HI House and Senate to discuss “Vexatious Requester” bill on April 19, 2010


April 18, 2010

Dear Editor:

On Monday, the Hawaii Legislature will meet to discuss a bill which could limit access to government documents

The following was sent to the Hawaii Legislature today:

Aloha, Dear Esteemed Officials of the State of Hawaii Legislature,

I understand there is a bicameral committee conference scheduled for tomorrow, April 19, 2010 at 2:15 PM to discuss SB2937 to see if the two chambers can come to a consensus in regard to the bill’s intent and content. While I understand that no public testimony will be allowed, I felt compelled to offer you a summary of my personal experience with the DoH and its lack of effort to properly respond to my requests for records which the DoH is legally and morally obligated to release. Please take the time to read my missive, as it is evidence that the DoH and OIP cannot back up their claims that requesters are making “vexatious requests” with the sole purpose of creating havoc.

The DoH claims that it receives 10-20 requests per week for Barack Obama’s birth certificate. I have personally examined over 1400 pages of related UIPA requests and responses, and the vast majority of the requests have been for vital event index data which the DoH, in accordance with HRS 338-18 (d), is obligated to make available to the public and for government records related to the agency’s practices, procedures, forms, etc., used in the discharge of its functions which must be made available to the public in accordance with HRS 91-2 and HRS 92F-12. My understanding is that under HRS 92F-3, a ”government record” means information maintained by an agency in written, auditory, visual, electronic, or other physical form. Furthermore, the UIPA Handbook broadly defines a “government record” as any information maintained by an agency that is recorded in any physical form.

I want to first inform the conference committee that I have never made a request for Obama’s birth certificate, vital event index data, or any other related personal data which the DoH is prohibited from disclosing in accordance with HRS 338-18 and HRS 92F-13. The DoH, however, has treated all UIPA requesters with equal contempt, regardless of whether or not the requester was submitting a legitimate request.

The alleged volume of UIPA requests is not the fault of persons making requests, but rather due to the fact the DoH did not respond in a timely manner, or ignored the request, or failed to provide a satisfactory answer in accordance with HRS 92F. The treatment received by requesters from the DoH is the root cause of the volume of requests. Another observation I have made is that unless the request has laser-sharp precision, the standard response is “the DoH does not have records that are responsive to your request” and/or “the agency is not required to create or compile information.” The DoH has typically relied on these responses rather than ask the requester for clarification or actually made an effort to research whether or not the record exists. I believe it is a reasonable assumption that if each of you did not receive a timely response to a request, are ignored, or do not receive a satisfactory answer, you would likely respond in the same manner as have those who have sought records from the DoH.

I made a request for Stanley Ann Dunham’s vital event index data which was answered satisfactorily. I made another request for the Administrative Rules which were unavailable on the DoH website. It took the DoH over two months to make them available to the public.

I have a request which I would like to summarize because the committee will likely consider it to meet the definition of “vexatious” requests as currently defined in SB2937/SD1/HD1.

On Oct 10, 2009, I made a request for the records which define all relevant DoH rules, regulations, policies, or procedures or a statement of general policy as well as the DoH’s interpretation of general applicability that were or are in effect from January 1, 2007 to Present Date in regard to what the DoH defines as:

  1. a birth record that has been identified “date filed by the registrar”
  2. a birth record that has been identified “date accepted by the registrar”
  3. the criteria for changing the identification from “date filed by the registrar” to the “date accepted by the registrar.”

No response was received until November 17, 2009 despite attempts on my part to follow up.

On November 17, 2009, Ms. Okubo finally responded:

In response to your UIPA request, the Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 11, Chapter 117 is available on DOH website at: http://gen.doh.hawaii.gov/sites/har/admrules/default.aspx

Please refer to these rules for the public health regulations governing vital records in Hawaii.

On the same date, I replied:

Ms. Okubo,
The posted regulations do not respond to my request.

