Trustee Keli‘i Akina Praises OHA Board’s Final Support of Audit
Board unanimously gives green light to procuring audit firm
News Release from Office of Trustee Kelii Akina, May 25, 2017
HONOLULU, HI- Amidst calls from beneficiaries for greater transparency and accountability, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees today voted to approve a solicitation notice, or Request for Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) to engage an independent auditor.
Among the Trustees present, the vote was unanimous. Only Trustee Bob Lindsey was excused from the meeting. Trustee Lindsey did, however, vote in favor of the audit at a Resource Management Committee meeting yesterday.
According to Trustee Keli‘i Akina, Ph.D., chair of the Audit Advisory Committee tasked with producing the SOQ, “I praise my fellow OHA Trustees for committing themselves to the most comprehensive financial audit in OHA’s 43 year history. And I want to commend the beneficiaries who have called for a higher level of transparency and accountability.”
With full Board approval achieved, the SOQ will allow OHA to engage an auditor or auditing firm to conduct an examination of not only OHA but its subsidiary LLCs, for a period reaching back five years. According to the SOQ to be posted by OHA’s procurement personnel, the auditor will be tasked with “identifying potential areas of waste, abuse and fraud,” inspecting financial transactions for compliance with applicable laws and internal policies, and making recommendations to enhance the Board’s fiduciary oversight of the organization as a whole.
According to the SOQ, the audit should commence September 2017, and will end with a final written report and presentation to the Board by the auditor in May 2018.
The views expressed in this news release are the personal views of Trustee Akina and may not reflect the views of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs or its Board of Trustees.
Keliʻi Akina, Ph.D., is a community leader who is known for the phrase he has coined, "E Hana Kākou" - Let's work together! Over the past several years as a public policy adviser at the legislative, congressional and international levels, Dr. Akina’s mission has been to preserve the Aloha Spirit by which native Hawaiians and people of all races are welcomed and encouraged to work together for a better future for all our keiki. He is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a nonprofit, independent think tank.
 PDF: Action Item RM #17-06 and accompanying SOQ No. RM 2017-35