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$200 Million of Your Money Wasted

State procurement squanders cash and delays services

(page 3 of 4)

Photo:Kevin Blitz Seven years after the work was supposed to
be finished, there is still no electronic taxi monitoring system at
Honolulu International Airport – even though the state has
paid the contractor for almost all of the $1.5 million contract.

Contract No. 3: System to Monitor Airport Taxis

State Agency: Department of Transportation

Summary: In 2000, DOT awarded Ted’s Wiring a $1.5 million contract to develop and install a system to track if taxis paid correct fees at Honolulu
International Airport. The project was scheduled for completion by May 2003 and $1.3 million of the contract has already been invoiced and paid. However, despite numerous extensions and the threat of fines, seven years later, the work still has not been finished. In addition, the airport seems to have paid Ted’s Wiring more than $20,000 in 2005 for unrelated work completed in 1986. In May 2009, following publicity about the problem, the state initiated default proceedings against Ted’s Wiring.

Findings: Confusing RFPs and a consistent lack of follow-up or supervision plague airport contracting. The result is the potential for waste and fraud. This is exacerbated by the excessively cozy relationships between airport authorities and contractors. For example, although Ted’s Wiring, a long-time airport contractor, was threatened with fines, in the end, airport authorities assessed no penalties. The appearance of special treatment is not an idle concern: In 2007, several airport officials and contractors were convicted in a bid-rigging scandal that cost the state $4 million. With hundreds of millions of dollars in airport contracts in the works, the efficiency and fairness of the agency’s procurement process is more important than ever.

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Feb 18, 2010 04:02 pm
 Posted by  Moravecglobal

Activity, food prices are hurting visitors

A tourism executive said, "We haven't seen such revenue and visitor declines in Maui since we've been keeping records."

A fresh sign of the woes are being unleashed by a Maui economy mired in boom-time pricing marketing and the Great Recession.

Those vacationing on Maui are, unfortunately, not finding ways to reduce their restaurant and activities expenses once here. Visitor confidence in finding reasonably priced activities and restaurants in Lahaina/Kaanapali is exceptionally low.

Next year will not be any better than this year if the needs of visitors cannot be met.

Milan Moravec

Lahaina

Apr 7, 2010 01:45 am
 Posted by  konalady

Kona road projects are obstructed by a lack of political will to accomplish much from Hilo or Oahu. A County level audit revealed many discrepancies in bidding processes and no rhyme or reason in how projects are scheduled.
Regulatory changes to prevent corrupt and/or incompetent practices would be most welcome. As long as department positions are filled by cronies and relatives, there is little hope of changes. Political nominees & candidates reflect a muscial chairs process. Exasperating.

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