Report Title:

UIPA; Duties; Appointment Panel

Description:

Establishes an information practices appointment panel responsible for the appointment and oversight of the director of the office of information practices; provides that OIP is a permanent agency. (SD1)

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1499

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to the uniform information practices act (modified).

 

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

SECTION 1. State policy provides that government agencies exist to aid the public in the formation and conduct of public policy. The office of information practices was established in 1988 to implement and promote the public's right to an open government by: providing government agencies with guidelines and opinions on the disclosure of public records; informing the public of the right to access records; and ruling on agency denials of access to information.

In 1998, the legislature tasked the office of information practices with the responsibility of receiving complaints and resolving disputes that arise under chapter 92, part I, the open meetings law.

As intended, the office of information practices has proved to be a fundamental part of the exercise of the public's right to open government. The office was originally established within the department of the attorney general and, in 1998, was made a temporary agency placed within the office of the lieutenant governor for administrative purposes.

Under state law, the office of information practices is required to rule on denials of access by all state and county government agencies. Because the director of the office of information practices is appointed by the governor, the appointment process creates the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The legislature finds that it is in the public's best interest to ensure that the processes available to the public to exercise their right to open government are both permanent and fair, avoiding any appearance of impropriety.

The purpose of the Act is to establish an information practices appointment panel responsible for appointing the director of the office of information practices and to establish the office of information practices as a permanent agency.

SECTION 2. Section 92F-41, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"92F-41 Office of information practices; established. (a) There is established [a temporary] an office of information practices [for a special purpose] within the office of the [lieutenant governor] auditor for administrative purposes.

(b) There is established within the office of the auditor for administrative purposes the information practices appointment and review panel consisting of seven members who shall select and appoint the director of the office of information practices; evaluate the performance of the director of the office of information practices; and perform such duties as may be required by law. The members of the panel shall be appointed as follows:

(1) One member shall be appointed by the governor;

(2) One member shall be appointed by the governor from a list of nominees submitted by the mayor of Honolulu;

(3) Two public members shall be appointed by the governor from a list of nominees submitted by the speaker of the house of representatives;

(4) Two public members shall be appointed by the governor from a list of nominees submitted by the president of the senate; and

(5) One public member shall be appointed by the governor from a list of three nominees submitted by the mayors of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii.

[(b) The governor shall] (c) The panel, from time to time, shall meet to appoint [a] and evaluate the performance of the director of the office of information practices to be its chief executive officer and who shall be exempt from chapter 76.

[(c)] (d) All powers and duties of the office of information practices are vested in the director and may be delegated to any other officer or employee of the office.

[(d)] (e) The director may employ any other personnel that are necessary, including but not limited to attorneys and clerical staff without regard to chapter 76."

SECTION 3. All rights, powers, functions, and duties of the office of the lieutenant governor, relating to the office of information practices, are transferred to the office of the auditor; provided that no employee shall suffer any loss of salary, prior service credit, vacation, sick leave, or other employee benefit or privilege, as a consequence of the transfer.

All employees of the office of information practices not subject to chapters 76 and 77, Hawaii Revised Statutes, are transferred to comparable positions within the office of the auditor. All employees whose functions are transferred by this Act shall be transferred with their functions and shall continue to perform their regular duties upon their transfer, subject to the state personnel laws and this Act.

Any employee of the office of information practices subject to chapters 76 and 77, Hawaii Revised Statutes, may elect to transfer to the office of the auditor. If an employee elects to transfer to the office of the auditor, the employee shall not thereafter be subject to chapters 76 and 77, Hawaii Revised Statutes, but shall not suffer any loss of salary, seniority, prior service credit, vacation, sick leave, or other employee benefit or privilege as a consequence of this Act. I an employee of the office of information practices subject to chapters 76 and 77, Hawaii Revised Statutes, elects not to transfer to the office of the auditor, the employee, with the same pay and classification, shall be transferred to positions within the executive branch for which the employee is eligible under the applicable personnel laws of the State without any loss of salary, seniority, prior service credit, vacation, sick leave, or other employee benefit or privilege as a consequence of this Act.

SECTION 4. All appropriations, records, equipment, machines, files, supplies, contracts, books, papers, documents, maps, computer software and data, authorizations, and other personal property previously made, used, acquired, or held by the office of information practices relating to the functions transferred to the office of the auditor shall be transferred with the function to which they relate.

SECTION 5. Rules adopted by the office of information practices on the effective date of this Act shall remain in force and effect until amended or repealed by the office of information practices following its transfer to the office of the auditor.

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.