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Transportation Department broke law, state report finds

The state Department of Transportation violated procurement law when it hired two airport security consultants via a contractor, according to a preliminary report released this week by the state Procurement Office.

At issue is whether the state appropriately paid Securitas Security Services USA to hire two consultants during the last year.

One consultant was paid $112,531.20 for one year of service, while the other was paid $21,016.38 for 2 1/2 months of service. One consultant is still employed by Securitas.

According to a letter to DOT Director Brennon Morioka, neither consulting arrangement was appropriate. State Procurement Office Administrator Aaron Fujioka found that DOT personnel lacked proper procurement training.

Morioka said yesterday that his agency was reviewing the findings with the state Attorney General.

A decision would be made next week whether the DOT would concur with or disagree with the state Procurement Office findings, Morioka said.

Potential remedies, if needed, could include revising the contracts or suspending a consulting agreement.

The Procurement Office probe was prompted by state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, chairwoman of the Ways and Means Committee. Kim has been conducting a more-than-yearlong probe into airport contracts.

Among other things the probe has highlighted:

» How the airport awarded a $1.5 million contract for a system to monitor taxi traffic at Honolulu Airport in 2000. Nine years later the state had spent $1.3 million, and the system was not finished. That taxi monitoring system has since been completed.

» How the state is paying $876,000 a year to sublease its own building near Honolulu Airport.

» How the state is paying double for half the land it had planned to buy adjacent to Lihue Airport.


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