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We noted that DHHL has not notified applicants who had filed since June 1981 whether their applications had been approved. DHHL rules and regulations provide that DHHL determine if an applicant is qualified within 30 days after all required application documents have been supplied. Thus, recent applicants did not know if their applications have been accepted and approved. Near the end of our review, DHHL began notifying applicants who have filed since June 1981.
Throughout the various ranking systems, there has not been a system of application accountability numbers whereby a single series of numbers is used and a number is assigned once to an application. As a result, there is no system to assure that all applications have been accounted for or that some applications have not been lost. A numerical log of applications showing status of applications and award would provide DHHL with a method of accounting for applications.
Applications are removed from the eligibility lists only by specific request of the applicant or by death of the applicant without qualified successor. DHHL does not have current addresses for a large number of applicants and attempts to contact the individuals have not been successful. DHHL rules and regulations require applicants to notify DHHL of any address changes and require that applicants be placed in a deferred status when there has not been a response after two attempts to contact an applicant. This means that applicants will not be considered for future awards but are not removed from the lists and their ranking is maintained.
The magnitude of the problem is illustrated by the attempt in 1978 to contact 1,318 applicants whose last known address was considered questionable. The 1,318 applicants were listed in a major newspaper on May 31, 1978, and were requested to contact DHHL and update their applications. Responses concerning 554 applicants were received and their files were updated. However, according to DHHL personnel, no action was taken to remove the remaining 764 names from the eligibility lists.
Another example is the screening of 1,000 applicants for the 230 lots to be awarded on the island of Oahu in 1982. The screening process, which began in October 1981, resulted in 371 undelivered letters apparently because the addresses were not current.
In August 1981, DHHL for the first time began classifying applicants as inactive after two unsuccessful attempts to contact the applicant. DHHL's attempt to identify all applicants without current addresses is continuing and it hopes to complete the process during 1982.
There are also a significant number of applicants who for various reasons defer their application for an award of a lot until some future date. When this happens, the applicants remain on the list and retain their positions on the list. There is no limit as to the number of times they may defer their application for lot awards, nor is there any requirement that the reasons for deferment be disclosed. Some of the reasons relate to economic matters such as location of their present jobs, while others defer with the hope that they will receive a more attractive award in the future. Of 1,000 applicants screened for the 1982 award of lots on Oahu, 87 requested deferments of their awards until some future date.
Another problem affecting the viability of the eligibility lists is demonstrated by the fact that there are 194 applicants for Papakolea and 1,755 applicants for Waimanalo, both on Oahu. There is, however, little available land in Papakolea, and not enough land to satisfy the applicants on the Waimanalo lists. According to the Chairman, DHHL, many of these applicants will not accept lots in other areas.
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