The League of Women Voters supports the adequate funding of the Office of Information Practices to fulfill all of its responsibilities in service to the people of Hawaii.
The Office of Information Practices has been given the responsibility of administering the Sunshine Law in addition to its original task of administering the Open Records Law. And if some of the bills this session that would give OIP the enforcement powers it needs in order to really carry out its functions to ensure transparency in government and to make government records accessible to Hawaii’s citizens should be enacted, OIP could really use more resources in the way of personnel and money for the production of training manuals and other publications, plus other office expenses.
From the Director’s report, he really needs another full-time attorney and an additional staff position which would require approximately $95,000.
To the extent that the added personnel and other resources and the needed legislation t would help this agency implement its goals for which it was created, $95,000 is not a large sum of money. OIP and the appropriate laws can ease the way for citizens to gain access to information, and to participate in the governance of the state and counties to the extent that the laws allow and is practicable. And that gives democracy a big boost.
We urge the adequate funding of the Office of Information Practices. Thank you for this opportunity to testify on this bill.