Sunshine Memo 11-4
Statewide Health Coordinating Council
Plan Development Committee
Requester asked for an investigation into whether
the requirements of the Sunshine Law were complied with in the development
of the current state health services and facilities plan that was
adopted in 2009 (the State Plan). The underlying issue is whether
the Plan Development Committee (PDC) of the Statewide Health Coordinating
Council (SHCC), and the PDC’s subcommittees, violated the
Sunshine Law by failing to properly notice its meetings and by meeting
without quorum, or by failing to create permitted interaction groups
that would allow the PDC and its subcommittees to meet outside of
noticed open meetings.
OIP found that the PDC and its subcommittees did
not meet the definition of a “board” under the Sunshine
Law. However, OIP found that the presence of more than two members
on both the SHCC and the PDC, as well as the presence of more than
two SHCC members or more than two members of any one subarea health
planning council on any subcommittee, violated the Sunshine Law.
Unlike the PDC, SHCC is indisputably subject to the
Sunshine Law. Thus, the SHCC members could not discuss that SHCC
board business, which was also the PDC board business, outside of
a noticed SHCC meeting unless a permitted interaction under HRS
§ 92-2.5 applied. Based upon the facts presented, none of the
permitted interactions applied.
OIP did not find any intentional violation, given
SHCC’s reasonable reliance on informal OIP guidance provided
regarding the status of the PDC as a Sunshine Law board and the
opportunities provided for public participation with respect to
the State Plan. Moreover, OIP noted that the Sunshine Law does not
provide a basis for voiding the State Plan based upon the violation
because a suit to void a final action under the Sunshine Law must
be commenced within ninety days of the action.