Monday, December 09, 2019

GUILTY! - OHA FORENSIC AUDIT RESULTS - FRAUD, WASTE & ABUSE


















Honolulu Star-Advertiser - December 9, 2019


An independent financial review of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has identified transactions worth $7.8 million as potentially fraudulent, wasteful and abusive.

OHA’s long-awaited independent audit, covering a period from 2012 to 2016, documented signs of shoddy record keeping, inadequate oversight, unlawful procedures, missing documents, conflicts of interest and, in some cases, contractors who failed to perform the work they were hired to do.

Of the 185 contracts and disbursements reviewed by the national accounting firm of CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), 85% suggested conflicts with statutory requirements or internal policies, and 17% were flagged for potential fraud, waste and abuse.

Trustee Kelii Akina, who pushed for the $500,000 audit following his 2016 election to the board, called the findings troubling.
“The results, in some instances, are more serious than I imagined,” Akina said.

In a written statement, OHA Chairwoman Colette Machado and Kauai trustee Dan Ahuna had a slightly more upbeat take on the report of over 1,000 pages.

“The recommendations of this report confirm that OHA is moving in the right direction,” they said, in part because the board is already working toward greater transparency with a number of the recommendations already being implemented.

However, they did acknowledge that “more needs to be done to regain the trust of our beneficiaries and the general public.”

The trustees voted Wednesday to have the agency’s administration review and analyze the report and prepare a plan for implementation by Jan. 22.

But Akina, who led the OHA committee that helped set up the parameters of the financial review, urged his fellow board members to dive deeper into the findings and hold accountable those responsible for any fraud, abuse and waste.

The audit contract, awarded more than two years ago, called for an examination of both OHA and its limited-liability companies with an eye toward identifying areas in the agency’s procurement process at risk of fraud, waste and abuse.

The firm flagged 32 transactions with potential for fraud, waste and abuse, including:

A $99,600 contract in 2013 to a nonprofit for 36 youth scholarships. OHA had no documentation to show the scholarships were actually given to the students, and the nonprofit’s tax returns indicate only half of the scholarships were awarded.


A $150,000 disbursement to ABW Holdings LLC to pay for a lease guaranty OHA signed on behalf of its now-defunct subsidiary Kauhale LLC when it defaulted on its commercial lease at Waikiki Beachwalk. The transaction appears to have been split in two payments in a move to avoid scrutiny by the chief financial officer and legal counsel.

A $185,000 contract in 2012 to Absolute Plus Advisors, now out of business, for financial advisory services. The contract amendment was executed five months after the contract date, and no documents were available showing the firm did the work for which it was hired.


The largest contract flagged as questionable was a $2.6 million grant to the nonprofit Akamai Foundation, which was the fiscal sponsor for the election of delegates to the 2015 Na`i Aupuni Hawaiian constitutional convention.

The problem is that the election was canceled at the last minute, and auditors found few if any receipts, invoices or billings to demonstrate what costs were incurred. OHA was dinged for potential lack of oversight, abuse of the disbursement process and waste of funds, among other things.

Contacted Friday, Akamai Foundation Chairman Louis Perez said all the funds were spent in accordance with the contract and that there remains documentation that describes every expenditure in detail.

Perez said he might understand auditors not finding a lot of receipts because, with the election under attack in the courts, officials were cautious about appearances, and there was a concerted effort to maintain neutrality and distance between the governance campaign and OHA.

According to its contract, CLA was not tasked with determining whether any transactions were in fact fraudulent, abusive and wasteful. Instead, it was only to point out whether they might be.

In addition, the firm didn’t just pick out a random sampling of contracts and disbursements, but used its professional judgment to select transactions that appeared more likely to have indicators of fraud, waste or abuse, officials said.

The report concludes with 109 recommendations to help OHA tighten up its financial procedures and guard against abuse. Among the recommendations: more employee training, starting a special audit committee and establishing a hotline for reporting fraud and abuse.

In his analysis of the report, Akina said the document acts as a road map of issues to resolve and offers a valuable list of transactions that warrant further investigation.

