Chair Josh Green, Vice Chair Clarence Nishihara, members of the Committee on Health,
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii opposes SB1437 which would add more restrictions on government's ability to give the public access to information that could protect them from making unwise choices in procuring consumer services. The disclosure of complaints from the consumer public is being severely curtailed for example by certain requirements that have to be met prior to disclosure such as “that the complaint will be referred for legal action if legal action is authorized.” Also, “A complaint shall not be made public if the department or agency is conducting an active investigation or review of the complaint”. I present but a few of the restrictions to disclosure.
Chapter 92F, Hawaii Revised Statutes lists examples of information in which the individual has a significant privacy interest. No. 7 in that list says Information compiled as part of an inquiry into an individual's fitness to be granted or to retain a license, except: (emphasis added)
(A) The record of any proceeding resulting in the discipline of a licensee and the grounds for discipline; and
(B) Information on the current place of employment and required insurance coverages of licensees.
(C) (The record of complaints including all dispositions) has been stricken from this bill.
The League of Women Voters respects the privacy interests of our service providers, most of whom are trustworthy citizens who seek to help members of the public. However, the public needs access to certain information when seeking professional services which involve their health, or services which means the outlay of large sums of money, etc. For the sake of our citizens, please hold SB 1437 in committee. Thank you for this opportunity to testify against SB 1437.