Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki on Monday appointed members to serve on a House Investigative Committee to Investigate Compliance with Audit Nos. 19-12 and 21-01.

Representative Della Au Belatti gives a short speech during floor session.
Rep. Della Au Belatti in February. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

The audits are, respectively, of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Special Land Development Fund and the Agribusiness Development Corporation.

The Hawaii State Auditor in January reported that the ADC was failing to do its mission. An auditor’s 2019 report on the special fund criticized the DLNR for not being more accountable for decisions involving taxpayer money.

“The Investigative Committee will advance the House’s goal of reforming and improving government,” Saiki said in a press release. “The DLNR Land Division and ADC carry out critical programs. We must ensure that they do so in a transparent and above-board manner. The House wants to build public confidence in these two agencies.”

The members of the new committee are:

  • Rep. Della Au Belatti, Chair
  • Rep. Linda Ichiyama, Vice Chair
  • Rep. Mark Hashem
  • Rep. Dale Kobayashi
  • Rep. Val Okimoto
  • Rep. Amy Perruso
  • Rep. Kyle Yamashita

State law authorizes the House to create an investigative committee, one that “holds additional authority, including the use of subpoenas to gather documents and testimony,” according to the press release.

A report of findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, will be submitted to the House of Representatives prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022.

We appreciate gifts of any amount

When you give, your donation is combined with gifts from thousands of your fellow readers, and together you help power the strongest team of investigative journalists in the state.

Every little bit helps. Will you join us?

About the Author