H.B. NO.



H.D. 2
















SECTION 1. The legislature finds that technology is moving in the direction where electronic documents are replacing hard copies. For example, the Hawaii commission on water resource management, land use commission, board of land and natural resources, and the public utilities commission maintain web-based listings of dockets and docket documents. The state judiciary and the state legislature also have converted to electronic documents. In addition, web-based public notification is becoming more common, although a few tweaks are still needed. The public utilities commission, for example, is in the process of converting to web-based certificate of service.

While many state agencies are moving toward electronic documentation and notification, not all agencies are part of this shift. The department of health does not maintain a list of open dockets and even parties cannot tell what official documents are part of the official record in a proceeding. In addition, the department of health can take more than two years to determine who the parties are, what the issues are, and to determine the procedural schedule. This is because, unlike other agencies, under the department of health's permitting process, a permit may be approved before a contested case proceeding gets underway. Thus the permit holder is indifferent to how long the process drags out.

The legislature finds that it is important that all parties before a regulatory agency receive the same access to information and documentation regardless of which agency is adjudicating their case.

The purpose of this Act is to require all agencies to:

(1) Maintain a website with a list of open contested cases that are not confidential by law and provide access to documents that are not confidential by law filed in such cases via the website; and

(2) Establish a subscription-based email notification system so that all interested parties may receive notice of all filings made in a contested case proceeding.

SECTION 2. Section 91-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"91-9 Contested cases; notice; hearing; records. (a) Subject to section 91-8.5, in any contested case, all parties shall be afforded an opportunity for hearing after reasonable notice.

(b) The notice shall include a statement of:

(1) The date, time, place, and nature of hearing;

(2) The legal authority under which the hearing is to be held;

(3) The particular sections of the statutes and rules involved;

(4) An explicit statement in plain language of the issues involved and the facts alleged by the agency in support thereof; provided that if the agency is unable to state such issues and facts in detail at the time the notice is served, the initial notice may be limited to a statement of the issues involved, and thereafter upon application a bill of particulars shall be furnished;

(5) The fact that any party may retain counsel if the party so desires and the fact that an individual may appear on the individual's own behalf, or a member of a partnership may represent the partnership, or an officer or authorized employee of a corporation or trust or association may represent the corporation, trust, or association.

(c) Opportunities shall be afforded all parties to present evidence and argument on all issues involved.

(d) Any procedure in a contested case may be modified or waived by stipulation of the parties and informal disposition may be made of any contested case by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order, or default.

(e) For the purpose of agency decisions, the record shall include:

(1) All pleadings, motions, intermediate rulings;

(2) Evidence received or considered, including oral testimony, exhibits, and a statement of matters officially noticed;

(3) Offers of proof and rulings thereon;

(4) Proposed findings and exceptions;

(5) Report of the officer who presided at the hearing; and

(6) Staff memoranda submitted to members of the agency in connection with their consideration of the case.

(f) It shall not be necessary to transcribe the record unless requested for purposes of rehearing or court review.

(g) No matters outside the record shall be considered by the agency in making its decision except as provided herein.

(h) Beginning January 1, 2024, each agency shall maintain a website that contains a list of the agency's open cases that are not confidential by law. Each website shall provide access to the documents that are not confidential by law filed in such cases. Each agency shall redact personal information as appropriate. All documents shall be uploaded in a timely manner to the website.

(i) Beginning January 1, 2024, each agency shall establish a subscription-based email notification system of all filings made in a contested case proceeding. Any interested party may sign up for the subscription. This web-based notification system shall be deemed to meet the legal requirements for any certification of service requirement only if a party has signed up for the subscription."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2050.


Report Title:

Administrative Procedure; Contested Cases; Electronic Records



Beginning January 1, 2024, requires agencies to maintain a website with a list of open contested cases that are not confidential by law; provide access to documents filed that are not confidential by law; and establish a subscription-based email notification system that notifies interested parties of all filings made in a contested case proceeding. (HB274 HD2)




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