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analysis, and resolution of these problems in a cooperative manner, with full recognition of the role and responsibility of each entity throughout the 60-year history of the HHCA. The recently-created Federal-State Task Force on the HHCA provides a timely and appropriate opportunity to achieve this. The task force has a broad mandate and is composed of federal, state, and community representatives.
I propose that the responsibility for developing a final independent study on the HHCA be transferred to this task force. In other words, the task force would continue the work of the Office of the Inspector General in developing a complete final report, comprehensive in scope, and with detailed recommendations for action.
Areas which may be examined by the task force which are not addressed in the existing draft report include recommended revisions to the HHCA, a clear definition of the purpose of the HHCA with a proper blend of powers and functions, clarification of the federal government's role and responsibilities, alternative methods of funding, and detailed recommendations to address problems.
The draft report can serve as a starting point for the task force. The Office of the Inspector General would retain its functions in terms of assisting the task force in developing a final report and in monitoring its implementation to provide periodic reports to Congress. Hawaii stands committed and prepared to provide resource persons and assistance for such an endeavor.
My administration has made significant commitments to the DHHL in terms of financial resources and overall assistance. More than $40 million in state funds have been funneled into the DHHL in the past six years. Over 1,300 homes have been constructed during this period, which nearly equals the total number of homes constructed in the previous 54 years.
The DHHL agricultural program has been improved through water development, increased loan limits and expanded loan purposes, and technical assistance. Progress is being made by homestead farmers and this trend is expected to continue. The DHHL is making negotiated general leases available to native Hawaiians to increase opportunities for business development and job creation, as well as making its land base and resources more accessible to native Hawaiians. The new DHHL economic development program will provide business assistance and small business loans to support this effort.
I believe in the Department of Interior's sincerity about making a contribution to the advancement of the native Hawaiian beneficiary group. I look forward to our joint commitment to this effort. Your comments on my proposal would be appreciated.
With warm personal regards, I remain,
Yours very truly,
George R. Ariyoshi
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