'Downright shoddy' Governor wants auditor investigated - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

'Downright shoddy' Governor wants auditor investigated

Georgina Kawamura Georgina Kawamura
Marion Higa Marion Higa
Governor Linda Lingle Governor Linda Lingle

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Governor Linda Lingle is not mincing words about another audit she says is filled with inaccuracies. The audit was ordered by Marion Higa. It was called a "financial examination" of the State Department of Budget and Finance, but the Governor says a report like this could hurt the state's credit rating and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

If there was one word Governor Lingle wanted to stand out in her press conference against Marion Higa and the auditor's office it was shoddy.

"Just downright shoddy."

"Legislators need to take responsibility for the shoddy work that is being put out by this office."

"It is the shoddiest work I've seen put out by any government agency. It was done with a complete disregard for the facts and not even an attempt to learn the facts," said Governor Lingle.

The Governor made the comments in response to a draft of an audit which claims the department has mismanaged money and lost millions of dollars in investments. It also attacks the director and about 50 treasury employees some of whom were at the press conference.

"It's not deserved what is come out in this report. I am mad. It's just not right," said Georgina Kawamura, Department of Budget & Finance Director, in defense of her employees.

Auditor Marion Higa is approved by the legislature. The governor wants the auditor investigated.

"At minimum they need to have a heart to heart talk with her as you would with any employee that starts to go off on a tangent," said Governor Lingle.

"We're just trying to do our job. We're trying to ferret out where the misspending is, where poor spending is, where poor administration is. If we find it we tell it," said Higa.

Higa says she meets government auditing standards but she would not talk about the findings in the report since it has not been finalized.

"I can't address that question right now," said Higa.

"Is this audit shoddy work?" I ask.

"No, but beyond that I'm not going to discuss the findings or any of the particulars that they are apparently are raising," responded Higa.

Higa says she has received the Georgina Kawamura's response to the draft and will take it into consideration on the final audit which should be released in the coming days.

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