THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1351

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO STATE GOVERNMENT.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Chapter    

PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY

   -1. Definitions. As used in this chapter:

"Executive director" means the executive director of public accountability.

"Office" means the office of public accountability.

   -2. Office of public accountability; executive director. There is established an office of public accountability that shall be administratively attached to the legislature. The legislature, by a majority vote of each house in joint session, shall appoint an executive director who shall serve for a period of six years and thereafter until a successor shall have been appointed. The legislature, by two‑thirds vote of the members in joint session, may remove or suspend the executive director from office, but only for neglect of duty, misconduct, or disability.

The executive director shall be compensated at a salary level set by the legislature.

   -3 Staff; funding. (a) The executive director may hire employees necessary to carry out the functions of the office. All employees shall serve at the executive director's pleasure.

(b) In determining the salary of the employees of the office, the executive director shall consult with the department of human resources development.

(c) The executive director and the executive director's full-time staff shall be entitled to participate in any employee benefit program plan or privilege available to other state employees.

   -4. Oversight and administrative responsibility; divisions. (a) The office shall assume oversight and administrative responsibility for the office of the auditor, office of the ombudsman, office of information practices, Hawaii state ethics commission, and campaign spending commission.

(b) There is established within the office the following divisions:

(1) The audit division, which shall consist of the office of the auditor;

(2) The complaints division, which shall consist of the office of the ombudsman and office of information practices;

(3) The ethics division, which shall consist of the Hawaii state ethics commission; and

(4) The campaign spending division, which shall consist of the campaign spending commission."

SECTION 2. Section 11-311, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) There is established a campaign spending commission, which shall be placed within the [department of accounting and general services for administrative purposes.] campaign spending division of the office of public accountability."

SECTION 3. Section 23-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"23-2 Auditor; appointment, tenure, removal. The auditor shall be appointed, hold office for such term, and be subject to removal in the manner prescribed in [section 10, Article VII,] article VII, section 10 of the Hawaii State Constitution. The office of the auditor shall be placed within in the audit division of the office of public accountability."

SECTION 4. Section 23-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) The funds for the support of the auditor's office shall be provided for in the act providing for the expenses of the [legislature.] office of public accountability."

SECTION 5. Section 26-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) The department shall:

(1) Preaudit and conduct after-the-fact audits of the financial accounts of all state departments to determine the legality of expenditures and the accuracy of accounts;

(2) Report to the governor and to each regular session of the legislature as to the finances of each department of the State;

(3) Administer the state risk management program;

(4) Establish and manage motor pools;

(5) Manage the preservation and disposal of all records of the State;

(6) Undertake the program of centralized engineering and office leasing services, including operation and maintenance and lease buyback processing pursuant to subsection (d) of public buildings, for departments of the State;

(7) Undertake the functions of the state surveyor;

(8) Establish accounting and internal control systems;

(9) Under the direction of the chief information officer, provide centralized computer information management and processing services; and

(10) Establish a program to provide a means for public access to public information and develop an information network for state government[; and

(11) Assume administrative responsibility for the office of information practices]."

SECTION 6. Section 84-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) There is established within the ethics division of the office of [the auditor for administrative purposes only] public accountability a commission to be known as the state ethics commission. The commission shall consist of five members appointed by the governor from a panel of ten persons nominated by the judicial council. Each member of the commission shall be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State. Members of the commission shall hold no other public office."

SECTION 7. Section 89C-1.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "appropriate authority" to read as follows:

""Appropriate authority" means the governor, the respective mayors, the chief justice of the supreme court, the board of education, the board of regents, the state public charter school commission, the Hawaii health systems corporation board, the [auditor, the ombudsman,] executive director of public accountability, and the director of the legislative reference bureau. These individuals or boards may make adjustments for their respective excluded employees."

SECTION 8. Section 92F-41, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) There is established an office of information practices within the [department of accounting and general services for administrative purposes; provided that:

(1) Any quasi-judicial functions of the office of information practices shall not be subject to the approval, review, or control of the comptroller; and

(2) The comptroller shall not have the power to supervise or control the office of information practices in the exercise of its functions, duties, and powers under section 92F-42.] complaints division of the office of public accountability."

SECTION 9. Section 96-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"96-2 Ombudsman; office established, appointment, tenure, removal, qualifications, salary, vacancy. The office of ombudsman is established[.] within the complaints division of the office of public accountability. The legislature, by a majority vote of each house in joint session, shall appoint an ombudsman who shall serve for a period of six years and thereafter until a successor shall have been appointed. An ombudsman may be reappointed but may not serve for more than three terms. The legislature, by two-thirds vote of the members in joint session, may remove or suspend the ombudsman from office, but only for neglect of duty, misconduct, or disability.

No person may serve as ombudsman within two years of the last day on which the person served as a member of the legislature, or while the person is a candidate for or holds any other state office, or while the person is engaged in any other occupation for reward or profit. Effective July 1, 2005, the salary of the ombudsman shall be the same as the salary of the director of health. The salary of the ombudsman shall not be diminished during the ombudsman's term of office, unless by general law applying to all salaried officers of the State.

If the ombudsman dies, resigns, becomes ineligible to serve, or is removed or suspended from office, the first assistant to the ombudsman becomes the acting ombudsman until a new ombudsman is appointed for a full term."

SECTION 10. Section 96-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (e) to read as follows:

"(e) The funds for the support of the office of the ombudsman shall be provided for in the act providing for the expenses of the [legislature.] office of public accountability."

SECTION 11. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the operating expenses of the office of public accountability.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the office of public accountability for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 12. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 13. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Office of Public Accountability; Auditor; Ombudsman; OIP; State Ethics Commission; Campaign Spending Commission; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes the office of public accountability to assume oversight and administrative responsibility for the office of the auditor, office of the ombudsman, office of information practices, Hawaii state ethics commission, and campaign spending commission. Appropriates funds.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.