Report Title:

Relating to the Office of Information Practices.

Description:

Authorizes the Office of Information to civilly enforce the "Sunshine Law". Clarifies and expands OIP's other powers and duties.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2335

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION PRACTICES.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding to part I a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"92- Notice to the office of information practices. When filing a civil action that is brought, based upon, related to, or affected by this part, a person shall notify the office of information practices in writing at the time of the filing. The office of information practices may intervene in the action as a matter of right."

SECTION 2. Section 92-1.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]92-1.5[]] Administration of this part. The director of the office of information practices shall administer and may civilly enforce this part. The director shall establish procedures for filing and responding to complaints filed by any person concerning the failure of any board to comply with this part. The director of the office of information practices shall submit an annual report of these complaints and enforcement activities along with final resolution of complaints, and other statistical data to the legislature, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session."

SECTION 3. Section 92-8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) If an unanticipated event requires a board to take action on a matter over which it has supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power, within less time than is provided for in section 92-7 to notice and convene a meeting of the board, the board may hold an emergency meeting to deliberate and decide whether and how to act in response to the unanticipated event; provided that:

(1) The board states in writing the reasons for its finding that an unanticipated event has occurred and that an emergency meeting is necessary and the [attorney general] office of information practices concurs that the conditions necessary for an emergency meeting under this subsection exist;

(2) Two-thirds of all members to which the board is entitled agree that the conditions necessary for an emergency meeting under this subsection exist;

(3) The finding that an unanticipated event has occurred and that an emergency meeting is necessary and the agenda for the emergency meeting under this subsection are filed with the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office, and in the board's office;

(4) Persons requesting notification on a regular basis are contacted by mail or telephone as soon as practicable; and

(5) The board limits its action to only that action which must be taken on or before the date that a meeting would have been held, had the board noticed the meeting pursuant to section 92-7."

SECTION 4. Section 92-12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:

"(c) Any person may commence a suit in the circuit court of the circuit in which a prohibited act occurs for the purpose of requiring compliance with or preventing violations of this part or to determine the applicability of this part to discussions or decisions of the public body. The court may order payment of reasonable attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party in a suit brought under this section. The term "person" as used in this subsection shall include the office of information practices."

SECTION 5. Section 92F-42, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"92F-42 Powers and duties of the office of information practices. The director of the office of information practices:

(1) Shall, upon request, review and rule on an agency denial of access to information or records, or an agency's granting of access; provided that any review by the office of information practices shall not be a contested case under chapter 91 and shall be optional and without prejudice to rights of judicial enforcement available under this chapter;

(2) Upon request by an agency, shall provide and make public advisory guidelines, opinions, or other information concerning that agency's functions and responsibilities[;] under this chapter or part I of chapter 92;

(3) Upon request by any person, may provide advisory opinions or other information regarding that person's rights and the functions and responsibilities of agencies under this chapter[;] or part I of chapter 92, respectively;

(4) May conduct inquiries regarding compliance by an agency or a board, and investigate possible violations by any agency[;] of this chapter or by any board of part I of chapter 92;

(5) May examine the records of any agency for the purpose of paragraph (4) and seek to enforce that power in the courts of this State;

(6) May recommend disciplinary action to appropriate officers of an agency[;] for violations of this chapter or the appointing authority of a board for violations of part I of chapter 92;

(7) Shall report annually to the governor and the state legislature on the activities and findings of the office of information practices, including recommendations for legislative changes;

(8) Shall receive complaints from and actively solicit the comments of the public regarding the implementation of this chapter[;] and part I of chapter 92;

(9) Shall review the official acts, records, policies, and procedures of each agency[;] under this chapter or board under part I of chapter 92;

(10) Shall assist agencies or boards in complying with the provisions of this chapter[;] and part I of chapter 92;

(11) Shall inform the public of the following rights of an individual and the procedures for exercising them:

(A) The right of access to records pertaining to the individual;

(B) The right to obtain a copy of records pertaining to the individual;

(C) The right to know the purposes for which records pertaining to the individual are kept;

(D) The right to be informed of the uses and disclosures of records pertaining to the individual;

(E) The right to correct or amend records pertaining to the individual; and

(F) The individual's right to place a statement in a record pertaining to that individual;

(12) Shall adopt rules that set forth an administrative appeals structure which provides for:

(A) Agency procedures for processing records requests;

(B) A direct appeal from the division maintaining the record; and

(C) Time limits for action by agencies;

(13) Shall adopt rules that set forth the fees and other charges that may be imposed for searching, reviewing, or segregating disclosable records, as well as to provide for a waiver of fees when the public interest would be served;

(14) Shall adopt rules which set forth uniform standards for the records collection practices of agencies;

(15) Shall adopt rules that set forth uniform standards for disclosure of records for research purposes;

(16) Shall have standing to appear in cases where the provisions of this chapter or part I of chapter 92 are called into question;

(17) Shall adopt, amend, or repeal rules pursuant to chapter 91 necessary for the purposes of this chapter; and

(18) Shall take action to oversee compliance with part I of chapter 92 by all state and county boards including:

(A) Receiving and resolving complaints;

(B) Advising all government boards and the public about compliance with chapter 92; [and]

(C) Civilly enforcing part I of chapter 92; and

[(C)] (D) Reporting each year to the legislature on all complaints received pursuant to section 92-1.5[.] and of enforcement actions taken pursuant to section 92-12."

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

BY REQUEST