Sunshine Memo 12-11
Adequacy of Agenda
Requester asked for an investigation into whether
the Department of Land and Natural Resources Commission on Water
Resource Management (CWRM) violated the Sunshine Law by discussing
items that were alleged to be insufficiently described on the agenda
for the CWRM meeting of November 16, 2011.
OIP found that Item F. on the agenda for the CWRM’s meeting,
which stated “ADMINISTRATIVE OTHER BUSINESS,” a “catch-all”
agenda item, did not meet the notice and agenda requirements in
the Sunshine Law because it did not indicate that there would be
a discussion on hiring staff; however, any public harm resulting
from this deficiency was minimal.
OIP recommended that, in order to avoid future Sunshine Law complaints,
the CWRM (1) not use “catch-alls” in agendas without
providing more detailed descriptions in subheadings, and (2) instruct
its commissioners to identify, in advance of filing an agenda, matters
of “official business” that they wish to inquire about
and possibly discuss at the meeting. OIP also noted that boards
may amend filed agendas in accordance with section 92-7(b), HRS.