OIP, Make Permanent

Makes the office of information practices permanent.  Places it
within the legislature.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature believes access to government
 2 records should be seen more as a right than as a privilege.
 3 Government agencies exist to aid the public in the formation and
 4 conduct of public policy.  The office of information practices
 5 was enacted in 1988 to promote the public's right to access
 6 public records by providing government agencies with guidelines
 7 and opinions as to the disclosure of public records, informing
 8 the public of the public's right to access records, and ruling on
 9 agency denial of access to information.
10      The office was originally established within the department
11 of the attorney general and in 1998 was made temporary and placed
12 within the office of the lieutenant governor for administrative
13 purposes.  The office of information practices is a key component
14 in the State's overall plan to make government records more
15 accessible and less costly to retrieve.  The legislature finds
16 that it is in the State's best interest in ensuring fairness in
17 public access to public records to make the office of information
18 practices a permanent office and to place it within the
19 legislative branch of government, making it a legislative service

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 agency like the ombudsman, the auditor, and the legislative
 2 reference bureau.
 3      SECTION 2.  Section 92F-41, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 4 amended to read as follows:
 5      "92F-41  Office of information practices; established.(a)
 6 There is established [a temporary] an office of information
 7 practices [for a special purpose] within the [office of the
 8 lieutenant governor for administrative purposes.] legislature.
 9      (b)  The [governor shall appoint a director of the office of
10 information practices to be its chief executive officer and who
11 shall be exempt from chapters 76 and 77.] legislature, by a
12 majority vote of each house in joint session, shall appoint a
13 director for the office who shall serve for a period of six years
14 and thereafter until a successor shall be appointed.  The
15 legislature, by two-thirds vote of the members in joint session,
16 may remove or suspend the director from office, but only for
17 neglect of duty, misconduct, or disability.
18      If the director dies, resigns, becomes ineligible to serve,
19 or is removed or suspended from office, the first assistant to
20 the director shall become the acting director until a new
21 director is appointed.
22      Effective on approval, the salary of the director shall be
23 $85,302 a year.  The salary of the director shall not be

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 diminished during the director's term of office, unless by
 2 general law applying to all salaried officers of the State.
 3      (c)  All powers and duties of the office of information
 4 practices are vested in the director and may be delegated to any
 5 other officer or employee of the office.
 6      (d)  The director may employ any other personnel that are
 7 necessary, including but not limited to a first assistant,
 8 attorneys, and clerical staff without regard to chapters 76 and
 9 77."
10      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general
11 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $       , or so much
12 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001, for the
13 office of information practices.  The sum appropriated shall be
14 expended by the Hawaii state legislature for the purposes of this
15 Act.
16      SECTION 4.  The current director shall serve as the acting
17 director of the office of information practices until a director
18 is appointed by the legislature pursuant to this Act.
19      SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
20 New statutory material is underscored.
21      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.
23                           INTRODUCED BY:_________________________