Working Group and House Investigative Committee

On January 21, 2021, House Speaker Scott Saiki created a working group to “determine whether the Office of the State Auditor is in compliance with Art. VII, section 10 of the Hawai‘i State Constitution.”  The Working Group report, issued on April 1, 2021, was completed without ever talking to the Auditor or any other current staff.  The result is essentially a collection of opinions based on manipulated data, inaccurate assumptions, and unattributed snippets of critical comments from former employees.  That review was never intended to be objective or fair and was simply part of a larger, continuing campaign to undermine our work and to exert influence over the Office of the Auditor.

At the close of 2021 legislative session, Speaker Saiki created the House Investigative Committee to Investigate Compliance with Audit Nos. 19-12 and 21-01, chaired by House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti, to “examine the recommendations made in those audits for the purposes of improving the operations and management of those state agencies, their funds, and any other matters.” However, under the pretense of examining those agencies, Chair Belatti has instead focused the investigation on the Office of the Auditor and invited a parade of hand-picked, biased witnesses to appear before the committee to answer leading questions, cast innuendo, and spread half-truths.  At the same time, Chair Belatti has denied the Auditor the opportunity to cross-examine or even respond to the inaccuracies and false statements made during the hearings.  Chair Belatti’s process gives the Auditor no recourse but to respond in writing.

The State Constitution, which established the position, intended the Auditor to be non-partisan and independent, shielding the Auditor from such political interference.  The Office of the Auditor helps to preserve the public trust in government through unbiased, objective, fact-based analysis that is intended to provide transparency, ensure accountability, and improve government.  As such, we are providing links to our responses to the working group and investigative committee along with other relevant documents below.

Our most recent peer review reports:

2019 Peer Review of the State of Hawaiʻi Office of the Auditor

2016 Peer Review of the State of Hawaiʻi Office of the Auditor

Documents related to the Working Group:

State Auditor’s Response to Working Group – Full Response

Documents related to House Investigative Committee:

House Resolution 164

September 28, 2021 Letter to HIC to Investigate Compliance with Audit Nos. 19-12 and 21-01

October 18, 2021 Letter to HIC Inviting Submission of Proposed Questions for Witnesses Appearing in HIC Hearings on 10/20/2021 and 10/21/2021

October 28, 2021 Auditor’s Statement on House Investigative Committee’s October 28, 2021 Hearings

Documents related to subpoena duces tecum issued by the House Investigative Committee:

October 5, 2021 Letter to HIC Request for Additional Time to Respond to Subpoena Duces Tecum dated September 29, 2021

October 13, 2021 Letter to HIC Subpoena duces tecum dated September 29, 2021 and right to legal counsel