January 14: Civil Beat reports on a scathing audit of the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC). Auditor: State Agriculture Agency Is Failing To Fulfill Mission
Read actual audit here httpsauditor’s.hawaii.gov/auditor/Reports/2021/21-01.pdf
January 20: House Speaker Scott Saiki launches probe of the auditor’s office intended to possibly remove the State Auditor, Les Kondo from office. Civil Beat: “House Speaker launches probe of State auditor”
January 20: Speaker Saiki submits a bill to chop the auditors budget in half. Do the math if you are interested. No other agency in this budget is being cut so drastically.
UPDATE: Here is the latest Civil Beat story on the 50% budget cut published on January 23, 2021. “Proposed Budget Cuts Would Basically Gut Hawaii State Auditor’s Office”
The current proposed legislative budget for 2021 is here in HB1:
“MAKING APPROPRIATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE LEGISLATURE, THE AUDITOR, THE LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU, THE OMBUDSMAN, AND THE ETHICS COMMISSION.”
It is shocking really. The State Auditor comes out with what is arguably the strongest and most important audit of the year. Within 7 days, the Speaker of the House Scott Saiki calls for his head and for good measure chops his budget in half.
What’s going on here?
The Office of the State Auditor is intentionally shielded by law from excess political influence. The Auditor is appointed for an 8-year term and can only be removed for cause, with a 2/3 majority vote of both the House and the Senate.
Decide for yourself: Please read the Civil Beat articles and the actual audit linked above. After you’ve had a chance to read and digest the information that is available – please contact your legislator directly and share with them your thoughts on the matter.
Summary remarks from the Hawaii Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) audit: “We found that ADC has done little – if anything – to facilitate the development of agricultural enterprises…After almost 30 years, ADC has yet to develop an agribusiness plan…ADC did not follow the state procurement process…as a result of the Board’s abdication of its policy-making and oversight responsibilities, ADC has yet to provide the necessary leadership to facilitate the transition of agricultural lands…after almost 30 years since its creation.” Read an eye-opening official summary of the ADC audit.
In addition, UHERO issued a separate report also highly critical. Read Civil Beat – Economists: Agribusiness Development Corp. Is A ‘Fiasco’
I encourage all to monitor HB1 and submit testimony in support of blocking the 50% budget cuts being proposed by Speaker Saiki.
Gary Hooser – http://www.garyhooser.com