East Hawaii News

Finance Committee to Discuss Bill on Public Funds

August 18, 2015, 10:35 AM HST
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The Hawai’i County Council Finance Committee will discuss a bill today that would amend the county code regarding the use of public funds by government officials.

Bill 78, introduced by Puna Councilman Greggor Ilagan, would amend a portion of the Hawai’i County Code regarding travel and expenses.

The legislation would make it so there would be “no exception” to the rule of using public funds for a public purpose.

According to the document, “no exception involving public funds shall be authorized without a public purpose.”

The bill came after a recent report from Legislative Auditor Bonnie Nims that found the Hawai’i County Mayor’s Office and another department may have misused the county purchasing cards, or pCards.

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According to the report, there were 145 transactions from the Mayor’s Office that violated county policies, had a questionable public purpose, and may have violated state law.

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Nims went in front of the County Finance Committee earlier this month and said that the current policy did not clarify when there can be exceptions made regarding the use of public funds.

The committee meets at 1 p.m. today at the West Hawai’i Civic Center in Kona.

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