Re: Hawaii's Sunshine Law

21 Questions | Total Attempts: 869

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Re: Hawaii

The state Office of Information Practices (OIP) invites you to test your knowledge of Hawaii's Sunshine Law requiring open public meetings. Certification is given for a passing score (70%) at the end of the test. There are ten questions (multiple choice and true/false), randomly chosen, about the following areas: (1) minutes, (2) meetings & testimony, (3) closed meetings, (4) outside a meeting, and/or (5) notice and agenda. *** For the Sunshine Law statute and training materials, visit OIP's training page at oip. Hawaii. Gov/training.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    True or False: A meeting may be canceled if the meeting notice is not timely mailed or emailed to a person on the board’s notification list, regardless of whether it is intentional or due to the board’s clerical error.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 2. 
    A board packet must be made available for public inspection at the board’s office at the same time that it is distributed to board members. Which of the following items is not true?
    • A. 

      The board must send a notification to everyone on its postal or email list that the board packet is available for public inspection in the board’s office.

    • B. 

      The board must send a copy of the board packet to everyone on its postal or email list via postal mail or email, as applicable.

    • C. 

      As soon as practicable, the board must accommodate requests for electronic access to the board packet, which can be by email or by posting the packet online on the board’s or department’s website.

    • D. 

      The Sunshine Law allows for greater redactions of board packets than the Uniform Information Practices Act, which is Hawaii’s open records law, chapter 92F, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

  • 3. 
    True or False: Executive session minutes, which are taken in a meeting closed to the public, will never be disclosable to the public.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 4. 
    True or False: A board member is permitted to talk about an issue on the board's agenda to an unlimited number of members of the public, including lobbyists.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 5. 
    A board can hold a meeting with members attending from other locations through teleconference, videoconference, Skype, or using other interactive conference technology. Which of the following items is not true:
    • A. 

      All locations where non-disabled board members will be present must be listed on the meeting notice and open to the public.

    • B. 

      A board must provide remote "courtesy" locations for the public to be able to participate even if no board member will be participating from such a site, and if the audio- or video connection is lost at such a site, the board must cancel its meeting.

    • C. 

      A board member with a permanent or temporary disability may participate using both audio and visual connections from a private location that is not open to the public, so long as the member identifies the general location and any persons present with the member.

    • D. 

      If audio communication cannot be maintained at all meeting locations, then the meeting must be terminated, even if a quorum of board members is physically present in one location.

  • 6. 
    True or False: A board must keep minutes of executive meetings, with the same level of detail as required for public meeting minutes.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 7. 
    A board must keep either written minutes, or recorded minutes (an audio or audio-video recording) with a written summary. If the board chooses to keep recorded minutes, then which of the following is not required to be included in the written summary?
    • A. 

      The members of the board recorded as either present or absent, and the times when individual members entered or left the meeting.

    • B. 

      A detailed summary giving the substance of the board members’ discussion of all matters proposed, discussed, or decided at the meeting.

    • C. 

      A record, including the vote by member, of motions and votes made by the board.

    • D. 

      A time stamp or other reference indicating when in the recording the board began discussion of each agenda item and when each motions and votes was made by the board.

  • 8. 
    True or False: By simply meeting the voting requirements to go into an executive session that will be closed to the public, a board can also amend the agenda to add executive session items.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 9. 
    True or False: A board must publicly announce any action taken during the executive session and the vote, by member, at the conclusion of the executive session.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 10. 
    With proper notice and a vote in favor, what is not a proper reason for a board to go into a closed executive session?
    • A. 

      To discuss matters that would cause embarrassment to any person.

    • B. 

      To consult with the board’s attorney on questions and issues pertaining to the board’s powers, duties, privileges, immunities, and liabilities.

    • C. 

      To discuss personnel issues where individual privacy is involved.

    • D. 

      To investigate proceedings regarding criminal misconduct.

  • 11. 
    True or False: When a board did not anticipate the need to discuss an item in an executive session closed to the public, so its agenda listed the item for its public session only, the board can still discuss the item in executive session if it announces the purpose for doing so and follows the voting and other requirements for going into executive session.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 12. 
    True or False: The Sunshine Law requires that minutes of meetings be posted online within 40 days after a meeting, but a board or commission may wait until it has formally approved the minutes at a subsequent meeting before posting them online.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 13. 
    A board wants to hold an all-day workshop with presentations and break-out discussion sessions on an issue that is currently before the board. How can the board do this in compliance with the Sunshine Law?
    • A. 

      ​​​​​​​The board can announce at a prior meeting that it will attend the workshop and report back at a later meeting.

    • B. 

      ​​​​​​​The board can only do this by noticing the workshop as a meeting and following the requirements for notice, agenda, and public attendance and testimony.

    • C. 

      ​​​​​​​The board can hold this as a limited meeting.

    • D. 

      The board cannot do this.

  • 14. 
    A board can file its notice less than six days before the date of a meeting in which of the following circumstances:
    • A. 

      An emergency or an unanticipated event requires the board to take action in less than six days, and the board has followed emergency meeting procedures.

    • B. 

      The board reasonably anticipates that all items will be considered in executive session.

    • C. 

      ​​​​​​​Both of the options above are correct.

    • D. 

      ​​​​​​​A board cannot file its notice less than six days before the date of a meeting in any circumstances.

  • 15. 
    To add an item to the agenda at a meeting, which of the following is not true?
    • A. 

      Two-thirds of all members to which the board is entitled must vote in favor of changing the agenda.

    • B. 

      The item added must not be of reasonably major importance and the board’s action on it cannot affect a significant number of persons.

    • C. 

      So long as no action is taken on the new item, the board can add it to the agenda with a unanimous vote in the public portion of the meeting.

    • D. 

      The board can decide to put the item on the agenda for a future meeting and provide at least six days’ advance notice of the meeting.

  • 16. 
    True or False: A board can require members of the public attending or testifying at a meeting to sign in or identify themselves.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 17. 
    A board can limit public testimony as follows:
    • A. 

      A board cannot limit public testimony.

    • B. 

      A board can limit public testimony to items on the board’s agenda.

    • C. 

      Upon a 2/3 vote of all members present, a board can limit public testimony on an agenda item to one specific aspect of that agenda item, as described in the board’s motion to limit testimony.

    • D. 

      A board can limit oral testimony to only those persons who have not testified on the issue at a previous meeting.

  • 18. 
    True or False: A board can adopt a rule setting a reasonable time limit for testimony.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 19. 
    When a board holds an executive session closed to the public, which of the following is not true?
    • A. 

      The item for discussion in executive session must be on the meeting agenda.

    • B. 

      The board must allow public testimony on the executive session item.

    • C. 

      At least two-thirds of the board members present must vote to go into executive session, and the votes in favor must also equal a majority of the total number of members to which the board is entitled.

    • D. 

      As long as there is a quorum, at least two-thirds of the board members present must vote to go into executive session.

  • 20. 
    True or False: Board members can email each other about board business so long as less than a quorum of members is copied on each email.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 21. 
    True or False: Two board members can talk outside a meeting about any issue on the board’s agenda, so long as they don’t make or seek a commitment to vote and don’t include other board members in the discussion.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

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