Fire-EMS Merger Contract Awarded After Honolulu Official Manipulated Score

Michael Levine/Civil Beat

More questions are being raised about backroom contracting procedures that have led to a Honolulu Ethics Commission investigation.

Documents provided to Civil Beat shortly after 5 p.m. Friday show one of the three city officials tasked with choosing a consultant to evaluate the merits of merging the Honolulu Fire Department with the Emergency Services Department manipulated his scores after the fact. Human Resources Department attorney Paul Au lowered his grade for a company that initially appeared to have won a $175,000 contract, instead awarding it to another organization with ties to the Fire Department and its chief.

A message left for Au at his office Thursday was not returned. Attempts to reach him late Friday were unsuccessful.

The scoresheets, embedded below, show that Au gave Ralph Anderson and Associates 39 points on June 18, 2010. Four days later, he bumped that company's grade down to 36 points, giving Emergency Services Consulting International just enough to win.

The procurement process is the subject of an Ethics Commission probe focusing on the connections between the Fire Department and Chief Kenneth Silva and ESCI and its parent company, the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Silva serves on the IAFC board.

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