This article, entitled "Code of Ethics," is new, added by Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978.  The former Article XIV, entitled "General and Miscellaneous Provisions," now appears as Article XVI.


     The people of Hawaii believe that public officers and employees must exhibit the highest standards of ethical conduct and that these standards come from the personal integrity of each individual in government.  To keep faith with this belief, the legislature, each political subdivision and the constitutional convention shall adopt a code of ethics which shall apply to appointed and elected officers and employees of the State or the political subdivision, respectively, including members of the boards, commissions and other bodies.

     Each code of ethics shall be administered by a separate ethics commission, except the code of ethics adopted by the constitutional convention which shall be administered by the state ethics commission.  The members of ethics commissions shall be prohibited from taking an active part in political management or in political campaigns.  Ethics commissioners shall be selected in a manner which assures their independence and impartiality.

     Each code of ethics shall include, but not be limited to, provisions on gifts, confidential information, use of position, contracts with government agencies, post-employment, financial disclosure and lobbyist registration and restriction.  The financial disclosure provisions shall require all elected officers, all candidates for elective office and such appointed officers and employees as provided by law to make public financial disclosures.  Other public officials having significant discretionary or fiscal powers as provided by law shall make confidential financial disclosures.  All financial disclosure statements shall include, but not be limited to, sources and amounts of income, business ownership, officer and director positions, ownership of real property, debts, creditor interests in insolvent businesses and the names of persons represented before government agencies. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Cross References


  Statutory provisions, see chapter 84.


Attorney General Opinions


  As long as the mandatory topics listed in the third paragraph are addressed, the legislature exercises discretion over what specific conduct is prohibited, permitted, or otherwise regulated under the state ethics code.  Assuming no other state or federal constitutional provision is brought into play, the legislature may exempt certain conduct from the state ethics code or otherwise subject it to related regulation, such as disclosure requirements.  Att. Gen. Op. 15-2.

  The state ethics code must apply to all state employees; individual employees may not be exempted from the state ethics code.  Att. Gen. Op. 15-2.


Law Journals and Reviews


  Employee Rights Under Judicial Scrutiny:  Prevalent Policy Discourse and the Hawai‘i Supreme Court.  14 UH L. Rev. 189.

  The Protection of Individual Rights Under Hawai‘i's Constitution.  14 UH L. Rev. 311.

  The Lum Court and the First Amendment.  14 UH L. Rev. 395.

  Confidentiality Breeds Contempt:  A First Amendment Challenge to Confidential Ethics Commission Proceedings of the City & County of Honolulu.  18 UH L. Rev. 797.


Case Notes


  "Regulatory employees" were "officials having significant discretionary or fiscal powers"; county financial disclosure requirements consistent with constitutional requirements.  68 H. 140, 706 P.2d 814.



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