Chaos in the Department of Education-A Hawaii Reporter Investigation Reveals the DOE Repair and Maintenance Budget is Rife with Errors; Some Contractors – Including the Company Owned by the Brother of the Senate Education Chair – Got Paid for Projects they Did Not Complete

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    “Laura Brown new Image”

    A ”’Hawaii Reporter”’ investigation of several hundred pages of the Department of Education and Department of Defense repair and maintenance budget reports reveals a number of projects listed on the so-called $525 million list of “backlog” of repair and maintenance projects that have already been successfully completed — and even paid for by the taxpayers — and yet are still listed by the Department of Education as “unfunded.”


    In addition, several of the projects that were already funded, but listed by the Department of Education as not yet funded or completed, were actually paid for by the Department of Defense or handled by volunteers at no cost to the state.

    The Department of Education books are so convoluted and outdated that Georgina Kawamura, Budget Director for the state of Hawaii, told ”’Hawaii Reporter”’ that the list of projects the Department of Education is presenting as part of the alleged $525 million backlog, changes on a daily basis and varies depending on who within the Department or the Legislature is consulted.

    Part of the problem: Department of Education revenues are listed on what is described by insiders as one “archaic” computer and the expenditures are listed on another computer — neither of which are connected or in sync with one another — making it all the more difficult to track money taken in and spent by the Department of Education officials.

    But ”’Hawaii Reporter”’ was able to cut through some of the nearly two feet of paperwork that outlines the Department budget and crosscheck it with the Department of Education