Former veteran OHA trustee Rowena Akana said she was not surprised by the amount of fraud and abuse suggested in the report.

“We knew what was going on,” she said, adding that she tried to bring additional problem areas to the board leadership’s attention but that her concerns were often ignored.

Akana urged the board to investigate the red-flagged cases in the report and consider having the state Attorney General’s Office resume as lead counsel for the agency.

Machado and Ahuna noted that since the report looked at a five-year period that began seven years ago, several grant and procurement reforms are not reflected in the observations.

What’s more, employees with knowledge about certain contracts or disbursements are no longer with OHA and were unable to provide key information, they said.

One employee no longer with OHA is Kamana`opono Crabbe, who led OHA as CEO during the entire range of the report.

Crabbe, who left his job at the end of June and became CEO of the Kohala Institute at Iole on the Big Island on Oct. 28, could not be reached for comment Friday.

New CEO Sylvia Hussey will head OHA’s analysis of the report and come up with a plan to implement reforms. The former Kamehameha Schools administrator and certified public accountant was hired by OHA as COO last year and took over as permanent CEO on Dec. 1.

In their statement, Ma­chado and Ahuna said OHA has “an unwavering commitment to continued improvement,” as illustrated, in part, by the fact that the board took the “very unusual step” of hiring a national accounting firm to examine a sample of contracts and disbursements.

“We were not required to do this,” they said. “Despite undergoing regular state audits and receiving clean annual independent financial audits for eight consecutive years, our Board chose to do this on its own, something few other state or private entities would do.”

The board leaders added, “We are in a critical period of transition intended to set the agency on a firm course for the future, with a new CEO, a new 15-year Strategic Plan, and the implementation of these financial management upgrades. We look forward to sharing our progress with our community and general public soon.”

Sunday, December 08, 2019

TRANSFORMING LIVES ON “VOICES OF TRUTH - ONE-ON-ONE WITH HAWAI`IʻS FUTURE"


"Habilitat Hawai`i - A Visit With Jeff Nash"

Interviewing a convicted felon was a first for us, but apprehension soon gave way to appreciation when we met Jeff Nash. Once involved in drugs, illegal activities and incarceration, today Jeff is a role model for change as the CEO of Habilitat Hawai`i. A long term addiction treatment center which provides people a safe haven where they can transform their lives, Habilitat Hawai`i is like no other place on earth. Join us in our amazing visit with Jeff and discover how Habilitat Hawai`i turns those who have lost all hope into responsible, caring human beings once again - Watch It Here

MONDAY, December 9th At 6:30 PM Maui – Akaku, Channel 54

FRIDAY, December 13th At 3:00 PM & SUNDAY, December 15th At 10:30 AM - Hawai`i Island – Na Leo, Channel 53

TUESDAY, December 10th At 10:00 AM & THURSDAY, December 12th At 1:30 PM Hawai`i Island – Na Leo, Channel 54
 
TUESDAY, December 10th At 7:30 PM, THURSDAY, December 12th At 7:30 PM & SATURDAY, December 14th At 5:30 PM Kaua`i - Ho`ike, Channel 52

SATURDAY, December 14th  At 5:30 PM O`ahu - `Olelo, Channel 53


Now you can become a fan of Voices Of Truth on Facebook by clicking Here and see behind the scenes photos of our shows and a whole lot more.  

Voices Of Truth interviews those creating a better future for Hawai`i to discover what made them go from armchair observers to active participants. We hope you'll be inspired to do the same.
 
Voices Of Truth now airs on local access stations in over 90 cities across the US and throughout the world. Check your local listings.

For news and issues that affect you, watch Free Hawai`i TV, a part of the Free Hawai`i Broadcasting Network.
 
Please share our Free Hawai`i Broadcasting Network videos with friends and colleagues. That's how we grow. Mahalo.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

LIKE WORKING AT THE MALL - SPENDING TO KEEP THE PEACE WHERE ITʻS NOT NEEDED
























Honolulu Star-Advertiser - By Lee Cataluna

Every week now, more or less, there is an update on the amount of money being spent to keep law enforcement at the base of Mauna Kea, where a standoff centered around plans to build the huge Thirty Meter Telescope has stretched on since this summer....

