Legislative Audit of OHA’s Limited Liability Companies Cancelled
Trustee Keli’i Akina Expresses Concern
News Release from Keli'i Akina, PhD, April 22, 2021
HONOLULU, HI - Trustee Keli‘i Akina today weighed in on the cancellation of the audit of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ limited liability companies that was mandated in 2019 by the state Legislature. The now cancelled audit was a requirement signed into law as Act 37 and was a condition to OHA’s receipt of general funds that year.
“I am very troubled that the audit of OHA's LLCs, ordered by the state Legislature in 2019 (Act 37) has been canceled. This is a great loss to OHA‘s beneficiaries. There are numerous questions of accountability and transparency which will go unanswered without the state legislative audit. All Hawai‘i residents should be alarmed that a public institution and government agency can operate without the highest level of scrutiny,” Trustee Akina said. “OHA should voluntarily allow the state Auditor to confidentially examine all records needed for the Audit, including complete minutes of closed-door executive sessions.”
The Senate Ways and Means Committee heard the OHA budget bill last week and agreed to accept the audit conducted by Clifton Larsen Allen (CLA) in satisfaction of Act 37, even committing additional funding to OHA to complete a follow-up on the CLA audit.
“While it is commendable that the legislature is open to OHA receiving its prior years' budget allocations on the basis of the CLA audit, that does not satisfy the need to do a deep-dive audit into the OHA LLCs,” Trustee Akina added. “The CLA review simply did not focus on the LLCs. That is work that should still be done.”
The OHA budget bill proceeded to Conference Committee on Monday April 19, and was passed with amendments.
Attached to this news release is the letter from state Auditor Les Kondo to OHA in which he explains the rationale for cancelling the Act 37 audit.
SA: Hawaii lawmakers drop state audit as part of Office of Hawaiian Affairs bill
PDF: Letter from Auditor Les Kondo
DISCLAIMER: 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 was elected to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees in 2016, re-elected in 2020, and is now serving his second term.