The Senate and House Tourism committees have been having informational briefings regarding the way the Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau (HVCB) has been managing itself and spending state monies. The next briefing will be Friday, July 18, 2003. In addition, the Governor is being investigated for arranging a state paid trip for a KITV News crew to report on the Governor in Japan. The following are some of the issues being discussed:
1. HVCB's violation of generally accepted accounting principles to circumvent contract limitations.
2. HVCB's state-funded personnel expenditures dramatically increased over the past three years despite level state contract funding.
3. HVCB employees received exorbitant state-funded bonuses and unnecessary severance packages.
4. HVCB's Honolulu corporate office approved a plethora of inappropriate state-funded expenditures.
5. The salary structure for a Japan office executive creates a potential conflict of interest.
6. The process by which subcontractors are procured, monitored, and evaluated is inconsistent.
7. Some subcontractors were procured to perform state-funded services beyond the scope of the bureau's leisure contract.
8. Conflict of interest in HVCB rewarding a former HVCB vice president's company a state-funded contract.
9. Legal services provided by a state-funded subcontractor (law firm) sought to undermine state interests.
10. HVCB contract files are disorganized and incomplete.
11. The Hawaii Tourism Authority failed to monitor and enforce its marketing contracts with the bureau.