Sole vote against establishment of Hawai‘i Health Connector reacts to scathing audit
News Release from Office of Sen Sam Slom, January 30, 2015
HONOLULU—The Hawai‘i Office of the Auditor released a report on the Hawai‘i Health Connector yesterday. As the only member of the Senate to vote against its establishment, Senator Sam Slom weighs in.
Senator Slom said, "The Auditor's report confirms what we at the Senate Minority have known from the very beginning. I believe dishonesty and financial carelessness by the managers of the Hawai‘i Health Connector have been so rampant as to be criminal in nature. For this reason, and on behalf of the people of this state who want more transparency from their state government, the Senate Minority sent a copy of the Auditor's report to the Government Accountability Office today."
The Connector has received $205.3 million in federal funding to date, with the lowest number of enrollees as a percentage of the population in the country. Consequently, Hawaii's cost per enrollee is also very high.
The Government Accountability Office or GAO is an independent watchdog organization tasked with monitoring public funds and investigating mismanagement. The GAO reports directly to Congress.
In his letter to the GAO, Senator Slom urges a closer look at the Connector. With a copy of the Auditor's report, Senator Slom wrote,
"A cursory review of the attached report provides compelling evidence in favor an audit:
- Questionable and irregular procurement practices such as allowing a contractor that specified requirements for a [request for proposal] RFP to bid on the RFP (the contract was eventually also awarded to the same contractor);
- Failure to achieve sustainability by 2015, per original grant stipulations;
- Failed Board governance and management oversight."
This letter is Senator Slom's third communication with the GAO regarding the Hawai‘i Health Connector.
During his remarks on behalf of the Senate Minority for Opening Day of the legislature last Wednesday, Senator Slom announced oversight and reform of the Hawai‘i Health Connector as one of his top priorities for the 2015 legislative session.
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