Keli‘i Akina Calls for Audit of Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Trustee says it’s time to reassure beneficiaries
News Release from Dr Keli’i Akina PhD, January 27, 2017
HONOLULU, HI- Today, OHA Trustee Keli‘i Akina, Ph.D. presented to his fellow trustees an action item to authorize the procurement of an independent accounting firm to conduct a financial audit and management review of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and its subsidiaries. The action item (17-03) may be voted on as early as Monday, and will require affirmative votes from two-thirds of the Board (i.e., six votes) to pass. (UPDATE: Meeting rescheduled to Thursday, February 2 at 9AM.)
Members of the public have been attending the OHA Board of Trustees meetings in large numbers recently, with several beneficiaries voicing their desire for increased transparency with regards to OHA procurement practices and grant awards.
“OHA currently undergoes three types of audits, but none of these audits focus on identifying internal weaknesses such as fraud, waste, and abuse,” Trustee Akina explains. “The type of audit I am presenting for discussion Monday will help to ease the distrust and tension perceived by the public because it will provide an independent review of financial management at OHA. This is what the beneficiaries have been asking for- for OHA to take a proactive approach, and to reassure the public that it holds itself to a high ethical standard.”
Keli‘i 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.
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.
 The agenda for the meeting on Monday, January 30, 2017 is available at http://www.oha.org/BOT (UPDATE: Meeting rescheduled to Thursday, February 2 at 9AM.)
LINK: BOT Action Item 17-03
Related: Star-Adv: Independent Audit of OHA Needed