Legislators Response to Federal Rail Probe: Cancel State Audits | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Legislators Response to Federal Rail Probe: Cancel State Audits

CB: … State lawmakers want to repeal an annual rail audit requirement in part, they say, to get out of the way of federal investigators now probing the multibillion-dollar transit project.

(Reality: They don’t want auditors to uncover even more, so they are de-funding the audits.)

On Tuesday, the House passed House Bill 118, a measure that was overhauled earlier via the “gut-and-replace” procedure. The revised bill would free the state auditor from having to inspect Honolulu rail’s invoices each year, making sure those expenses comply with what state law allows.

A similar measure is moving in the Senate.

As part of their 2017 rail bailout, state leaders gave the Department of Accounting and General Services $400,000 to verify that all rail expenditures are legitimate — that they relate directly to construction — before reimbursing the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation for the costs.

However, the state auditor said last week that his office lacks both the expertise and the funding to separately assess that DAGS’ rail reimbursements are OK….

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