Report Title:

Office of the Auditor; Investigative Unit

 

Description:

Authorizes an investigative unit in the office of the auditor to conduct investigations involving alleged or suspected government waste, fraud, abuse, nonfeasance, or malfeasance.

 


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

830

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to the office of the auditor.

 

 

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

 


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 and has not been requested to conduct investigations.

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

The purpose of this Act 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.

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) Each department, office, or agency of the State or political subdivision thereof that is the subject of an audit performed pursuant to this chapter shall provide updates on its progress in implementing the recommendations made by the auditor, at intervals prescribed by the auditor.

(c) 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.

(d) 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. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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