2017, a Year in Review

Transform Hawaii Government’s (THG) first year as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization was a time of transition and learning. It was also a year of accomplishments.

Mahalo and Happy Holidays. See you in 2018!

From supporting legislation strengthening oversight of state modernization projects, to gaining a seat at the table advising the head of IT for state government, let’s reflect on what we’ve accomplished together to move transformation forward.

Early 2017 focused on building strength through numbers. Members of the volunteer THG Leadership Committee introduced our vision through outreach presentations to various organizations such as the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

The legislative session provided opportunities for our active coalition members to voice their opinions to local lawmakers. The coalition advocated for measures to enhance oversight of state IT projects and improve services to families with young children. These bills included the following:

  • Senate Bill 850 – Signed into law as Act 37, SLH 2017, this measure provides new authority for the state Chief Information Officer (CIO) to identify IT projects within the executive branch that will be required to have “Independent Verification and Validation” assessments to ensure success. Read more about the bill signing here: http://ets.hawaii.gov/governor-signs-senate-bill-850/
  • House Bill 918 – Carried over to the 2018 session, this measure, if passed, will appropriate funds to procure a real-time, integrated web-based data system to the agency responsible for children ages 1-3 with developmental delays or disabilities. Watch for future issues of the THG newsletter for how you can support this bill during the upcoming 2018 legislative session.

In May, Christine Sakuda became THG’s first executive director. She quickly dove into the role by meeting with legislators, government employee leadership, and department heads to identify opportunities to support and facilitate IT and business process modernization.

In late summer, THG earned an appointed position at the State of Hawaii’s IT Steering Committee, an oversight group that advises the CIO in the development of state IT standards and policies. The committee in-turn evaluates the CIO’s performance for effectiveness annually.

THG was a proud sponsor of the state’s second Hawaii Annual Code Challenge (“the HACC”) in the fall. The HACC is a community programing event designed to engineer solutions for challenges facing state departments through app development. In 2018, we will continue our support of the civic tech community through the inaugural AGathon from Jan. 6 to 12. AGathon is Hawaii’s premier hackathon primed specifically to fuel innovative solutions to problems in the agriculture industry.

Lastly, to keep the momentum going, THG bolstered its outreach efforts to the general public through a regular column in Honolulu Civil Beat. This platform enables THG to inform citizens about improvements needed in state government operations and to generate discussion on how to prioritize IT for a better government. Read “The Open Data Movement Is Growing” by Christine Sakuda, in Honolulu Civil Beat, Nov. 8, 2017: http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/11/the-open-data-movement-is-growing/

In the months ahead, we ask for your continued support in testifying on legislative initiatives that will facilitate delivery of state department services, increase accessibility and transparency through up-to-date data, and improve cybersecurity for the state.

While the modernization of state government infrastructure and processes sometimes takes patience and determination, smart investments in technology will give our government leaders and employees the data and tools they need to tackle challenges more effectively.

Mahalo for your support in 2017. We look forward to engaging with you, our coalition members, in advocating as a collective voice for an open, secure and responsive state government.

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