Perhaps I need to further explain. I have seen examples of certified COLBs where the COLB is identified as “date accepted by registrar” or “date filed by registrar.” These differences can be attributed to either a change in the DoH procedure, meaning all certified COLBs (at some point forward) are no longer identified with “date accepted” but rather with “date filed,” or the two have entirely different meanings such as:

Accepted = Accepted by Registrar
Filed = Filed with Registrar but not Accepted

The latter would indicate there was an issue with the evidentiary documentation, sworn declaration or affidavit filed on behalf of the registrant.

I am having difficulty understanding why the DoH has refused to respond to my request and similar requests for what should be straightforward “this is the procedure.”  If the procedure changed, state so and when.

On November 10, 2009 I had made another request titled “UIPA Request: OHSM-1 Form Field Definition, Data and System Derived From”:

Pursuant to HRS 91-2 and HRS 92F-12, I hereby request the following for Form OHSM-1 (truncated):

Date Accepted by Registrar – Definition, Data and System Derived From

Date Filed by Registrar – Definition, Data and System Derived From

On December 11, 2009 Ms. Okubo responded:


We do not have a record responsive to your request. The UIPA does not require our agency to compile and create information to respond to a request.

On November 20, 2009 I sent the following request titled: 2nd Request – DoH Administrative Rules, Regulations, or Procedures”:

Pursuant to HRS 91-2 and 92F-12, I hereby request to inspect and copy for the 2ND time the relevant DoH rules, regulations, procedures, policies, general policy statements that include the definition of a birth record that is identified as Date Accepted by the Registrar

and Date Filed by the Registrar and the criteria for acceptance by the Registrar if filed is not the equivalent of accepted.

Please do not respond by simply copying and pasting a link in your reply to the Administrative Rules posted on the DoH website as it is not a record that is responsive to my request. If the DoH is not going to disclose the record requested, or does not have a record that is responsive to my request, please respond using the form “Notice to Requester.”

On December 11, 2009 Ms. Okubo responded:


We do not have a record responsive to your request. The UIPA does not require our agency to compile and create information to respond to a request. We are also not required to use the UIPA forms for every response.

I could go on ad infinitum on the exchanges between Ms. Okubo and me. I requested a blank COLB (received) which led to the discovery via further dialog with Ms. Okubo that the feed stock for printing the COLB is completely blank, which means “Date Filed By Registrar” and/or “Date Accepted By the Registrar” is information maintained within the Vital Records Data System which was modified in October 2008. This triggered additional UIPA requests on my part regarding the modification, responsibility for the modification/maintenance of the Vital Records data system and redacted Vital Record data system specifications and record outputs. Besides the aforementioned responses, I have also received other responses from Ms. Okubo that are incongruent or ambiguous with her original responses and I have yet to receive a definitive and satisfactory response to my request.

I submit that the records I requested are maintained in the Vital Records data system and are printed on the COLB, so therefore they qualify as “government records” per HRS 92F-3 and the UIPA Handbook definition of a “government record” and are subject to disclosure per HRS 92F-12. There is nothing in the records I requested that would be exempt from disclosure in accordance with HRS 92F-13.

It should be noted that I am in possession of an interdepartmental email exchange between Ms. Okubo and Vital Records Supervisor David Keith that evidences the DoH profiling requesters via seeking information on the internet about them and making a determination not to respond based on a perceived “hidden agenda.” Neither of the requesters mentioned in the exchange ever received a response and neither requested any record pertaining to Barack Obama. In fact, one of the requesters made a request  regarding “filed vs. accepted” that was nearly identical to mine. I am also in possession of an email exchange between Ms. Okubo and Mr. Onaka that Ms. Okubo inadvertently sent to me where Mr. Onaka stated that the definitions of “Filed” and “Accepted” are valid terms but could not be explained to me, so Mr. Onaka suggested Ms. Okubo refer me (again) to the Administrative Rules available on the DoH website.

Why all the obfuscation, misdirection, and lies by the DoH to avoid answering a simple, straightforward request? All I want to know is what are the definitions of “Date Filed By Registrar” and “Date Accepted By Registrar” and under what circumstances they are applied in the Vital Records Data System and on the COLB. The effort that the DoH has put into not disclosing this information is beyond comprehension. Why all the secrecy?

