A city rail audit won’t happen for now as feds continue their investigation

A city rail audit won’t happen for now as feds continue their investigation
(Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A city forensic audit for the rail project will not move forward.

Councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi says the council chair and vice chair would not sign off on a Request for Proposals, or RFP. 

The process would have allowed the audit to proceed. 

Council members have varying opinions on the need for a city audit right now.

“We needed to really look into and get some answers for the taxpayers. Not just for our city, but also for our state, as the residents throughout our state have been paying — and future generations — will be paying in many different ways,” Tsuneyoshi said.

But Council Chair Ikaika Anderson says a federal audit is underway, and a city one would be redundant.

“It simply makes sense at this point in time not to move forward with expending city monies on a city audit while the federal government is already moving forward with an investigation on their dime,” Anderson said.

The council had already allocated $2 million of general funds for the audit. 

Tsuneyoshi says the audit would have increased transparency.

“It’s wrong and quite frankly insulting for her to insinuate that she’s the only council member who’s concerned about rail transparency and accountability,” Anderson added.

He says they may consider doing an audit after the federal investigation is over.

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