AP NEWS

Hawaii inmate software update program delayed as cost rises

June 30, 2019

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety doesn’t have an updated software system for tracking and managing information on inmates after spending nearly $1.4 million over four years on the project, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday .

A Honolulu company called Pas de Chocolat was awarded the contract through the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii, the newspaper reported.

That contract became an issue earlier this year during Senate confirmation hearings for the two top officials at the Department of Public Safety, the Star-Advertiser reported. Department officials said there was nothing improper about the contract.

But the newspaper reported that the ex-director of a joint program between the department and the university under which the contract fell says he believes he and 15 other full- and part-time employees lost their jobs earlier this year, in part, because he began asking questions about it.

The newspaper said it found in a review of hundreds of pages of contract-related documents obtained through public records requests that although work on two of three phases of the contract was initially supposed to be completed by mid-2015, the contract for those phases was amended nine times and extended through 2019 as its costs continued to escalate.

The delays have raised concerns about the management of public funds and whether Department of Public Safety is adequately addressing significant problems with its management of data, including calculations of when inmates are supposed to be released.

“The fact that nothing was produced at the end after spending $1.3(7) million, “it raises questions,” said Sen. Clarence Nishihara, chairman of the Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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