I have submitted UIPA requests to other SoH agencies which were promptly and satisfactorily responded to and with the utmost professional decorum, a decorum which, I might add, is sorely lacking at the DoH. In defense of the DoH, I will note that there were several UIPA requests that were “fringe and out of line.” But to label persons as “vexatious” who simply make requests for records that fall within the boundaries of HI law and follow up with similar requests when the original request is either ignored or not satisfactorily answered is simply wrong and incongruent with the spirit of the law.

My recommendation to the bicameral conference committee is to kill the bill and to take a closer look at how the DoH has handled the UIPA requests. I am confident this inquiry would exonerate most of the requesters and indicate there are serious issues at the DoH that require closer examination and correction.

Thank you for taking the time to read my missive, and my hope is that you will take my input into consideration before passing this bill and sending it to Governor Lingle to sign into law.


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18 Responses to HI House and Senate to discuss “Vexatious Requester” bill on April 19, 2010

  1. SapphireSunday

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    In a past life, I designed databases. I wrote specifications. I wrote computer programs. I designed entire computer systems, including programs for key entry of data. I wrote user manuals. I know what is involved. I know how printed forms are printed. I know what kind of decisions are involved. I know how important it is that each field be defined clearly, so that data goes in and comes out accurately.

    This information exists. I guarantee it. It would be simple for them to go to their files and copy the one page that will define for you what those data fields mean. They don’t have to “compile” it. It’s there.

    All they need do is assign a clerk to look up the specs, copy the page, and mail it off. Or email it. It would take less than an hour, all told.

    How much do clerks in the DoH make per hour, do you suppose? We could reimburse the state for the expense.

    If they don’t compile information, they could allow someone else access to the files, so that person could compile the information.

    Open records means OPEN records.

    Good luck with your appeal. I admire your tenacity. And thank you so much.

    If I lived in Hawaii, I’d be at the DoH and in their face every day. If they threw me out, I’d be picketing their office. Every day, because this is getting on my last nerve.

  2. SapphireSunday

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    Letter Author: That’s ridiculous. What sort of security risk could there be with regard to computer program specifications or manuals? I could understand program code, if it’s proprietary information. But the specifications that define the data fields? How could they be a security risk, when those same data fields appear on every public document associated with the birth record?

    Is there even an exception in the UIPA statutes for “security” risks? I don’t remember reading that.

    It’s very possible that the DoH has no records responsive, but they should refer you to whatever department contains those records. Is there, for example, an Information Management Dept.? A department for training employees? A library or archives?

    They’re obfuscating and covering for Obama. That much is very obvious. There can be no other logical explanation for their outrageous foot dragging and outright refusal to comply with their policies and the law.

    If they took minutes of meeting when they computerized that database, and I’m sure that they did, then those most certainly ought to be available and wouldn’t require any compilation. They would already be compiled and filed away somewhere.

    There has to be a place where employees enter data into the database. Wherever this is done, whenever someone enters “date accepted” into a file, that’s the place where that definition is to be found.

    It’s ridiculous that they won’t put you in touch with the people responsible for instructing employees how and when to fill in that data field. Every person who is responsible for entering data into a database, especially an important database like offical birth records, possesses a manual that tells them how to enter the data and what data goes into which field and what that field represents.

    They can answer the question. They will not answer it because they know how the answer will impact the POTUS.

  3. Letter Author

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    They have said on multiple occasions there is no manual. You and I think alike. While I am not a db expert, I am a documentation expert and know what should be in place. It is there and they are lying their as# off as far as I am concerned.

  4. Letter Author

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 12:48 AM

    Will not release any of this information. The responses are always “no records exist that are responsive to your request and the agency is not required to create or compile information.” I requested the file specification (not the code), file layout, and record(s) output and was denied access due to security concerns. I even prefaced the request to redact any information they felt would pose a security risk.

    The issue is not dead yet…I have an open appeal at the OIP and will appeal to the Ombudsman if I do not get a satisfactory answer. The next step would be to file a lawsuit I suppose…

  5. tminu

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 6:24 PM

    That LEGITIMIZES THE FRAUD. Which is exactly what they want you to do!

