Thursday, March 12, 2009
Governor fails to provide quarterly Superferry reports as required by Act 2
by Larry Geller
The new year was off to a bad start, with the economy tanking, and it seemed that everyone, everywhere, was looking for ways to cut costs.
The administration had already slashed services such as adult mental health, with more cuts inevitable as the recession deepens. I thought it would be good to find out how much the Superferry was costing us taxpayers. At least, we should know the costs in order to decide whether it’s worth continuing. Everything should be on the table, right? Other programs are being cut, should the Superferry be exempt?
Where to look? Some data is available on line. One key set was missing: the governor’s quarterly reports.
Act 2, passed by the special session in 2007, has a requirement of quarterly reports from the Governor (see Part II, p. 17, quarterly reports to the Legislature describing the "efficacy and appropriateness of all conditions and protocols. . . and the costs incurred by the State in establishing and maintaining the enforcement activities ... ").
So I asked for the reports on January 27, and received this response today, signed by Barry Fukunaga, the governor’s chief of staff.
It seems there were no quarterly reports.
The governor’s office is usually quite good at responding to requests for public records, so the long delay made me suspect that she had not done them.
Fukunaga’s response points me to the Hawaii Inter-island Ferry Oversight Task Force monthly reports. These are not the reports that the governor was to prepare as required by Act 2. Also, the task force is done with, there will be no more reports.
Act 2 is clear on what was required. The reports are to continue for the life of Act 2, which will expire in July unless the legislature extends it.
Fukunaga’s response indicates at the end that the governor may now start producing the reports. The next one is due the end of this month. Would she have done these had I not asked for them? Will she produce the missing reports? Why were they not done on schedule as required?
I think the public, as well as the legislature, needs to know the costs that those reports should have revealed, as required by Act 2, a state law.
This disappeared nugget hit after the KPFA Berkeley radio savaging of the Superferry's military grade specs. Clear evidence to them that it is part of a new pacific war strataegy on the part of the government.
If they had gotten this info, It would have fed the fires in their conspiratorial minds. A link between the Bush admistration and military, covert operation to program their robot, Lingle into hiding the costs regarless of the costs.
Probably, Lingle was on the McCain campaign staight talk express during the last quarter of 2008 and just didn't do it.
Or maybe the dog ate it.
Never ascribe to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence, or in this case procrastination.
The first quarter 2009 will most likely be on time.
Yes, the response seemed to indicate that. Maybe someone will chase after her for the back reports. Not likely, but who knows.