Initiative Launched to Modernize State Technology

March 16, 2011, 3:58 PM HST · Updated March 16, 3:58 PM
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The state’s outdated information technology system will be updated under an initiative being launched by the Governor’s office.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the plan saying it would not only save taxpayers millions of dollars, but also make government more efficient and improve service for the people of Hawai‘i.

“One of the biggest factors hampering government and costing taxpayers in time and money is the State’s outdated information technology,” said Governor Abercrombie. “Basic operations of government are stymied by an information management system that hasn’t been upgraded in decades. With this major initiative, we will transform our government and bring us to where we need to be in the 21st century,” he said.

Governor Abercrombie, in partnership with the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), is working to establish a new Office of Information Management and Technology.  The office will be led by the State’s first Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the executive branch, who will be tasked with developing and managing the technology plan.

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Projected benefits include greater accountability for data and spending, enhancement of security and backup measures, and reduction of energy usage.  The public is expected to benefit from improved services that would include the ability to file State taxes and apply for licenses and permits with greater ease.

“One of my top priorities is to make government more efficient and responsive to Hawai‘i’s residents – not just for today but for our future,” said Governor Abercrombie. “When it comes to information technology, we spend most of our time and money on maintenance and short-term solutions. This effort will create an environment that gives us the freedom to focus on our most pressing needs while innovating for the future,” he said.

HCF is providing a $3 million grant for this new initiative from the Omidyar Ohana Fund. T he grant is in part conditioned upon monies from Senate Bill 1287/House Bill 1060, currently being considered by state lawmakers, as well as future legislation which together will provide the majority of the funding for the transformation effort.

The concept of creating a separate office of technology was identified in state legislation passed by in 2010. While the Act mandated creation of such an office, it did not identify a funding source to support it.

The State is seeking qualified candidates to be considered for the CIO role, as well as additional OIMT staff positions.

(Posted by Wendy Osher, supporting information courtesy Office of the Governor, state of Hawaii)

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