... The state wants everyone to know, law enforcement response to Mauna Kea has cost more than $11 million.

The intended reaction, perhaps, is to make it seem as though the anti- TMT forces are wasting taxpayer money. But it’s not the “protectors” who are calling out the troops. It’s the pro-TMT government leaders. Many of the “protectors” think the money spent on law enforcement is a waste of taxpayer dollars, too. Things have been peaceful and organized on the mauna.

Quantifying the cost of having police, sheriff and DLNR officers is one way to measure the impact of the conflict. What hasn’t been discussed much is qualitative measures of how those expensive man-hours are being used and how effective the effort has been.

There’s not a lot of law- enforcing going on.

It’s not like firefighters battling Maui wildfires or first responders going house to house after a massive flood on the North Shore of Kauai — brave, adrenaline-rush, heroic stuff.

Instead, being assigned to Mauna Kea has to be the easiest law enforcement gig in the entire state at the moment. Keeping the peace among peaceful protesters, making overtime, hanging out in the shaded tent of the checkpoint, sometimes wandering down to talk story with the kupuna — that’s like retiring from active duty and working at the mall. The biggest hardship would be perhaps a bit of boredom and some chilly winds.

There are fewer officers on the mauna these days. A month ago, movement leaders say, there were as many as 10 or 12 DLNR officers at the vehicle checkpoint behind the kupuna tent on the road heading to the summit. Now there are more like five or six per shift. A van brings state sheriffs to a post beyond the DLNR checkpoint, while Hawai`i County police officers are stationed along Saddle Road on both the Hilo and Kona sides of Pu`u Huluhulu.

Yes, the police officers have been giving out a bunch of traffic tickets and citations in the area, but even those numbers seem to be spun to malign the kia`i as troublemakers. Law enforcement won’t say how many drivers they tagged for traffic violations were people connected to the Protect Mauna Kea movement and how many were just area residents or tourists passing through, perhaps because making that distinction won’t help argue their point.

Why do law enforcement officers have to be there 24/7 when there haven’t been any problems for many 24s and lots of 7s?

If the state and Hawaii County want to stop bleeding money on a law enforcement action that has been unnecessary for months, they can call off the troops and call off TMT.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

CIVIL RESISTANCE OVER TMT IS ABOUT JUSTICE OVERDUE

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

FREE HAWAI`I TV
THE FREE HAWAI`I BROADCASTING NETWORK

 

"YOU WONʻT BELIEVE WHAT HARRY KIM HAS SAID NOW"

It Keeps Getting More Bizarre With Hawai`i Island Mayor Harry Kim.

Wait Until You Hear What He Said This Time.

His Recent Comments About Mauna Kea Protectors Are Sure To Leave You Upset.

Watch Our Report To See His Insults & What You Can Do About It.


Then Share This Video Today With Your Family & Everyone You Know.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Monday, December 02, 2019

A BOSTON LĀ KŪ`OKO`A - THANKSGIVING DINNER MENU

Sunday, December 01, 2019

ROLE MODEL FOR CHANGE ON “VOICES OF TRUTH - ONE-ON-ONE WITH HAWAI`IʻS FUTURE"


"Habilitat Hawai`i - A Visit With Jeff Nash"

Interviewing a convicted felon was a first for us, but apprehension soon gave way to appreciation when we met Jeff Nash. Once involved in drugs, illegal activities and incarceration, today Jeff is a role model for change as the CEO of Habilitat Hawai`i. A long term addiction treatment center which provides people a safe haven where they can transform their lives, Habilitat Hawai`i is like no other place on earth. Join us in our amazing visit with Jeff and discover how Habilitat Hawai`i turns those who have lost all hope into responsible, caring human beings once again - Watch It Here

MONDAY, December 2nd At 6:30 PM Maui – Akaku, Channel 54

FRIDAY, December 6th At 3:00 PM & SUNDAY, December 8th At 10:30 AM - Hawai`i Island – Na Leo, Channel 53