  6. SapphireSunday

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Fair enough. I thought I missed something.

    Since the COLB document is blank until they print the information from the database, then there MUST be coding that indicates what to print in the date filed/date accepted location on the form.

    That means there is a table that translates the code into whatever words are printed on the COLB in that spot.

    That means there’s a computer program that causes the code to be interpreted, resulting in the printing of the applicable wording.

    Alternately, there are separate data fields in the record, containing one or more dates. So the computer program makes a decision about what to print. For example, if there’s a date filed but no date accepted, it prints the date filed information. If there’s a date accepted, then it prints the date accepted.

    There must also be instructions for those who key enter birth certificates into the database, to tell them how to enter the data. This goes for whoever key entered all of the originals at the time they created the database.

    There must also be specifications for whoever wrote the computer programs, to tell them under what conditions to print specific words and information.

    I guarantee you that the programming specifications WILL define those data fields. I have never seen a software application that does not have detailed specifications and a printed manual to explain every data field.

    ANY of these items should be government records, subject to UIPA disclosure. At some point, they created this database. Voluminous records from the creation of the database ought to exist and ought to be public, since the public paid for the computerization. Every computerization project contains, without a doubt, MINUTES of meetings held to discuss, design, plan the database.

    NONE of this should fall under any privacy restriction. To argue so would be laughable. Not that they won’t do it, anyway. They’ve proven by now that they are buffoons.

  7. MissTickly

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    Very interesting Letter Author…I am impressed you have pushed for this definition of terms. I think it’s an extremely worthy line of questioning and deserving of some focus in the face of not getting a straight and simple answer….

    Uhm, you would think they would want the public to understand how to read a record produced by their agency.

    Please share whenever or whatever you find when you’re comfortable! And thanks for forging on!

  8. Letter Author

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    b fuller says: If you think you are scorned for writing requests, you should go to the offices of DOH and try to get a response or file a request. I did earlier this month when I vacationed there.

    Did you get anything of value? If you did, can you share it? I am curious as I have heard of other instances of persons visiting the DoH office received similar or even worse treatment.

  9. Letter Author

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    No, it has not been posted anywhere and I am reluctant post the actual exchange for the time being. It is safe to say these are valid terms and the Vital Records department maintains one or the other or both in its database and while the “definition” might not be “formally documented”, the fact is it is in the database and printed on the COLB, therefore it qualifies as a “government record”. To say there are “no records responsive to your request” is ludicrious.

    Every person who handles HI birth registrations has a full working knowledge of these terms and under which circumstances they are applied. One cannot just abitrarily apply one or the other at their whim. Onaka and Okubo were caught red handed colluding on how to skirt around providing a satisfactory answer to a legitimate request.

  10. JeanWTPUSA

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    First they came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one
    left to speak up for me.
    –by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

    Who Was Martin Niemoller? http://www.hoboes.com/FireBlade/Politics/niemoller/

  11. SapphireSunday

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    Excellent letter. Tactfully and respectfully worded. Kudos. Thank you for your efforts. Please don’t give up. I admire your tenacity and patriotism.

    I must have missed the correspondence you received wherein Onaka admitted that there are definitions of “accepted” versus “filed” but they can’t/won’t disclose them. Did you post that anywhere? I’d love to see it.

    So rather than professionally answering your legal requests, they first try to determine your hidden agenda and how it might impact Obama. It should not matter to an unbiased, nonpartisan public servant. They are there to serve all members of the public. Not just Obama supporters.

    That they will not give you simple definitions of those terms speaks volumes. Why would they hide definitions? My guess: They know that the COLB Obama posted on the Web says “date filed” NOT “date accepted.” If date filed does indeed mean that the registration was filed but NEVER verified with supplementary evidence, which I suspect, then simply giving you that definition blows everything wide open.

