OHA audit suspended

State Auditor Les Kondo announced Monday that he has suspended an audit of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ limited liability companies, after the OHA Board of Trustees refused to turn over complete and unredacted minutes of its meetings.

Last session, the state Legislature directed the Office of the Auditor to conduct a performance audit of OHA and to report its findings and recommendations prior to the convening of the 2020 legislative session, but OHA Trustees refusal to fully cooperate in the audit prevented auditors from completing the task, according to a press release Monday.

The audit was focused on how trustees administered and funded seven LLCs created between 2007 and 2015 to hold OHA assets and allow it to pursue outside business opportunities and higher-risk ventures, the news release said.

“Until the Board of Trustees fully cooperates in the audit, including providing us with complete and unredacted minutes of its executive sessions, we cannot eliminate or reduce that risk to an acceptable level,” Kondo said. “Under such conditions, we are compelled to suspend the audit mandated by the Legislature.”

Last month, an independent financial review of OHA finances by a California-based accounting firm flagged 32 transactions, representing $7.8 million, as potentially fraudulent, wasteful, or abusive, but the scope of the financial review was limited, according to Kondo, who said his is focused specifically on OHA’s LLCs and “will provide a significantly deeper review.

“We determined our inability to access complete records may create a significant risk that our findings, conclusions, and recommendations may be based on improper or incomplete information,” Kondo said. “State law is unambiguous about our authority to examine all OHA records.”

  1. Ken Conklin December 31, 2019 2:40 am Reply

    It’s the perfect time for the legislature to repeal the 1979 law that gives OHA 20% of ceded land revenues. That is only an ordinary statute that can be repealed anytime the legislature chooses to do it (it’s not in the State constitution, not in the Statehood admission act). Now is the time. Make OHA get money for its budget the same way every other department gets money — through the regular state budgeting process of annual appropriations. OHA has hoarded over $600,000,000 in the stock and bond markets and real estate — money that should have been spent “for the betterment of native Hawaiians as defined in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920.” No other state agency has such a stash. Make OHA spend that money before any additional funds are appropriated to them.

  2. rk669 December 31, 2019 4:49 am Reply

    Lock Em Up!

  3. Subpoena December 31, 2019 6:37 am Reply

    Subpoena and FOIA the information that OHA is Cicero g up.

    Fraud, waste, and abuse is a common practice in Hawaii and until something is done to significantly impact those who commit the crimes, nothing will change.

    OHA receives tax payers monies and hundreds of millions from the Feds so every dollar needs to be accountable.

    This is another do nothing for it’s people and to only enrich the greed of a few families fraudulent scheme.

  4. Manawai December 31, 2019 8:40 am Reply

    What are they hiding? Incompetence, corruption, malfeasance? They would certainly not hide anything they were proud of.

  5. Aloha Boiser December 31, 2019 9:23 am Reply

    well, I wonder if that loser ( no names) will get another unregistered floppy unsightly piece of trash trailer that says “why do Hawaiians Lie? He can park it next to the trailer that says “why do Haoles lie”, Too bad rap rap linger is not still with us, he’d rip this apart!!!

  6. Bumbye January 1, 2020 5:16 am Reply

    The Star Advertiser ran the same/similar story earlier this week. It would have been better to run that article under the Hawaii News so that you could give the Star Advertiser writer credit for putting together the information.

  7. truth be known January 1, 2020 9:35 am Reply

    The OHA is still trying to contact Hillary as to the best way to make records disappear without consequence. It’s plainly obvious that the Board of Trustees has something to hide. There are legal proceedings that should be implemented to force the release of these minutes before they can be altered or destroyed. If there is evidence of malfeasance the contributing parties should be prosecuted.

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