S Memo 10-1

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 in Informal Opinions - Sunshine Law

S Memo 10-1
July 7, 2009
Minutes of Neighborhood Boards Committee Meetings

A member of the public asked whether Neighborhood Boards violate the Sunshine Law by not keeping minutes of their Committee meetings.

OIP found that the Sunshine Law, including its requirement to keep written minutes, applies to committees of the Neighborhood Boards.

The Sunshine Law governs meetings of State and County boards, which this office has determined includes Neighborhood Boards. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92-2 (1993); OIP Op. Ltr. No. 01-01 at 5. Neighborhood Boards were created pursuant to the City and County of Honolulu’s Revised Charter which makes them a Board subject to the Sunshine Law. Id. at 4-5 (citing Rev. Charter of Honolulu, § 14-101 and Att’y Gen. Op. 86-5 (a board created by Charter is subject to the Sunshine Law)). The Sunshine Law governs requires written minutes of all board meetings. Minutes must include specific information and, with a possible exception for executive meeting minutes, be available within thirty days after the meeting. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92-9(a)-(b).

The question here is whether or not committees of boards are meetings of a board with the requirement to create written minutes. This Office and the Attorney General have both found that committees of Sunshine Law boards are also subject to the Sunshine Law. OIP Op. Ltr. No. 03-07 at 2 (citing Att’y Gen. Op. 85-27). Committees of boards are delegated functions that normally would be dealt with at meetings of the full board. The mere fact of delegation should not permit committees to evade the requirements of openness set forth in the Sunshine Law.