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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
With Minutes left on Clock, McCartney rescinds tourism contract with Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
By News Release @ 4:27 AM :: 2237 Views :: Ethics, Tourism

With Minutes left on Clock, McCartney rescinds tourism contract with Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

KITV: … Former Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) Director Mike McCartney made the change before noon on Monday just before his term ended. He also canceled the request for proposals for the contract.

McCartney sent letters to both the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) as well as the CNHA.

HVCB had held the previous marketing contract and has continued managing the contract during a dispute process.

In the letters, McCartney says he believes it's no longer in the best interest of the state and people of Hawaii to enter into one single contract.

He believes there should be two contracts -- one for marketing communications and travel trade, and another for destination brand management, communication, education, and community-based economic development.

“A single contract would not only put us at a competitive disadvantage in the market but also in dealing with the community,” McCartney wrote in the letter.….

(Translation: CNHA can buy off overtourism protesters.)

SA: Lucrative Hawaii tourism marketing contract rescinded again

HNN: Hawaii Tourism Authority kills marketing deal with Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

read … Hawaii rescinds tourism contract with Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

  *   *   *   *   *

Statement from HTA President and CEO John De Fries Regarding DBEDT’s Cancellation of RFP 22-01 Hawai‘i Tourism Destination Brand Marketing and Management Services for the U.S. Major Market Area

HTA Release (22-24) December 6, 2022

“Yesterday, I received copies of two letters from Mike McCartney, former director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT), notifying the two offerors in the latest solicitation for branding and destination management for the U.S. market that he was rescinding the June 2022 award to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) and cancelling RFP 22-01. The letters were signed and addressed to the respective presidents of CNHA and the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Conventions Bureau (HVCB), just before the end of McCartney’s term in office at noon on Monday.“

My staff and I look forward to discussing this rescission and cancellation at our board meeting on Wednesday and we will work with our board, new DBEDT Director Chris Sadayasu, the State Procurement Office, and Governor Josh Green to explore viable options and align our direction going forward.”

Copies of the DBEDT letters to CNHA and HVCB can be viewed here.

  *   *   *   *   *

CNHA RESPONDS TO DECISION TO CANCEL HTA AWARD

News Release from CNHA, Dec 6, 2022

“The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) plans to update its protest against the unlawful actions of the Department of Business and Economic Development & Tourism’s (DBEDT) former director Mike McCartney, who rendered a determination yesterday - just minutes before his term expired - to rescind our award of the State’s primary tourism marketing and destination management contract.

“To cancel a solicitation after an award, a State agency must determine that the award or RFP ‘is in violation of law.’ Mr. McCartney violated Hawaiʻi procurement law by purporting to cancel the RFP and rescind the award without making that determination.

“CNHA won the award based on a fair and thorough procurement process. But the State, led by Mr. McCartney, has refused to allow CNHA to provide its services to the people of Hawai‘i.

“Instead, the State has twice extended the expired contract of HVCB, thereby cutting into CNHA’s properly won contract in favor of the losing bidder. At its Dec. 7 meeting, the HTA board is considering another extension to HVCB. This is again flatly contrary to law and deprives the State of the services of the superior provider, as determined by the procurement process.

“CNHA filed a Dec. 1 protest of Mr. McCartney’s verbal statement on Nov. 28 that he would cancel the solicitation without a legal basis. We will now update that protest because Mr. McCartney continued to ignore Hawaiʻi procurement law until the moment he left office.

“Finally, CNHA remains committed to helping to transform Hawaiʻi’s main economic driver. We look forward to working with the newly inaugurated Governor and his DBEDT leadership team to find an expeditious resolution to this dispute. 

Statement attributed to Kuhio Lewis, CNHA CEO

Related: CNHA: Josh Green will Give us Tourism Contract

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