TUESDAY, December 3rd At 10:00 AM & THURSDAY, December 5th At 1:30 PM Hawai`i Island – Na Leo, Channel 54
 
TUESDAY, December 3rd At 7:30 PM, THURSDAY, December 5th At 7:30 PM & SATURDAY, December 7th At 5:30 PM Kaua`i - Ho`ike, Channel 52

FRIDAY, December 6th At 8:00 PM & SATURDAY, December 7th  At 5:30 PM O`ahu - `Olelo, Channel 53


Now you can become a fan of Voices Of Truth on Facebook by clicking Here and see behind the scenes photos of our shows and a whole lot more.  

Voices Of Truth interviews those creating a better future for Hawai`i to discover what made them go from armchair observers to active participants. We hope you'll be inspired to do the same.
 
Voices Of Truth now airs on local access stations in over 90 cities across the US and throughout the world. Check your local listings.

For news and issues that affect you, watch Free Hawai`i TV, a part of the Free Hawai`i Broadcasting Network.
 
Please share our Free Hawai`i Broadcasting Network videos with friends and colleagues. That's how we grow. Mahalo.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

ARENʻT YOU GLAD US FEDERAL RECOGNITION NEVER HAPPENED IN HAWAI`I?









 

Meme Credit - Native America Speaks

Friday, November 29, 2019

YESTERDAY IN THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM

Thursday, November 28, 2019

HEREʻS WHAT TO TALK ABOUT AROUND YOUR THANKSGIVING TABLE TODAY
 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

FREE HAWAI`I TV
THE FREE HAWAI`I BROADCASTING NETWORK

 

"WHO PULLED A FAST ONE WHILE NO ONEʻS LOOKING?"

You Probably Wonʻt Be Surprised To Learn Theyʻre At It Again.

OHA Trustees Latest Sneaky Move Is Another Blow To Transparency.

Theyʻve Tried To Stop  A “Whistleblower” & Instead Claim Theyʻre The Good Guys.

Watch This To See Who Theyʻve Tried To Smear & Why.


Then Share This Video Today With Your Family & Everyone You Know.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

WILL YOU DO THIS AROUND YOUR THANKSGIVING TABLE THURSDAY?

By Leon Siu -  Hawaiian National

Keeping in touch and updated on activities regarding the restoration of Ke Aupuni o Hawai`i, the Hawaiian Kingdom.  

Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka `Aina I Ka Pono.

• Celebrating La Ku'oko'a – Independence Day
On November 28, 1843 (175 years ago) France and Great Britain formally recognized the Sandwich Islands (the Hawaiian Kingdom) as a sovereign, independent nation-state. King Kamehameha III declared the date a national holiday and La Ku'oko'a became the most celebrated holiday in the Kingdom for over 50 years!

That is, until 1895 when the Republic of Hawaii, the insurgency that displaced the Queen and the Hawaiian Kingdom, ordered the American Thanksgiving Day holiday to be celebrated instead of La Lu'oko'a. It so happened that year, the American Thanksgiving Day fell on November 28.

During the period of American domination, the Hawaiian Kingdom high holiday of La Ku'oko'a was overshadowed and lost to memory… until about 25 years ago when Kekuni Blaisdell and other patriots revived the observance of La Kuʻokoʻa and La Hoʻihoʻi Ea. Ever since, these holidays have been increasingly celebrated with events in several communities throughout our nation.

But let's see if we can turn this 175th anniversary into an opportunity to spread awareness of the significance of La Ku’oko'a where it really counts… our friends and families..

What if we each took a few minutes at our Thanksgiving dinners to share with our families and friends about the significance of Hawaii's Independence Day and to say how thankful we are that our country was recognized as a sovereign nation; a nation that is reawakening! In one day we would effectively reach thousands more of our 'ohana in the intimacy of our homes with the story of Hawaii's Independence Day…more than we would have at a big public rally. When we tell our country's story, we affirm the narrative; it becomes more personal; it becomes our story… and the awakening spreads.
 

