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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Public testimony procedures clarified for meetings of the OHA Board of Trustees

HONOLULU (April 27, 2017) – OHA Chair Colette Y. Machado today clarified procedures for meetings of the OHA Board of Trustees intended to help more efficiently manage board business while still providing ample opportunity for the community to testify on issues of concern.

The Chair will allow public testimony on any item on the agenda near the beginning of the meeting under the agenda item entitled “Public Testimony.” Each individual’s testimony will be limited to five minutes. This will ensure that the board can consider public testimony in its decision making on agenda items.

The Chair will continue the board’s past practice of allowing testimony on matters or concerns not related to agenda items. However, testimony will now be allowed near the end of the meeting after board business is finished under the agenda item entitled “Community Concerns.” It should be noted that the state sunshine law does not allow trustees to discuss, deliberate or make decisions on matters not on the agenda.

These procedures will prioritize board business – allowing for public testimony and board decision making on agenda items to occur in a timely manner – while still allowing the board to hear from the community on other issues not related to agenda items.

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