Sunshine Memo 11-11
Permitted Interaction Group Procedures
A Neighborhood Board sought an advisory opinion regarding
the proper procedures to be followed with respect to permitted interaction
groups under HRS § 92-2.5(b)(1).
OIP provided general guidance and also discussed
a specific example raised.
Among other things, OIP advised that the investigative
task force permitted interaction does not allow regular, unlimited
substantive reports by the investigative task force, and does not
allow any discussion to occur at the same board meeting at which
the task force makes its single report to the board. Instead, any
discussion and decision-making on the subject of the investigation
must occur at a subsequent meeting of the board.
More specifically, OIP advised that the board’s
permitted interaction group in this case functioned as a standing
committee. It was not formed to investigate a matter of defined
and limited scope with a single report to be made to the Board.
Rather, it was a long standing committee, initially formed on and
apparently existing since April 7, 2005; it was tasked with and
did work on various issues; and it was required to and usually did
regularly report to the Board. Accordingly, it did not meet the
requirements under HRS §92-2.5(b)(1), and instead should have
operated as a standing committee of the board and independently
followed the Sunshine Law’s open meeting requirements.
OIP also generally advised that the Sunshine Law does
not require that members of an investigative task force be formally
“appointed” or assigned at a meeting, and that OIP has
opined that it is improper to add new members to an investigative
task force after its initial formation.