by Andrew Walden
Multiple procurement violations underlie a secret $435,000 contract between the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and a company owned by UH Law Professor Kamana Beamer.
That’s the word from the State Procurement Office (SPO) in May 1, 2017 findings provided to HawaiiFreePress.com by a source near OHA.
Beamer’s company, “Kuauli ‘Aina-Based Insights, LLC is “Not in Good Standing” with DCCA BREG. Beamer formed the company February 4, 2013 and was given the no-bid, non-published contract three months later.
According to the SPO complaint:
Kuauli 'Aina-Based Insights LLC was paid $200,000 for a Report on land, in $25,000 increments to avoid procuring these services via Competitive Sealed Proposals (RFP) process.
OHA Trustees delegated Procurement Authority to OHA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kamana'opono M. Crabbe, Ph.D., as the Procurement Officer as well as the authority to approve any contract or award of $25,000 or under so there's no legal requirement for Trustee approval or posting an RFP for competitive bidding.
…these services were procured on May 23, 2013 and OHA's Corporate Counsel (Ernie Kimoto) approved the exemption procurement on May 24, 2013…. (Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified OHA Board Counsel Robert Klein as being OHA Corporate Counsel.)
An OHA insider tells HawaiiFreePress.com:
To our knowledge no substantial work product was delivered. OHA has a large research staff; the research department consists of 19 full time employees. The scope of work that was included in the contract could have been done in house. The Beamer LLC was a one man show with no employees.
Beamer did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
According to BREG, Beamer is a resident of Kamuela, the home base of OHA Trustee—and former Chair--Robert Lindsey. According to the Procurement Office report, Lindsey sent the Procurement Office investigators a “letter dated November 7, 2016, (claiming) ‘In compliance with OHA's Procedures Manual dated June 2008 for exempt purchase procedure, posting is not required.’"
The Procurement Office disagrees, pointing out: “The subject contract's scope of work did not fit within the confines of this exemption and therefore the subject contract's award to Kuauli 'Aina-Based Insights does not comply with the Procurement Code” and “OHA did not comply with its own exemption purchase procedures or HAR §3-120-4(g).”
How did OHA insiders escape their culpability? Blamed the departed:
On December 16, 2016, the SPO requested OHA to provide the names of the individuals who participated in the subject contract's procurement, their roles and responsibilities, and documentation showing their delegation and training. OHA responded to the SPO's request on January 5, 2017 stating that 1) delegation and training documentation for the three individuals involved were not on file; and 2) all staff involved with the subject procurement are no longer employees of OHA.
Based on the documents submitted, Mr. Crabbe was not listed as the person who 1) conducted the procurement; 2) reviewed the method of procurement; or 3) approved the method of procurement. Additionally, on the executed contract, it shows that OHA's Chief Operating Officer signed "for" Mr. Crabbe instead of Mr. Crabbe himself. No supporting documentation was submitted regarding Mr. Crabbe's delegation authority or training for the subject contract.
On June 7, 2013, OHA executed Contract No. 2879 with Kuauli 'Aina-Based Insights LLC for the period June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014 to render the following scope of services required for the Report on Land, paid to Kuauli 'Aina-Based Insights, which included:
- Documenting each sale of former Hawaiian Kingdom Government and Crown Lands sold during the years 1893 through 1959 to provide quantitative data to support Kanaka Maoli claims to land;
- Quantifying the acreage of lands sold between 1893 through 1959;
- Developing a Geographic Information System (GIS) database representing all lands sold during the period of 1893 through 1959; and
- Providing a report that explains the methodology for the data collection, compilation, and presentation of the information as well as an analysis of data gaps and an explanation of the implementation of inventory.
OHA's intent was for the contractor to conduct research that would examine and compile original source deeds of former Hawaiian Kingdom Government and Crown lands, which are available in print and electronic form to prepare a database that documented each sale of Government and Crown lands. OHA then intended to publish this research in its Native Hawaiian Data Book, and also on its publicly accessible database websites, Papakilo and Kipuka.
There is no evidence of Beamer’s ‘research’ anywhere on these three sites. The Report continues:
Supplemental Contract No. 2879.01 added $250,000 to the original contract of $150,000 and extended the contract from June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015. Supplemental Contract No. 2879.02 extended the contract from June 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. Supplemental Contract No. 2879.03 extended the contract from February 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016. Supplemental Contract No. 2879.04 added $35,000 for services performed during February 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016, for a total contact amount of $435,000.
As of June 30, 2016 this contract has expired and no further work has been submitted or completed.
HawaiiFreePress.com previously obtained and published the complete Office of Hawaiian Affairs Check Register from 2005 through June 30, 2016. It reveals the following breakdown of payments made to Beamer’s LLC:
- ck#57896 $20,000 07/11/13
- ck#58068 $25,000 09/26/13
- ck#58298 $25,000 02/27/14
- ck#58500 $25,000 06/19/14
- ck#58612 $80,000 09/18/14
- ck#58762 $25,000 01/27/15
- ck#58999 $25,000 08/13/15
- ck#59319 $25,000 04/07/16
- Total: $250,000 2013-2016
In addition to cash, Beamer’s UH Law School website describes the kind of honorifics OHA academics award each other:
Dr. Kamanamaikalani Beamer is an associate professor at the Center for Hawaiian Studies in the Hui ‘Āina Momona Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a joint appointment in the Richardson School of Law and the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. Previous to this role Dr. Beamer was the president and chief executive officer of The Kohala Center, where his affiliation with The Kohala Center dates back to his selection as a postdoctoral fellow in the inaugural cohort of the Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in 2008. Beamer’s research on governance, land tenure, and Hawaiian resource management, as well as his prior work as the director of ‘Āina-Based Education at Kamehameha Schools, prepared him for his continuing service as a director of Stanford University’s First Nations Futures Institute, a resource management development program for indigenous leaders developed by Stanford, Kamehameha Schools, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in New Zealand. Beamer and his ‘ohana have revitalized and maintained lo‘i kalo (taro ponds), providing him and his children opportunities to mālama ‘āina, deepen connections with cultural traditions, and derive leadership lessons from the land. In 2013 he was nominated by Governor Neil Abercrombie and confirmed by the Senate to a four-year appointment on Hawai‘i’s Commission of Water Resource Management. In 2014 Beamer published No Mākou ka Mana: Liberating the Nation, which received multiple awards including the Samuel M. Kamakau Book of the Year Award from the Hawai‘i Book Publishing Association. Kamana is the son of Kapono Beamer and grandson of Nona Beamer.
Its good to be the dominant paradigm.
PDF: SPO Report
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2015: OHA COO Resigns Amid Management Shakeup
HNN May 8, 2017: OHA contract target of criminal probe