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Transparency request represents important step in answering questions about Rail

HONOLULU, HAWAII–June 29, 2015–While questions continue to be raised about funding and spending in the Honolulu Rail project, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has taken a step towards shining a light on the issue by obtaining the check register for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). The records, which have been posted on OpenHawaii.org, the Grassroot Institute’s transparency website, provide an interesting overview of HART’s spending practices.

HART1A preliminary breakdown of the records obtained reveals that the vast majority of the expenses listed are related to construction, design, and land costs. That is consistent with expectations, and the high price of land acquisition and construction contracts are part of the runaway costs that many critics of the project have feared.

Further examination of miscellaneous payments not related to construction, design, and land find administrative costs to be the most significant, followed by planning and insurance.

HART 2“The state has a responsibility to the taxpayers to ensure that the Rail project is managed in a way that does not create an endless sinkhole of debt,” stated Dr. Keli’i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “By releasing HART’s check register, we are taking an important step towards answering the many questions raised in the recent legislative session about HART’s spending and requests for further funding. Transparency is the heart of an informed electorate, and we urge all interested parties to visit the OpenHawaii.org website and review these records for themselves.”

The HART check register can be viewed at: http://openhawaii.org/HART%20Check%20Register