  12. b fuller

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    If you think you are scorned for writing requests, you should go to the offices of DOH and try to get a response or file a request. I did earlier this month when I vacationed there. The first question from the clerk was if I was hawaiian or a tourist. I told her it was inconsequential and that I was a US citizen, the same as she was. That was the most courteous response of the exchange. If you want a good example of the hawaiian attitude, look at the picture of the flags flying in front of the building. The hawaiian flag is at the same height as the US flag. It should be lower than the US flag. I toured two islands and found this to be true in all instances. Another interesting note is that there were no US flags flying anywhere other than a few select government buildings. On the other hand, there were hawaiian flags readily visible at many, many places across the islands including several post offices that I visited. My first thought would be to turn them loose and return our Republic to 49 states. We don’t need them.

  13. Letter Author

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Thank you so much for your encouragement and gratitude. Readers have no idea much blood, sweat and tears I have invested into my attempts to uncover the truth and much to the detriment of my personal life. I however cannot and will not just sit on my hands while this usurper and his marxist minions destroy this great republic from within.

    The DoH is the most corrupt and incompetent bureacracy I have ever witnessed. I must be honest though, there have been times that I have felt my efforts have been an exercise in futility and that I should just quit. Your post gives me the inspiration to dispose of that notion. If I quit, then “they win”.

    The forces we are dealing with are amongst the most evil we will ever witness in our lifetime. Taking back our republic cannot and will not happen on the backs of a few. To quote Hillary (certainly not in the context she intended) “It takes a village.” The quickest way to bring down this “regime” is to expose Obama for who he really is. The media, the government, the courts, and even the military are not going to do ANYTHING, thus the responsibility fall on patriots who still revere and believe in the Constitution.

    If you read and post here and at other similar sites and have yet to take action, please stop being a spectator and become a participant. We cannot overcome without the contributions of every person who loves this country and for what it once stood for.

    If you do not get involved, you will wake up one day and come to the realization that you now live in a banana republic and it is going to happen sooner than you think!

    Much gratitude goes out to those who have joined the revolution.

  14. Mick

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    I received a letter from Sen. Hemming of Hi. telling me that I should just shut up and focus on trying to stop Obama’s policies. I will NEVER shut up!!!

  15. JeanWTPUSA

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this and send it the Hawaiian legislator. I am not sure that they will consider it, but at least YOU know that YOU did all you could to influence them.

    I wholeheartedly believe that ONE PERSON can make a difference.

    But, what frightens me most is that I also believe that TOO MANY PEOPLE still have the attitude that if “they” don’t act, “someone else” will take action.

    Unfortunately, our Republic is on the brink of Socialism and we just don’t have the luxury of sitting back anymore “hoping” that that someone else will act to preserve our Freedoms and Liberties.

    Therefore, our actions, and/or “inactions” mean more NOW then they ever meant throughout any other period in our lifetime.

    We don’t have the luxury or TIME to sit back anymore. And, most of all, we can’t count on “others” to fight for our Freedom. We MUST do it ourselves (EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US) or there won’t be any Country left to fight for.

    For those of you who are already fighting, networking, going to town halls, attending tea parties, writing letters, sending emails, twittering, blogging, making videos, starting a group, joining a group, supporting a movement, talking to your neighbors, organizing locally, running for office, supporting a candidate, spreading the word…..keep it up!

    For those of you who are not…..get off your ***!

  16. CDR Kerchner

    Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 11:47 PM


    All to protect and cover up for one man.

    CDR Charles Kerchner

  17. Sallyven

    Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Excellent letter. I certainly hope someone in charge takes it seriously and reads it carefully. If this does not get attention, it needs to be posted far and wide.

  18. Bob1943

    Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    Has anyone sent Hawaii all the Kenyan Paliament minutes claiming Obama was born in Kenya? If they believe the truth is about to be exposed about Obama’s birthplace, they will be unlikely to continue to cover for Barry by refusing to cooperate and answer questions.
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: Anyone in possession of the PDF of the Kenyan Minutes from either November 5, 2008 and/or March 25, 2010 should send a complete hard copy, noting the link where the March 25 edition can still be found, and ask the Hawaii officials to respond to it. While they do not have to, I agree that this could advance the truth finally coming out. At that point, the only reason Fukino and Okubo would continue to lie and obfuscate would be to protect their own hides, not Obama’s.

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