HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. On August 29, 2012, pursuant to senate rule 20, the senate president appointed a senate special committee on accountability to conduct informational briefings to review the oversight, accountability, and transparency of the operational and financial management of the University of Hawaii system, including but not limited to the University of Hawaii's athletic department.
The committee held informational briefings on September 24, 2012, and October 2, 2012.
During the informational briefings, the committee found, among other things, that the board of regents and the University of Hawaii system spent large amounts of money to contract with independent attorneys rather than use the services of the university general counsel or attorney general.
The purpose of this Act is to, among other things:
(1) Limit to one the number of attorneys the board of regents may appoint to serve as the university general counsel;
(2) Permit the university general counsel to hire staff attorneys to assist in the general counsel's case load;
(3) Allow the board of regents to contract with independent attorneys solely in cases in which the university general counsel and attorney general lack sufficient expertise; and
(4) Require contracted attorneys to consult with and work in conjunction with the university general counsel and attorney general.
SECTION 2. Section 304A-1005, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
University general counsel. (a) The board of regents may appoint [ or
retain by contract one or more attorneys] an attorney who [ are]
is independent of the attorney general, to serve as the university
general counsel, and to provide legal services for the university,
(1) Representation of the university in civil actions to which the university is a party, either directly or through the acts or omissions of its officers or employees;
(2) Advice and assistance to ensure the lawful and efficient administration and operation of the university;
(3) Review and approval of documents relating to the acquisition of land or interest in land by the university; and
(4) Any other legal service specified by the board of regents.
The university general counsel shall report
directly to the board of regents. The board of regents shall have direct oversight
of the university general counsel and shall not delegate this duty to the
university president. The board of regents may fix the compensation of the
attorneys] attorney appointed pursuant to this [ section.
Attorneys] subsection. The attorney appointed [ or retained by
contract] pursuant to this subsection shall be exempt from chapters
76 and 89.
(b) The university general counsel may hire one or more staff attorneys to assist the general counsel in providing legal services for the university.
(b)](c) Nothing in this section
precludes the board of regents from requesting and securing legal services from
the department of the attorney general, for the university, the board of
regents or its members, or the university's officers and employees, upon mutual
(d) The board of regents may retain by contract one or more attorneys who are independent from the university general counsel and attorney general to provide legal services for the university, the board of regents or its members, or the university's officers and employees, solely in cases in which the university general counsel and attorney general each acknowledge, in writing, a conflict of interest or lack of sufficient expertise to the board of regents; provided that the independent attorney shall consult with and work in conjunction with the university general counsel and attorney general. The board may fix the compensation of attorneys retained by contract pursuant to this subsection. Attorneys retained by contract pursuant to this subsection shall be exempt from chapters 76, 78, 88, and 89.
(e) The board of regents shall submit a report, detailing each instance of independent counsel retained by contract, including the amount of and reason for the contract, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session."
SECTION 3. This Act shall not be applied so as to impair any contract existing as of the effective date of this Act in a manner that violates either the Hawaii state constitution or article I, section 10, of the United States Constitution.
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
University of Hawaii; Board of Regents; General Counsel; Attorney General
Limits the Board of Regents to appointing only one University General Counsel. Requires the University General Counsel to report directly to the Board of Regents. Authorizes the hiring of staff attorneys. Authorizes the Board of Regents to contract with independent attorneys solely in certain, specified cases. (HB1073 HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.