S Memo 17-1

Posted on Aug 16, 2016 in Informal Opinions - Sunshine Law

S Memo 17-1
August 16, 2016
Notice of Board’s Review of Other Agencies’ Proposed Rules

As an alternative under the Sunshine Law to creating sufficiently detailed descriptions of proposed rules for meeting agendas, section 92-7(a), HRS, was amended in April 2014 by Act 68 to allow agencies to provide the full text of the proposed rules “as provided in section 91-2.6.”  Section 91-2.6, HRS, requires all state agencies to provide the full texts of proposed or amended rules on the website of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor (OLG).

As agenda items for its June 2014 meeting, the Small Business Regulatory Review Board (SBRRB) listed other agencies’ proposed rules and provided the links to those agencies’ websites where those proposed rules could be viewed.  Because the meeting notice failed to list the OLG’s website as the link to view the full text of the proposed rules, OIP issued S Memo 16-4 concluding that SBRRB’s June meeting notice violated the Sunshine Law’s requirements to provide a sufficiently descriptive agenda.

While finding no basis under HAR § 2-73-19(b) and (d) (2012) to grant SBRRB’s untimely motion for reconsideration, OIP nevertheless uncovered new information in its review and granted reconsideration on its own initiative.  OIP rescinded S Memo 16-4 and issued in its place S Memo 17-1, which contains a revised footnote 3 explaining how SBRRB could possibly post proposed rules on the OLG’s website or otherwise meet the Sunshine Law’s notice requirements.

Except for concluding that SBRRB’s June meeting violated the Sunshine Law by listing the wrong website on its agenda, OIP left intact the remainder of its original holdings that SBRRB did not violate the Sunshine Law for its other meetings.  For its June and July 2014 meetings, SBRRB had e-mailed the notices without the exhibits of the proposed rules and instead informed e-mail recipients that they could obtain the exhibits by postal mail or by viewing them online on the State calendar website.  As there is no legal requirement to provide notices electronically and the e-mails were sent only as a courtesy to recipients, OIP concluded that SBRRB did not violate the Sunshine Law by not including the exhibits with its e-mailed notices.

Additionally, OIP concluded that SBRRB timely mailed its September 2014 meeting notice to Requester.  Finally, OIP determined that SBRRB was not required to mail Requester the notice of its December 2015 meeting because Requester was no longer on SBRRB’s mailing list after he failed to confirm his continued desire to be notified of meetings by postal mail.