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The Ethics Commission probe suggests that large numbers of state contracting employees and legislators may be thebeneficiaries of free golf outings from companies that do business with the state. In addition to free greens fees and entry to golf tournaments, many officials are apparently awarded “door prizes” and “special gifts”.

Speaking to Hawaii News Now, Grassroot Institute President Akina emphasized the harm that this abuse of the public trust can cause:

“The taxpayer simply is not given the best quality work from the best quality person, if a deal is being made and individuals are receiving favors,” Akina said.

“We have a government in which people are awarded contracts not on the basis of merit but on the basis of favors and this creates a system of corruption.”

Akina cited a recent study by the Washington, D.C. -based Center for Public Integrity that faulted the state for lacking transparency when it came to transparency.

“We rank 13th and that’s given a rank of C because we have very low transparency,” he said.

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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