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Kokua Line

Army issuing access passes to civilians after long delay

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QUESTION: There is a continuing problem with obtaining "Installation Access Pass" cards at Leilehua Golf Course. These cards are issued to civilians who use the Army’s recreation facilities, to contractors and to students using on-base classrooms. For the past eight or nine months, the office has been experiencing computer system outages and breakdown of its photo ID camera. Up to about a year ago, it was basically a walk-in process, and I never had to wait more than a few minutes. The current situation is not acceptable to all of us who need the access cards. Could Kokua Line please help?

ANSWER: Acknowledging your "valid concerns," the Army informed us yesterday that the problem—basically with incompatible computer software—has been fixed.

"The good news is that we finally found a compatible software system to process the (Installation Access Passes)," said Loran Doane, spokesman for U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii.

He said the new software was installed and tested Tuesday and that one-year passes again were being issued on Tuesday.

"We do expect backlogs to continue for a few weeks while we get caught up, but expect the backlog to subside," Doane said.

He explained that the problem began last October, when the garrison’s computer systems were switched to Windows Vista. When that happened, the software that handled Installation Access Passes stopped working because it wasn’t compatible with the new system.

That meant one-year passes no longer could be generated. The staff then was required to issue only temporary two-month passes.

"By doing this, we knew that we would have more people requiring updated passes more often, which would result in a backlog if the new software was not installed soon," Doane said.

The expectation was that new software would be up and running within two months.

"Unfortunately, it didn’t become available until nine months later, and regrettably it did not a arrive in time to avoid the backlogs currently experienced by the public," Doane said.

Regarding not being able to obtain a pass on the same day anymore: Doane said this is because the Directorate of Emergency Services is required to conduct a criminal background check, which normally takes seven to 10 days, as part of the application process.

Until things get back to normal, "We appreciate the patience and understanding that our customers have shown during this period," he said.

QUESTION: The Nanakuli community is getting together to do a fundraiser for Nanakuli High and Intermediate School’s Performing Arts students. They have been invited to attend a festival in Scotland next year. A group is planning a "Fun Day in Nanakuli" from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 31. I am trying to find portable or disposable recycling receptacles that can be donated for our cause. Do you know of any companies or government agencies that I may contact for such a thing?

ANSWER: The city Department of Environmental Services say it has recycling bins it will loan to community groups.

Call the Recycling Office at 768-3201.

QUESTION: I read your column advising people to write to EUTF (Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund) instead of calling. Can you tell me what the address is?

ANSWER: The address is P.O. Box 2121, Honolulu, HI 96805-2121.

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 

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