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Dennis Mitsunaga's testimony to the Senate Committee on Higher Education on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 in support of Senate Bill 1383

Dennis Mitsunaga's testimony to the Senate Committee on Higher Education on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 in support of Senate Bill 1383

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Published by craiggima
Structural engineer Dennis Mitsunaga accused the University of Hawaii Office of Capital Improvement and OCI Director Brian Minaai of "blatant mismanagement" in the selection of non-bid consultants and the handing of construction projects.
Structural engineer Dennis Mitsunaga accused the University of Hawaii Office of Capital Improvement and OCI Director Brian Minaai of "blatant mismanagement" in the selection of non-bid consultants and the handing of construction projects.

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Published by: craiggima on Feb 20, 2013
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08/17/2014

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THE SENATETHE LEGISLATURE, 2013STATE OF HAWAIICOMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
Senator
Brian
T. T
an
iguchi
,
Chair
Senator G
ilbert
Kahele
, V
ice
Chair
Honorable Senator Gilbert
S.
C.
Honorable
Senator
Sam
Siom
Honorab
le
Senator David
Y.
Ige
Honorable
Senator
Michelle
Kidani
Honorable
Senator
Jill
N.
Tokuda
Date: Thursda
y,
February 14, 2013Time: 2:45 p.m.
Place: Conference Room 414, State Capitol, 415 South Beretania Street
RE: Testimony
In
Strong Support for S.B. t 383
Re
lating to the
Un
iversity of
Hawaii;
Depa
rtment
of
Accounting and
General
Services
;
Procurement
;
Construction
Contracts
My name is DENNIS MITSUNAGA. I have been a practicing Structural Engineer since
1969
and
General
Contractor
s
ince
1971
. I
am
currently
PresidenVOwner
of
Mitsunaga
and
Associates
,
Inc
.
(MA
l)
and Majority
Owner
of
Mitsunaga
Const
ruc
tion
In
corpor
ated
(MCI).
I
did
the
Engineering
for
the
Chemistry
Buildin
g
atthe Uni
vers
ity
of
Hawa
ii
(
UH
) Manoa
for DAGS in 1969 and have since done many, many DAGS and
UH
projects, includingthe Rainbow Baseba
ll
Stad
iu
m. Our lirm (MAl) recently completed the design of the
UH
Hila
Student
Housing
, Phase I, w
hich
is
no
w
und
er
construction.
By this letter, I wou
ld
like
to
take this opportunity
to
offer testimony in FAVOR of
S.
B.
1383,
which
transfers
construction
administration
and
procuremen
t
back
to
DAG
S.
I
have been
in
business
s
in
ce
1969
and
have
worked
with
every government
agencyadministering
no
n
-b
id
an
d
cons
tru
c
tion
con
tracts
in
Ha
waii.
During
my
long
career, I
ha
vefound
DAGS
to
be
the most
efficient
,
well
organized
and cost
effe
ctive
agency.
A.
Bec
ause
of
the
ir
set up
with five
(
5)
sep
arate b
ranches
(
Contracts
, P
lanning,De
sign
,
Pro
ject
Man
agement
and Inspect
ion
),
th
eir
p
rojec
ts
go
s
mo
othly from
start
to
fi
nish,
progr
essing
from
one
branch
to
the
ne
x
t.
Their
staff
members are
dedicated
and
well
qualified professiona
ls
.
B.
Bi
ds
almos
t
always
come
in
wi
thi
n
budget
because
of thei
r
history
wi
th
past
pro
j
ects.
Change
Orders
during
co
nstru
c
tion
are
few.
1
of
6
 
C.
Also, because of the existence of their Inspection Branch, the State automaticallysaves 5-6% for Construction Management (
eM)
fees during construction.
D.
I have come to the conclusion that although DAGS' design fees are among thelowest compared to other State agencies their efficiency throughout the projectmakes up for it.On the other hand, working with the
UH
Office of Capital Improvement (OCI) and itsDirector BRIAN MINAAI (Brian) has been a nightmare for members of our firm workingon the
UH
Hila Student Housing, Phase
I.
In the process of giving us a difficult time,Brian gave away millions of dollars on this project alone and should be investigated forBLATANT MISMANAGEMENT.A. Brian's process for selection
01
non-bid consultants is highly suspect.
1.
His selection committee consists of his two "Yes Men" assistants and athird member from the department involved with the particular project.
In
essence since he controls two oul of the three votes he himself makeseach selection.2. With the exception of MAl, he on
ly
selects his friends from a pool ofhundreds of qualified Architects and Engineers in Honolulu.Investigation will show that the consultants he selected were very smalland not the best qualified for the projects he "gave" them.
3.
A.small firm he selected to
do
major renovations to the Gateway HallDormitory complex was ARCHITECT BRYCE UYEHARA.
a.
If you can recall, Bryce Uyehara was the Architect who made majorerrors
in
designing the Girl's Softba
ll
Stadium at
UH
Manoa.He designed the "line of sight" too high, so the spectators in thestands couldn't see home plate and
th
e batters' lower body. Iremember that it cost the State and UH over $500,000 to make thecorrections.4. We believe that MAl was selected for the UH Hilo Student Housing Projectbecause of UH Hila's strong and insistent endorsement of MAL If not forUH Hila's active participation in the selection process, we all consensuallybelieve that Brian would have
gi
ven the project to his friend.
2016
 
B.
Had
it
not been for the two (2) year exemp
ti
on on procurement that thelegislature gave to
UH
, Brian's actions against MAl after the selection would havebeen a criminal violation of the State Procurement Law HRS
§
1030
-304.After the selection, Brian took the following punitive actions against MAl and
Mel:
1. Brian directed MAl to replace MAl
as
the project Civil Engineer
wi
thWesley Segawa (Segawa).a. MAl had applied for and were selected for this project with MAl
as
the Civil Engineer of Record.
b.
Segawa's fee to do the Civil Engineering for this project was$293,260.MAl had to add a 10% coordination fee of $29,326 plus G.E. ta
x,
hence Brian's directive cost the State an additional $29,326 plusG.E. tax
fo
r this project.
2.
Brian directed MAl to replace Kimura International
as
the
En
vironmental
Assessment Consultant with Wilson Okamoto.
3.
Brian directed MAl to use Palekana to do the permiVprocessing.Palekana's fee for this service is $23,000.
a.
Permit Processing
is
usually part
of
t
he
Architect's or Engineer's
basic service and there is usually no separate charge for this work.b. The basic work involves answering questions and making changesthat the Building Department may require. These questions andchanges has to be answered and done by the designers of recordfor the specific work; hence the Architect would answer theArchitectural questions, the Civil Engineer would answer the Civilquestions, the Structural Engineer the Structural questions, theMechanical Engineer the Mechanical questions, Electrical Engineerthe Electrical questions, etc.So, as you can see from the description above, there is very littlethe permit processor can do except to provide pick up and deliveryservice since he does not have the expertise.Brian's directive was a straight add on to the contract and wastedan additional $23,000 plus our
10
% coordination fee plus G.E. taxof the State's money.
3
of
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