Below is a flyer about La Ku'oko'a that you can print out and use to share with your 'ohana.

Let's give thanks for Ke Aupuni o Ko Hawai'i Pae ʻĀina - the Hawaiian Kingdom. 




Monday, November 25, 2019

JANET JACKSON ON MAUNA KEA - "I STAND WITH THEM"



































Janet Jackson’s latest round of Hawai`i concerts featured a moment where she and her dancers flash the two-handed sign used by protesters against the Thirty Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea.


She hadn’t made an actual statement during the performance, when photos of the protesters are also shown on a large screen over the stage. But she said she was compelled to do it.


“To be able to want to take this land -- this sacred land -- it’s wrong. It’s not right at all,” she told Hawai`i News Now. “I stand with them.”


Jackson explained her motivation came from Hawai`i dancers who have performed with her.



“There are a few Hawaiians that have been in my camp for a while, for a good while. More than 15 years. And they explained to me the situation, and I was floored.”

Sunday, November 24, 2019

LAND MANAGEMENT IN ANCIENT HAWAI`I ON “VOICES OF TRUTH - ONE-ON-ONE WITH HAWAI`IʻS FUTURE"


"Hawai`iʻs Ancient Land Management - A Visit With Hanale Hopfe"

A lifelong resident of Wai`anae on the west side of O`ahu, Hanale Hopfe knows the area and its history well. He also knows the people well, including Wai`anaeʻs houseless population, so he got the idea for people who are on the land to help take care of the land. When we met Hanale we quickly saw how perfectly suited these age-old approaches are for the present. Join us in our fascinating visit with Hanale Hopfe as he shows us why Hawai`iʻs ancient ways of land management are far superior to todays - Watch It Here

MONDAY, November 25th At 6:30 PM Maui – Akaku, Channel 54

FRIDAY, November 29th At 3:00 PM & SUNDAY, December 1st At 10:30 AM - Hawai`i Island – Na Leo, Channel 53

SATURDAY, November 30th At 10:00 AM & MONDAY, December 2nd At 1:30 PM Hawai`i Island – Na Leo, Channel 54
 
TUESDAY, November 26th At 7:30 PM, THURSDAY, November 28th At 7:30 PM & SATURDAY, November 30th At 5:30 PM Kaua`i - Ho`ike, Channel 52



Now you can become a fan of Voices Of Truth on Facebook by clicking Here and see behind the scenes photos of our shows and a whole lot more.  

Voices Of Truth interviews those creating a better future for Hawai`i to discover what made them go from armchair observers to active participants. We hope you'll be inspired to do the same.
 
Voices Of Truth now airs on local access stations in over 90 cities across the US and throughout the world. Check your local listings.

For news and issues that affect you, watch Free Hawai`i TV, a part of the Free Hawai`i Broadcasting Network.
 
Please share our Free Hawai`i Broadcasting Network videos with friends and colleagues. That's how we grow. Mahalo.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

KE AUPUNI UPDATE - NOVEMBER 2019

Keeping in touch and updated on activities regarding the restoration of Ke Aupuni o Hawai`i, the Hawaiian Kingdom.  

Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka `Aina I Ka Pono.



















The Irony Of  176 Years Of Independence     
It was a world-changing event. On November 28, 1843, the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of France formally recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom, a tiny island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, as a sovereign country. It was an historical breakthrough. A game-changer.


The proclamation by the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of France meant the Hawaiian Kingdom was accepted and would be henceforth supported as an equal sovereign by the two most prominent members of the exclusively European club of sovereign Christian nations informally known as “the family of nations.”

The Hawaiian Kingdom being identified as a sovereign Christian nation meant European powers could not invoke the dreaded centuries-old “Doctrine of Discovery” to colonize the Hawaiian Islands… something the European powers were doing throughout the Pacific (and around the world) at that time.

The Hawaiian Kingdom was able to pry open the door to the exclusive European club of sovereigns (“the family of nations”), not only for the Hawaiian Kingdom to enter, but for others to follow a century later.

