Honolulu Civil Beat has been having a field day with poor association management and the latest involves the Makaha Surfside. The owners in the complex learned that $300,000 has been embezzled from the association over the last couple of years from fraudulent payments to vendors that have not performed the work. These payments were related to “planned” projects that have not been performed. A discrepancy was found in a routine financial audit in March after a few individual owners raised questions about potential management and financial irregularities. In what seems to be standard practice these days, the board resisted addressing the individual owners’ concerns and the owners persisted in their questions. The board finally raised the matter to the president of Hawaiian Properties who pegged the theft at $339,364.83, the largest known loss in Hawaii. Hawaiian Properties did reimburse the association in full and paid for the association’s attorney fees. This latest incident serves as a reminder for owners to review the annual financial statements and ask questions if expenses don’t fall in line with the forecasted costs of approved projects.
1,400 Lahaina evacuees face an uncertain future at their current temporary lodgings as short-term rental communities desire to reopen to visitors clashes with the displaced residents’ desires to keep a roof over their heads. The Red Cross signed short-term leases, and some expire October 31st while other evacuees have been told that they can stay through Thanksgiving. The Red Cross is currently looking for new accommodations for the residents currently housed in the vacation rental communities.
After two years and $7.8 million, the state is scrapping its effort to replace its 50-year-old Enterprise Financial System because the contractor could not meet the cost, schedule, or performance parameters because the state and contractor disagreed on the requirements. Essentially, the state wanted a custom software package to support its “unique business practices” instead of using an off-the-shelf version of the software. One vendor complained a major part of the problem is the state buys systems that have succeeded elsewhere and demand so many modifications the system becomes unworkable. Software companies build software around best-known practices and most customization is a result of an organization’s resistance to change even when that change will improve operational performance. The same contractor is struggling to implement a new software solution for the Department of Transportation who is also requiring extensive customization. The state of Hawaii’s bureaucratic mindset has resulted in its failed Unemployment Benefits software. The state is currently struggling to process 2,200 applications for federal disaster unemployment assistance of which 500 have been approved and a backlog of 15,161 regular unemployment claims of which 8,731 are currently being paid.
The U.S. Navy is building the next USS Arizona, a Virginia-class fast attack submarine whose keel was laid on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, December 7, 2022. The Arizona will be based in Groton, CT when the shipyard completes construction.