to print that. Those rule changes were not made according to law – having public notifications of public hearings and going through the complete process including the governor’s signature and statement of when the new rule goes into effect. Since this rule has not been properly made Hawaii law says that it is not binding on anyone.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Now, with all that history, look at the e-mail history I enclosed in the last e-mail to them and compare it with the e-mail history on their latest e-mail to me. I didn’t cut any of the e-mail history from my e-mails. There should have been 13 communications in the communications log of the last e-mail the DOH sent me. There were 6. They removed over half the communications in that history, which also deleted them from my e-mail history when I responded to them. Most critically they took out the whole interaction involving my letter to Hawaii officials, which clearly stated the legal requirements for a standard birth certificate.

Communication #10 shows the standard line used when the DOH wants to get rid of somebody. They claim the requested information is confidential. (See another blatant example where HI officials were caught using this response to “get rid of” requestors they perceived had an anti-Obama agenda) I had asked for a BLANK form – which is required to be made public.

Communication #14 shows the latest approach. Cathy Takase, OIP Director, testified before a Hawaii Senate committee regarding Espero’s “Vexatious Requestors Bill” that the bill to label persistent requestors as “vexatious requestors” and blacklist them for 2 years is necessary because there are MENTALLY ILL people who don’t recognize when their request has already been answered.

As you can see, the DOH has deleted from their e-mail the parts of the communication history which show that I was very clear in what I was asking and did NOT receive what I requested. This would allow them to send this to the OIP and claim that I am a mentally ill person who just can’t seem to understand that I got what I requested.

It took specific action for the DOH to delete those communications from the communication log. This was not an accident. The particular e-mails deleted were the ones showing that I had NOT received the proper responses to my requests.

It’s bad enough that the DOH wants to label and blacklist people at all. It’s doubly bad when they falsify the record so they can MIS-label people and excuse their own incompetence or refusal to obey the laws.

Unfortunately, it’s what I’ve come to expect from these people.


Hawaii Birth Certificate Requirements

“Public Health Regulations”, Chapter 8, Section 1 (still in effect today) says: Certificates of vital statistics events are to be filled in by typewriter or in ink. If ink is used only permanent ink will be acceptable. All signatures are to be made with permanent ink. In all other respects, the certificates shall comply with provisions of Section 57-14, R.L.H. 1955.”

 

Section 57-14 (1955) says, “The form of certificates shall include as a minimum the items required by the respective standard certificates as recommended by the United States Public Health Service, National Office of Vital Statistics, subject to approval of and modification by the board. The form and use of such certificates shall be subject to the provisions of section 57-19 and 57-21. (R.L. 1945, s. 3100.15, add. L. 1949, c. 327, s. 15.)”

 

At http://www.enotes.com/public-health-encyclopedia/vital-statistics , it says, “In 1946 responsibility for collecting and publishing national vital statistics was transferred from the Census Bureau to the U.S. Public Health Service, first in the National Office of Vital Statistics and later (1960) in the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). In 1987 NCHS became part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

So what was the US Public Health Service, National Office of Vital Statistics is now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information regarding the current standard certificates is found at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vital_certificate_revisions.htm . The 2003 Standard Birth Certificate includes these items (found at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/FinalBirthSpecs3-24-2005.pdf ) :

 

Item 2 TIME OF BIRTH

Item 3 SEX

Item 4 DATE OF BIRTH (infant)

Items 5-7, 17, 26 FACILITY NAME; CITY, TOWN OR LOCATION OF BIRTH; COUNTY OF BIRTH;

FACILITY ID; PLACE WHERE BIRTH OCCURRED

Item 8b DATE OF BIRTH (mother)

Item 8d BIRTHPLACE (state, territory, or foreign country)

Item 9a-g RESIDENCE OF MOTHER: STATE; COUNTY; CITY, TOWN OR LOCATION;

STREET AND NUMBER; APT. NO.; ZIP CODE; INSIDE CITY LIMITS?

Item 10b DATE OF BIRTH (father)

Item 15 MOTHER MARRIED?

Item 20 MOTHER=S EDUCATION

Item 21 MOTHER OF HISPANIC ORIGIN?

Item 22 MOTHER=S RACE

Item 23 FATHER=S EDUCATION

Item 24 FATHER OF HISPANIC ORIGIN?

Item 25 FATHER=S RACE

Item 27 ATTENDANT=S NAME, TITLE, AND NPI

Item 28 MOTHER TRANSFERRED FOR MATERNAL MEDICAL OR FETAL INDICATIONS

FOR DELIVERY?

Item 29a-b DATES OF FIRST AND LAST PRENATAL CARE VISIT

Item 30 TOTAL NUMBER OF PRENATAL CARE VISITS FOR THIS PREGNANCY

Item 31 MOTHER=S HEIGHT

Item 32 MOTHER=S PREPREGNANCY WEIGHT

Item 33 MOTHER=S WEIGHT AT DELIVERY

Item 34 DID MOTHER GET WIC FOOD FOR HERSELF DURING THIS PREGNANCY?

Items 35a-c, 36a-b NUMBER OF PREVIOUS LIVE BIRTHSNOW LIVING, NOW DEAD; DATE OF LAST

LIVE BIRTH; NUMBER OF OTHER PREGNANCY OUTCOMES; DATE OF LAST

OTHER PREGNANCY OUTCOME

Item 37 CIGARETTE SMOKING BEFORE AND DURING PREGNANCY

Item 38 PRINCIPAL SOURCE OF PAYMENT FOR THIS DELIVERY

Item 39 DATE LAST NORMAL MENSES BEGAN

Item 41 RISK FACTORS IN THIS PREGNANCY

Item 42 INFECTIONS PRESENT AND/OR TREATED DURING THIS PREGNANCY

Item 43 OBSTETRIC PROCEDURES

Item 44 ONSET OF LABOR

Item 45 CHARACTERISTICS OF LABOR AND DELIVERY

Item 46 METHOD OF DELIVERY

4/2004; Updated 3/18/2005

Item 47 MATERNAL MORBIDITY

Item 49 BIRTHWEIGHT

Item 50 OBSTETRIC ESTIMATION OF GESTATION

Item 51 APGAR SCORE

Items 52, 53 PLURALITY; IF NOT SINGLE BIRTHBORN FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, ETC.

(specify)

Item 54 ABNORMAL CONDITIONS OF THE NEWBORN

Item 55 CONGENITAL ANOMALIES OF THE NEWBORN

Item 56 WAS INFANT TRANSFERRED WITHIN 24 HOURS OF DELIVERY? IF YES,

NAME OF FACILITY INFANT TRANSFERRED TO

Item 57 IS INFANT LIVING AT THE TIME OF REPORT?

Item 58 IS INFANT BEING BREASTFED?

 

 

Detailed specifications to be satisfied by software vendors who will contract with the states, are found at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/FinalBirthSpecs3-24-2005.pdf . This file includes detailed instructions for how the birth facts are to be keyed in by computer operators – instructions which the state and/or vendor would give to hospitals who enter birth data and DOH office workers who key in information from paper certificates to convert them to electronic files.

Standard Birth Certificate