The supreme irony is, the Hawaiian Kingdom, the first non-Eurocentric nation to be recognized as an equal sovereign state; the nation that paved the way for well over a hundred present-day United Nations members; the nation that never engaged in any hostile act toward anyone… is today struggling against a massive U.S.-led conspiracy denying that the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists! 

The good news is that we are again blazing the way in the international arena and as we stand up (Kūʻe) the lāhui here on our ʻāina, we are proclaiming we are still here. We, aloha ʻāina, are the living proof of that sovereign Hawaiian Kingdom that was recognized 177 years ago!

Celebrate Lā Kuʻokoʻa
Lā Kuʻokoʻa – November 28 – is the most important holiday of the Hawaiian Kingdom. That was the day in 1843 – 177 years ago – that the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of France issued a joint proclamation recognizing the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign nation.

There are numerous celebrations occurring all over the nation. Search social media or google to find events near you to attend. Because this year, the 28th falls on the American Thanksgiving Day, most of the Lā Kuʻokoʻa events will be before or after the 28th.

But hereʻs what you can do on the 28th... Your Thanksgiving gathering would be an ideal opportunity to share with your ʻohana and friends about Lā Kuʻokoʻa! As you gather to give thanks for the many blessings, tell your ʻohana about the historic achievement of our awesome King Kamehameha III and the emissaries he sent on this amazing mission to the opposite side of the globe

Hawaiʻi loa kū like kākou! All Hawaiʻi stand together!


NOTE - The next few months is critical to triggering a breakthrough at the UN. Your kokua is needed to move us forward! Imua!
———

The Campaign to Free Hawai`i is funded by people like YOU…

We cannot do this crucial work without your help… your kokua.

It takes funding to make these important accomplishments happen and we deeply appreciate all financial contributions, large or small.

Any amount you contribute will make a huge impact on our ability to continue this work (and can be tax-deductible if needed).

We have much to accomplish in 2019 and your contributions toward that are very important and needed.

Your KŌKUA is greatly appreciated!
To contribute, go to - GoFundMe.com/FreeHawaii


Also... Just in time for Christmas gift-giving...
Check out the great FREE HAWAII stuff you can purchase HERE
 

All proceeds go to help the cause.

---------
Malama pono,
Leon Siu 

Hawaiian National

Friday, November 22, 2019

TMT & CANARY ISLANDS REACH LAND AGREEMENT

West Hawai`i Today - November 22, 2019  

A governmental body in the Canary Islands has approved a land concession deal with the Thirty Meter Telescope partners, although Maunakea remains the project’s preferred location.

According to a Tuesday report from Spanish news agency Europa Press, the City Council of Puntagorda — a municipality on the north end of the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands — has approved a “work permit” that would allow TMT to build in La Palma if the TMT partners so choose.

TMT Vice President Gordon Squires confirmed to the Tribune-Herald that a land concession deal was reached between TMT and Puntagorda, but added that more permits and approvals are required before any construction could begin.

The Europa Press report claimed that TMT would make a decision on where to build in “in the next few days,” and that Canary Islands construction would begin no later than Jan. 30, 2023.

However, Squires said TMT has no current plans to announce a decision on where to build.


“We are very pleased and grateful that certain permits have been granted in La Palma,” Squires wrote in a statement. “Maunakea remains the preferred site for TMT, but this is an essential step in the process for developing our ‘plan B’, should it not be possible to build TMT in Hawaii. At this moment, there is no date set for determining our next steps for constructing TMT.”

With protests against building TMT on Maunakea having gone on for more than four months, many have urged TMT to seek an alternate site to build the telescope, such as La Palma.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

FREE HAWAI`I TV
THE FREE HAWAI`I BROADCASTING NETWORK

 

"CALL THE POLICE"

Itʻs Only Now Starting To Be Reported In The News.

Attacks On Protectors By Police Have Been Escalating For Some Time.

What Can Be Done About This Very Serious Problem?



Watch To See Why Itʻs Time To Take This Revolutionary Step That Can Be A Game Changer.

Then Share This Video Today With Your Family & Everyone You Know.