$543K audit of recycling program called into question

The state auditor uncovered a system that’s ripe for abuse and waste when she reviewed the health department’s procurement process.

That’s how the department decides which companies get contracts to do work for them.

There was one contract in particular to audit the state’s beverage container recycling program.

The auditor says it didn’t have much value, but ended up costing the state half a million dollars!

Brent Remadna is asking the tough questions to find out how it happened and what’s being done to fix the problem.

The Department of Health tells me they are working to fix the problems but say hundreds of thousands of dollars have already been spent.

“These kinds of increases are dramatic,” said acting state auditor Jan Yamane after she pointed how much the Department of Health recently spent.

The Department of Health hired a company to audit

Six companies that run recycling centers–the cost was supposed to be a little more than $76,000 dollars, but that price increased to over $543,000.

The company only ended up auditing two of the companies.

“To go from $76,000 to $543,000 is dramatic and then to reduce it from 6 to two it’s very unusual,” explained Yamane.

But how did that happen?

“So even though the number of companies decreased the total amount that recycling centers and associated forms we had to look at did increase so that is why the scope of the work and the cost went up too.” said Environmental Health Administration Deputy Director Keith Kawaoka.

KHON2 wanted to know if this is waste of money to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in this procurement process alone.

“At this point we did get something for the product. I will be frank it is not sufficient to what we desired to get what we need. We need to do a better job overseeing these kind of contracts so that those situations don’t happen in the future,” said Kawaoka.

KHON2 asked if these hundreds of thousands of dollars could have been used somewhere else.

“Yes we agree with that and concur with the audit report,” added Kawaoka.

The Department of Health says it will be offering more training for employees and discussing internally whether or not its current system is working.

KHON2 will be following up to make sure the program to address these issue is working.

See the original article at: KHON2

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