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4. The eligibility lists, containing over 7,000 applicants' names, need to be verified and additional procedures to remove applicants from the lists need to be considered. DHHL does not have current addresses for a large number of applicants and attempts to contact individuals have not been successful. Many applicants, when offered a homestead lease, defer their right until sometime later for various reasons. There is no limit on how many times an applicant may defer an award, yet the applicants retain their place (ranking) on the list. For example, DHHL recently (1981-1982) screened 1,000 applicants for awarding 230 lots on Oahu. Of the 1,000 applicants, 87 requested that their award be deferred, the notification letters for 371 applicants were returned undelivered, and 10 applicants were deceased. Names are removed from the list only at the request of the applicant. If a person dies, their ranking on the list is assigned to their designated qualified native Hawaiian heirs.
The DHHL has not notified applicants who filed since June 1981 whether their applications have been approved. And, DHHL has not established an accountability system to assure that all applications are accounted for or that some applications have not been lost.
5. Revocable permits have been continued when general leases would be more appropriate. The permits should be used only for temporary use of land but at least two revocable permits have continued for long periods of time.
We are recommending actions to be taken by the DHHL to resolve the immediate problems or other matters, discussed in the report and highlighted herein, where we believe that positive action is both necessary and feasible, regardless of basic long-term program decisions. We have not generally addressed basic issues such as (1) solutions to the problems of money or other resources for carrying out Home lands program objectives, (2) whether any changes should be made in the program policies in order to achieve program objectives in an accelerated manner, or (3) the appropriate role, if any, to be played by the Federal establishment, specifically the Department of the Interior, in accomplishing the purposes of the Act. However, we have suggested that consideration be given to revising the residential program policies in order to reduce the financial requirements of this program.
The Governor, State of Hawaii, provided comments on a draft of this report to the Under Secretary of the Department of the Interior. These comments are included as an appendix to this report. The Governor stated that generally the draft is accurate in its description of the problems facing the Commission and DHHL. However, the Governor stated that the basic and essential issue of whether the Department of the Interior has adequately executed its trust responsibilities was not addressed. And, therefore, the Governor proposed that the "recently created Federal- State Task Force on the HHCA" cover the roles and responsibilities of each involved entity in its final and comprehensive study with detailed recommendatiors to resolve the problems in a cooperative manner.
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