Legislative Watch List

House Bill 632

In the last session the legislature passed a bill that “encourages” state departments to post materials on the government’s website.  The comment in the link that leads to the article clearly shows they will be making another run to pull public notices out of newspapers and seem to believe it’s a done deal.

The following is from the State of Hawaii’s Office of Informational Practices Website (http://hawaii.gov/oip/whatsnew.html).

Open Data Bill Passes

May 1, 2013

The State Office of Information Practices (OIP) is pleased to report that the Hawaii State Legislature passed a bill to provide greater public access by encouraging state executive branch departments to electronically publish and regularly update public information online. The final draft of HB 632, Relating to Open Data, was passed by both the House and Senate on April 30, 2013, and requires each executive branch department to “use reasonable efforts to make appropriate and existing electronic data sets maintained by the department electronically available to the public through the State’s open data portal at data.hawai.gov.”

The bill does not change anything in the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA), HRS Chapter 92F, so it does not affect whether or not government records must be disclosed. Rather, the bill memorializes the state’s open data policy in order “to increase public awareness and access to data and information created by and available from state departments and agencies, enhance government transparency and accountability, encourage public engagement, and stimulate innovation with the development of new analyses or applications based on the unique data provided by the State.”

State, county, and federal agencies have already begun loading open data onto the following websites: data.hawaii.gov, data.honolulu.gov, and data.gov. State agencies that have been using the UIPA Record Request Log are familiar with the state’s website at data.hawaii.gov, where they have been uploading their data onto OIP’s Master UIPA Log. In due course, OIP plans to more fully utilize the extensive capabilities of data.hawaii.gov to provide graphs, charts, and other visualizations to summarize the information compiled in the Master Log.

The open data initiative is one of the top priorities of Hawaii’s Chief Information Officer Sonny Bhagowalia, and the bill is expected to be signed by Governor Neil Abercrombie and go into effect on July 1, 2013.

For the latest on open government news, check for these archived copies of What’s New articles that are posted here, or e-mailed upon request. To be added to OIP’s e-mail list, please e-mail oip@hawaii.gov.