REPORT FROM THE STATE SENATE – Senate President Donna Mercado Kim is proposing six bills in her legislative package that directly impact the University of Hawaii. The bills are based on findings and recommendations from the Senate Special Committee on Accountability’s informational briefings to review the oversight, accountability, and transparency of the operational and financial management of the University of Hawaii System, chaired by Senator Kim in September and October 2012.
“The discussion and call for University of Hawaii flexibility and autonomy has been around since the 1980s. Over the past three decades the Executive and Legislative branches of the State of Hawaii have worked together to provide the University of Hawaii with more flexibility and autonomy. However, that autonomy and self governance has evolved to a point where the Senate feels that, in the interest of statewide concern, the University of Hawaii needs to be held more accountable and operate in full transparency,” explained Senate President Donna Mercado Kim.
The proposed bills range in topics from procurement for construction projects, to revising the number of University General Counsels, having the Board of Regents undergo annual training on board policies and procedures, requiring the Board of Regents to file annual disclosures of financial interest which would become public record, clarifying how the members of the Board of Regents are selected by the Governor, and revising the makeup of the Board of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH).
For reference purposes, the bills are:
SB 1383 – Repeals the President of the University of Hawaii’s authority to serve as the Chief Procurement Officer for construction contracts.
SB 1384 – Limits the Board of Regents to appointing one University General Counsel.
SB 1385 – Requires the Board of Regents to undergo annual training and certification.
SB 1386 – Requires the Board of Regents to file annual disclosure of financial interest.
SB 1387 – Gives the Governor the authority to reject the list of nominees to the Board of Regents presented by the Regents Candidate Advisory Council.
SB 1388 – Reduces the number of members of the Board of Directors of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH) and removes the authority of the President of the University to also serve as the President of RCUH.