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NEG Program Review: Even participant count was wrong

The Native Hawaiian Holding Company claims there were 1,322 NEG (National Emergency Grant) participants who enrolled in their training, yet a NEG Program Review Report indicates that there are only 889 participants and that due to a lack of documentation of 405 participants, it is implied that they do not exist and have not received any type of supportive service from the grant project.


This is revealed in the NEG Program Review Report which was leaked to Samoa News, and Samoa News understands it is the basis for action taken by the Department of Human Resources Director, Le’i Sonny Thompson — that of holding off on paying the remaining $1.5million owed on the contract to the NHHC.


 NHHC signed the contract with the government to provide training and employment in the contact center industry for 900 NEG participants and authorizes it to operate job placement and supportive services in a setting that would serve as part of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Workforce System.


This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s NEG grant and is administered by the local Department of Human Resources.


NHHC partnered with Pacific Resources Inc. a local company owned by Michael McDonald and his wife Paula Stevenson-McDonald to execute the contract.




According to the NEG two-page report, there are discrepancies in the count of participants. It indicates that of the 1,322 participants reported by NHHC, there are only 889 participants enrolled, with seven duplicate entries and ten non-NEG participants not included.


The classification for the current status of participants is 458 unemployed; 172 exits (previous participants); and 35 ‘exits’ who entered employment.


It also lists 224 enrolled in NEG Funded Training.


(Counted together, this is the 889 participants NEG is acknowledging.)


Of the 889 NEG eligible participants, only 54% have Participant Files — that is 484 have valid Participant Files and 405 do not have a Participant File, says the NEG report.


Of the 484 Participant Files on hand, these files were incomplete, and only contained intake applications, it notes.


“There were no source documents to validate true eligibility for the participants — i.e. proper identification, copy of social security card, etc. There was also no record of active case management notes, communication record with the participant or proof of training."


Also missing were verification documents for participants identified as "Exits" and "Exits Entering Employment”.


According to the report the 405 missing participant files imply that these participants do not exist and have not received any type of supportive service from the grant project.


The NEG noted that all 889 participants are required to have a complete participant case file for purposes of program eligibility in compliance with WIA/ NEG case management practices and demonstrates appropriateness for delivery of service.


It goes on to say, that there are registered participants in the Community Investment Corporation (CIC) worksite that are undergoing Work Experience Training, but were originally hired by NHHC.


These participants are not eligible for NEG funded training, according to the report.


The report further states the participants enrolled in the OJT (On the Job Training) at the Manu’a Health System worksite (that has since shut down) were not using a time clock for documentation of work attendance, and that sign-in sheets are not authorized unless a time clock has been ordered pending receipt. The MHS participants were also "not properly supervised in accordance with their work plan" and were reported "working on the Cocoa Plantation from their homes."


Samoa News understands Chef Sualua Tupolo has returned to island and Samoa News will bring an update on the status of ASCA and the employees grievances against CIC tomorrow.