Frequently Asked Questions

What are boards and commissions?

There are over 170 state boards and commissions that are established by the State of Hawaii Constitution, state statutes, and executive orders. Boards and commissions provide an opportunity for a cross-section of Hawaii’s residents to offer vital input.

Boards and commissions are designed to give citizens a voice in their government and provide a means of influencing decisions that shape the quality of life for the residents of our state. Participation on a board or commission is one of the most effective steps citizens can take in having an active voice in their government.

Will any of my personal information from my application be made public?

No, personal information that has significant privacy interest is kept private. (See HRS §94F-14)

Do board and commission members get paid for their duties?

A majority of boards and commissions are volunteer position so members do not receive compensation for their duties. However, depending on the board or commission, members may be reimbursed for expenses, including travel incurred in discharge of their duties.

What time commitment is expected of a board member?

Time commitment varies depending on the board or commission. Most boards and commissions meet quarterly, while others meet monthly or semi-annually. Additionally, board members must be able to dedicate time outside of meetings to do reading, research, etc. You may email questions to the Boards and Commissions Office at:

What are the terms for members serving on a board or commission?

The term for most boards and commissions is four years but terms can vary for different boards and commissions so be sure to check the statute that creates them. Unless otherwise provided by law, each term shall commence on July 1 and expire on June 30. (See HRS § 26-34)

Would I be held legally liable for any actions resulting from my duties as a board member or commissioner?

No, Hawaii Revised Statutes §26-35.5, immunity from or indemnification for civil liability is provided for members.

Do I need to be a resident of the State of Hawaii to be qualified for a board or commission position?

Yes, all appointive officers in the service of the government of the State or any county who are employed as department heads and deputies or assistants to a department head shall be citizens of the United States and residents of the State for at least one year immediately preceding their appointment. (See (HRS § 8-1b)

Are there any exceptions for the residency requirements?

Yes, if there’s a highly specialized appointment and no one that currently has residency meets those requirements, then the residency requirement can be waived. (See HRS §78-1c)

Are board meetings open to the public?

Yes, every meeting of all boards shall be open to the public and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting unless otherwise provided in the constitution or as closed pursuant to sections 92-4 and 92-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

Can I serve on more than one state board or commission?

No person shall be allowed to serve on more than one state board or commission expressly created by state statute or the state constitution. (See HRS §78-4)