STAND. COM. REP. NO.2422
RE: S.B. No. 2038
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Education and Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2038 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE AUDITOR,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to designate the Office of the Auditor as an authorized representative of the departments of education and health for purposes of accessing student records to evaluate the performance of educational programs.
Testimony supporting this measure was received from the Officer of the Auditor. Testimony opposing this measure was received from the department of health.
Your Committees find that in-depth evaluation of the State's educational programs is necessary to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of Hawaii's educational system. Pursuant to federal mandates and the commitment to provide an education to all children, health services administered by the departments of health and education have become an integral part of several educational programs. Therefore, your Committees find that an audit and an evaluation of their programs are necessary.
Recently, the Office of the Auditor ("Auditor") worked with the Joint Senate-House Investigative Committee to investigate the State's compliance with the Felix consent decree. During the course of its investigation, the Auditor attempted to access student education records as review of those records was necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of state education programs. However, the Auditor's efforts to review the education records were prevented by the departments of education and health who cited federal laws relating to student privacy.
Your Committees find that the Auditor currently maintains the authority and responsibility to audit the transactions, programs, and performance of the departments of education and health pursuant to section 23-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes. The purpose of this measure is to further clarify that the Auditor has the authority to access education records without redaction and to provide this authority in a manner consistent with federal law.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Citing the federal law by which the Auditor maintains authority to access education records;
(2) Designating the Auditor a health oversight agency under federal and state law to oversee the activities of the department of health; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive changes for purposes of style and clarity.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Education and Judiciary that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2038, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2038, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Education and Judiciary,
BRIAN KANNO, Chair
NORMAN SAKAMOTO, Chair