(BIVN) – A draft report in response to a resolution requesting a financial management audit of “University-related entities engaged in the stewardship and management of Maunakea” will go before the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents Committee on Independent Audit Wednesday on Oʻahu.
According to the Overall Observations and Conclusions in the report, the Internal Audit identified and described various University entities involved with the mountain, the summit of which is leased by the University of Hawaiʻi from the state mostly for the purpose of astronomy. The Internal Audit “determined that each entity has a distinct and separate function as well as operating objectives,” and that “no individual or group of individuals at any entity could describe the University’s overall operations and related financial results associated with the UH-managed lands on Maunakea.”
However, the “Internal Audit does not believe this to be a deficiency or weakness as the various University entities collaborate and coordinate their efforts effectively,” the report says.
The Regents requested the internal audit during a meeting held in Hilo earlier this year.
The audit also summarized:
[Office on Maunakea Management (OMKM)] and [Maunakea Support Services (MKSS)] combined revenues (adjusted for intercompany transactions) for the year ended June 30, 2017 approximated $5.4 million. Revenue sources include Observatory billings, general and tuition special funds, research training and revolving funds, commercial tour operator billings and TMT lease rent. Personnel related costs are the most significant expense approximating $3.8 million for the year ended June 30, 2017. The Ranger Program approximates $910,000 of the $3.8 million. OMKM funds all Ranger Program expenses. Although not classified as revenue, Internal Audit also noted other sources of cash provided by the Observatories. These sources include Observatory initial construction costs ($600 million), contributions by certain Observatories for Maunakea infrastructure improvements (ranges from $628,000 to $2.4 million) and a $1 million annual contribution by the TIO to fund STEM education programs on Hawai‘i Island. Additional benefits to Hawai‘i Island include the collective employment (Observatories, OMKM and MKSS) of approximately 500 Hawai‘i Island residents, as well as various community outreach programs (e.g., Maunakea Scholars, the Waimea Solar Walk, Journey Through the Universe, Astroday and the Kama‘aina Observatory Experience) delivered by the Observatories.
The audit reported challenges “resulting in the scheduling of a substantial number of meetings and phone calls and the distribution of e-mails and other forms of correspondence” and the “substantial” volume of documents reviewed as a result. This figure, relating to the entities governing Maunakea, gives an idea of the complexity of the situation:
The UH Board of Regents Committee on Independent Audit meets on Wednesday, December 19, at 10:30 a.m. at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Information Technology Building.