BE AT OHA NEXT WEDNESDAY
TO DEMAND AN AUDIT
Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee-At-Large Keliʻi Akina, Ph.D., has provided the Board of Trustees with a presentation defining the objectives of his proposed Financial Audit and Management Review.
The Board has scheduled voting on Akina`s proposed audit for the February 8th meeting of the Resource Management Committee, a committee of the entire Board.
Trustee Akina reassured OHA Administration and fellow Trustees that the purpose of the audit is not to target any individual Trustee or executive. He stressed that the audit will help reassure the public and OHA`s beneficiaries at a time when serious questions about OHA`s finances are being raised by media and the public.
According to Trustee Akina, “Procurement practices at OHA have come under scrutiny. The State Procurement Office has now launched an inquiry into OHA contracts, and on January 26 requested that OHA provide a log of all Professional Services Contracts awards for the past 36 months.”
Akina noted that there are procurement concerns over a range of OHA contracts such as one for financial services and planning which ballooned from an initial annual award of $95,000 in 2014 to a total outlay of $723,000 by 2016.
Additionally, Akina stated that there are concerns over LLC`s created by OHA, such as those related to Waimea Valley.
“OHA provides millions of dollars of trust funds to these LLCs year after year, and several OHA officers are also managers of the LLCs,” Trustee Akina said. “So while they may be set up as private entities that can keep their financial dealings secret, there are questions as to whether they are violating state laws on ethics, procurement and open meetings. The bottom-line is that their transactions need to be open for review by trustees to give assurance to our beneficiaries.”