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Tourism agency taking too long to fix deficiencies


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 16, 2013

~~<p>A critical state audit renews troubling questions about the Hawaii Tourism Authority's stewardship of taxpayers' money. While we appreciate HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney's assurances that progress is being made on the report's key findings, the fact that similar problems were identified in previous state audits signals that greater urgency and accountability is needed.</p>
<p>The vice chairman of the state Senate's tourism committee predicts that a public legislative hearing is likely, given the audit's findings. That prospect is welcome, as such a forum would supply a much-needed opportunity for greater scrutiny of an agency that receives an average annual appropriation of $140.5 million in public funds. The HTA's mission is to bolster Hawaii's $14.4 billion visitor industry &mdash; which accounts for nearly 20 percent of the state's economy &mdash; a vital undertaking to which the highest public-policy standards must apply.</p>
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A critical state audit renews troubling questions about the Hawaii Tourism Authority's stewardship of taxpayers' money. While we appreciate HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney's assurances that progress is being made on the report's key findings, the fact that similar problems were identified in previous state audits signals that greater urgency and accountability is needed.

The vice chairman of the state Senate's tourism committee predicts that a public legislative hearing is likely, given the audit's findings. That prospect is welcome, as such a forum would supply a much-needed opportunity for greater scrutiny of an agency that receives an average annual appropriation of $140.5 million in public funds. The HTA's mission is to bolster Hawaii's $14.4 billion visitor industry — which accounts for nearly 20 percent of the state's economy — a vital undertaking to which the highest public-policy standards must apply. Login for more...



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