Officials are looking at a tag-team effort to audit Honolulu’s $6 billion rail project, which has come under intense scrutiny of late for being over budget and in desperate need of cash.
On Tuesday, Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin called for the probe in a resolution that piggybacks on a similar request for more oversight from the Legislature.
Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin wants a full audit of the rail project.
Martin’s resolution says that should both measures pass, the city and state auditors should “act synergistically to maximize resources, findings and recommendations.”
Resolution 15-90 instructs the auditors delve into the project and its finances at a level that has yet to been seen. This includes an investigation into contracts, spending, cost increases and when exactly the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation learned of a pending shortfall.
The resolution notes city and state lawmakers’ “continuing frustration over the lack of detailed financial information, definitive construction costs, and solid financial plans.”
It also states that an audit could “provide accountability and public transparency, particularly at a time when public and government discussion, deliberation, and decision-making are focused on the soundness and continued viability of the project and its impact upon the residents of Honolulu.”
The Legislature is being pressured by the city and HART to pass an extension of a 0.5 percent General Excise Tax surcharge this session to help pay for rail.