Report Title:

Office of the Auditor; Investigative Unit; Hawaii 2050 Task Force

 

Description:

Authorizes and funds an investigative unit in the Office of the Auditor to conduct investigations involving alleged or suspected government waste, fraud, abuse, nonfeasance, or malfeasance. Appropriate funds for the completion of the work of the Hawaii 2050 Task Force. (SB1928 HD3)

 


THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1928

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2007

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 3

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to the office of the auditor.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


PART I

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the office of the auditor was established pursuant to article VII, section 10, of the State Constitution, which authorized the auditor to conduct investigations, as directed, in addition to audits. Section 23‑5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, authorizes the auditor to "examine and inspect all accounts, books, records, files, papers, and documents and all financial affairs of every department, office, agency, and political subdivision."

However, the office of the auditor has not conducted investigations in the past, has not been requested to conduct investigations, and has never been provided funds to enable investigations. Through this part, the legislature establishes an investigative unit in the office of the auditor and appropriates funds for this purpose.

The investigative unit of the office of the auditor would perform investigative functions similar to those performed by inspectors general on the federal level and in several states, and would include conducting investigations involving alleged or suspected government waste, fraud, abuse, nonfeasance, or malfeasance.

The purpose of this part is to establish an investigative unit in the office of the auditor to conduct investigations involving government waste, fraud, abuse, nonfeasance, or malfeasance at the request of the legislature or upon the auditor's initiative. This part also expands the powers of the office of the auditor and appropriates funds for the investigative unit.

SECTION 2. Section 23-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"23-4 Duties. (a) The auditor shall conduct postaudits of the transactions, accounts, programs, and performance of all departments, offices, and agencies of the State and its political subdivisions. The postaudits and all examinations to discover evidence of any unauthorized, illegal, irregular, improper, or unsafe handling or expenditure of state funds or other improper practice of financial administration shall be conducted at least once in every two years after the close of a fiscal year, and at any other time or times during the fiscal year as the auditor deems necessary or as may be required by the legislature for the purpose of certifying to the accuracy of all financial statements issued by the respective accounting officers and of determining the validity of expenditures of state or public funds.

(b) The auditor, in conducting postaudits, to the extent practicable and applicable to the audit scope and objectives, shall review and assess the audited agency's rules as defined in section 91-1.

(c) The auditor shall establish an investigative unit within the office of the auditor and shall conduct investigations involving alleged or suspected government waste, fraud, abuse, nonfeasance, or malfeasance; provided that investigations shall be initiated by:

(1) A concurrent resolution adopted by the legislature;

(2) A request from a standing committee chair of either the senate or house of representatives, with the concurrence of both the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives;

(3) An act of the legislature; or

(4) The auditor with the concurrence of both the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives.

In determining whether to conduct an investigation under paragraph (4), the auditor may consider information based on postaudits and examinations conducted pursuant to subsection (a)."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007-2008, and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008-2009, for a five-person investigative unit composed of a manager, a senior-level supervisor, two investigators, and a clerk, with appropriate computer and other equipment.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the office of the auditor for the purposes of this part.

PART II

SECTION 4. Act 8, Special Session Laws of Hawaii 2005, created the Hawaii 2050 task force to review the Hawaii state plan and the State's planning process and required the office of the auditor to prepare the Hawaii 2050 sustainability plan. Act 210, Session Laws of Hawaii 2006, extended the life of the task force after the members recommended that more time was required to perform necessary research and community outreach.

In 2006, the task force continued to hold several meetings and launched a successful sustainability kick-off event in August that was attended by several sectors of the community statewide. During the fall, the Hawaii 2050 sustainability kick-off event launched community engagement and public education activities throughout the state.

The purpose of this part is to appropriate additional moneys for the development of the Hawaii 2050 sustainability plan.

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007-2008, and the same sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008-2009 to provide additional funding for the development of the Hawaii 2050 sustainability plan.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the office of the auditor for the purposes of this part.


PART III

SECTION 6. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.