Boards of Water Supply

Provides power to boards of water supply in counties with a
population of more than 500,000 to restructure and reorganize for
more efficient service.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           2317
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that providing clean and
 2 potable water to the people of this State is one of the most
 3 important services that government provides.  It is imperative
 4 that it be provided without interruption, efficiently, and
 5 effectively.
 6      The legislature finds that the cost of providing water to
 7 the citizens of this State has increased over the years and that
 8 attempts must be made to reduce this expense.  In other states,
 9 more and more government water suppliers are being privatized
10 and, the larger waterworks in Hawaii are a prime target.  The
11 legislature finds, however, that privatization is not the answer.
12 Privatization would mean private operation of a waterworks, and
13 operation for a profit which would be borne by the public.
14 Privatization may mean that only minimum water quality standards
15 will be met due to the need to maintain profits, instead of the
16 current policy of the various waterworks in Hawaii which is to
17 exceed minimum water quality standards wherever possible.
18      In order to forestall attempts to privatize, it is prudent
19 to become more efficient and flexible in the manner in which

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                                     S.B. NO.           2317

 1 functions are performed.  In order to be more efficient, for
 2 example, the board of water supply of the city and county of
 3 Honolulu has formed partnerships between the board, its
 4 employees, and employee unions called "quality utility employees
 5 succeeding together" (QUEST).  While this initiative has been
 6 quite effective, for example, it appears that more flexibility
 7 than can be found under the current administration of personnel
 8 laws and rules is needed.
 9      The legislature finds that all other utilities in this State
10 are regulated but they are operated privately.  The departments
11 of water of various counties, however, are the only utilities
12 that are publicly operated.  In order to become more flexible and
13 efficient, waterworks operations need to be more like private
14 utilities and less like all other public sector agencies and
15 programs.  Boards of water supply should be able to contract for
16 services with private sector and other departments of the county
17 or the State.  They should be able to reclassify their employees
18 to increase their efficiency, to provide team bonus payments in
19 return for team efficiencies, and to provide bonus payments to
20 employees who leave service when replaced through technology and
21 cannot be retrained.
22      The legislature finds that in order to accomplish the
23 necessary modernization, to become more flexible and efficient,

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                                     S.B. NO.           2317

 1 and to avoid attempts from outside agencies to privatize, a pilot
 2 program should be established for boards of water supply in
 3 counties with a population of more than 500,000.  The pilot
 4 program should allow flexibility under chapters 76 and 77, Hawaii
 5 Revised Statutes, and existing civil service rules and
 6 procedures.
 7      The legislature finds that the privatization of government
 8 functions and the delivery of clean and potable water to the
 9 citizens of this State are a matter of statewide concern.  In
10 order to address the privatization concern, the legislature
11 enacted Act 230, Session Laws of Hawaii 1998, to provide a
12 studied approach to this issue.  The legislature finds that
13 establishing pilot programs, such as found in this Act, to allow
14 substantial freedom from civil service laws will assist the state
15 and county governments in meeting the issue of privatization by
16 providing valuable information.  In addition, this program will
17 assist in safeguarding the delivery of clean and potable water to
18 our citizens.  If this program is successful, then it may be
19 applied to all watersystems in the State and to other agencies in
20 government.  The choice of boards of water supply in counties
21 with a population of more than 500,000 is made because they are
22 independent agencies and their size is sufficient to provide
23 substantial data to determine the success or failure of the

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                                     S.B. NO.           2317

 1 program.
 2      The purpose of this Act is to allow boards of water supply
 3 in counties with a population of more than 500,000 to enter into
 4 a pilot program to restructure and reorganize for the purposes of
 5 efficiency and effectiveness.
 6      SECTION 2.  (a)  Any board of water supply in a county with
 7 a population of more than 500,000 may establish a pilot program
 8 to carry out the purposes of this Act.  In establishing the pilot
 9 program, the board of water supply may:
10      (1)  Exercise all of the powers, functions, and duties
11           relating to personnel found in chapters 76 and 77,
12           Hawaii Revised Statutes.  In the exercise of these
13           powers, functions, and duties the board of water supply
14           may perform the powers, functions, or duties itself or
15           contract with agencies of the county or State to
16           perform these powers, functions, and duties;
17      (2)  Create flexible job descriptions in order to meet the
18           requirements of technology and efficiency.  In carrying
19           out this function:
20           (A)  The number of job classifications in use on the
21                effective date of this Act may be reduced and may
22                be rewritten partially or totally;
23           (B)  The minimum qualifications for jobs may be

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                                     S.B. NO.           2317

 1                changed;
 2           (C)  Jobs requiring more than one skill may be combined
 3                and reclassified; and
 4           (D)  The appropriate salary ranges, salary schedules,
 5                and compensation plans may be established;
 6      (3)  Provide bonus monetary payments to be shared by a team
 7           of employees for efficiencies or benchmarks developed
 8           by the board of water supply and the team where the
 9           attainment of that efficiency or benchmark reduces the
10           cost to the board of water supply of the activity
11           performed by the team;
12      (4)  Provide payments in lump sum or over a period of time
13           to employees who cannot be retrained to perform another
14           function when displaced by technology and who must
15           leave service; and
16      (5)  Do any and all things necessary to change human
17           resources procedures, methods, policies, or statutes
18           that would result in more efficient and flexible human
19           resource management within the board of water supply
20           not to be limited by chapters 76 and 77, Hawaii Revised
21           Statutes, but subject to the merit principle in those
22           chapters and subject to subsection (c).
23      (b)  The board of water supply may contract for services or

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                                     S.B. NO.           2317

 1 to provide services with members of the private sector or with
 2 other departments or agencies of the county or the State.
 3      (c)  In establishing the pilot program under subsection (a),
 4 the board of water supply shall consult with the appropriate
 5 exclusive representative of a bargaining unit on changes in job
 6 descriptions and classifications under subsection (a)(2) and
 7 otherwise as appropriate.  No activity within the pilot program
 8 shall waive or abridge equal employment opportunity rights or
 9 those statutes or rules prohibiting discrimination based on race,
10 sex, age, religion, color, ancestry, politics, physical or mental
11 disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.
12      (d)  All powers, functions, and duties held by a county with
13 a population of more than 500,000 that apply to boards of water
14 supply in that county that are in conflict with this Act are
15 transferred to that county.
16      SECTION 3.  Personnel classifications, salary ranges, salary
17 schedules, and compensation plans shall continue in effect until
18 superseded under the pilot program under this Act.
19      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000, and
20 shall be repealed on June 30, 2010.
22                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________