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Oct. 16, 2018

Transform Hawaii Government presents talk story on ‘Securing Hawaii State IT’
Free session to feature state Chief Information Security Officer Vincent Hoang


HONOLULU — Transform Hawaii Government (THG) invites the public to another thought-provoking discussion as part of its free speaker series exploring government transformation.

“Securing Hawaii State IT: Defending Against Cyber Threats” will feature State of Hawaii Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Vincent Hoang on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., at Bishop Square’s Pauahi Tower, 8th Floor, at 1003 Bishop St. in Honolulu. THG is presenting the event in partnership with the State of Hawaii Office of Enterprise Technology Services and Rep. Jarrett Keohokalole.

“October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, so we have invited the State of Hawaii’s top IT security officer to share how our state government is taking steps to secure its data and IT infrastructure, as well as offer tips so Hawaii residents can do their part in mounting a strong defense in the cyber realm,” said Christine Sakuda, THG executive director. “As with our other speaker series events, the goal of the talk is to promote private-public dialog around key state government transformation efforts.”

A resident of Windward Oahu, CISO Vincent Hoang leads the Office of Enterprise Technology Services’ Cyber Security Program and is responsible for securing state government information resources and infrastructure. He brings 20 years’ experience in developing and implementing effective information technology strategies, including the application of cybersecurity, network management, and systems design to improve business outcomes. Previously an enterprise architect for Hawaiian Telcom, senior systems consultant for Bank of Hawaii and a security engineer for Munger, Tolles and Olson in Los Angeles, Hoang holds a wide variety of technical competencies and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) Systems and Network Auditor (GSNA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and Systems Auditor (CISA).

“Our cyber security program provides solutions and services that protect and preserve the integrity of the state’s IT infrastructure,” Hoang said. “By forming partnerships and encouraging collaboration, we can serve as a centralized resource, providing cyber security leadership and expertise for the state.”

“The Legislature approved the position of chief information security officer in recognition of the importance of maintaining a strong cyber defense,” said Rep. Keohokalole. “It is our hope that interested individuals will take away with them a greater understanding of how the state is safeguarding data and resources entrusted to its keeping, and what they can do themselves at home or their workplace to protect themselves.”

The deadline to register is Oct. 22. Space is limited, so interested individuals are encouraged to register early to reserve their seats. For more information or to reserve a seat, visit

Transform Hawaii Government (THG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established to promote an open, transparent and responsive Hawaii government. THG advocates improving government business practices through technology to ensure government employees, residents and businesses have convenient and secure access to reliable information and data on demand. THG’s goal is government services that are streamlined, integrated, and delivered in ways that exceed the expectations of the public and the needs of Hawaii’s businesses.

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Three years ago, the Governor’s Office and the Office of Enterprise Technology Services launched eSign Service, leveraging an Adobe enterprise agreement that provided an electronic document signing solution for Hawaii state government agencies.

The Governor’s Office piloted the program, requiring departments to submit documents for the governor’s signature using an electronic routing form template.

To-date, there have been a total of 424,191 electronic transactions. But more importantly than the total, adoption has increased to an average of 22,898 transactions per month, and the average time to sign documents has improved to 259.4 minutes (it used to be days).

eSign Services continues to be a success story. By centralizing the Adobe contract, ETS reduced the state executive branch’s Adobe Acrobat Pro software expenditures by $1.5 million. In addition, the Adobe enterprise agreement not only powering the electronic service solution, but also promoting greater web accessibility by making the latest version of Adobe Acrobat available to state employees, and encouraging creative and collaborative work by making the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications available to personnel.

For more information, visit the eSign Service program webpage at

THG is proud to return as a sponsor of the Hawaii Annual Code Challenge (HACC), the state hackathon, which links up coders in the community with participating state departments to collaborate on solutions to challenges currently plaguing agencies.

Now in its third year, the theme of the 2018 HACC will be sustainability, and the event is being combined with the state’s AGathon. Register today!

Coders of all ages and backgrounds are invited to the highly anticipated civic coding competition, which the state will kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the East-West Center’s Hawaii Imin International Conference Center.

The HACC breaks away from the typical time-crunched hackathon format spanning a mere day or a single weekend. This year’s HACC will allocate three weeks for solution development and supplies interim workshops to assist teams with their presentations and programs.

At the kickoff, participants will form teams and accept their challenges based on pitches from several the state departments, then proceed to develop their concepts and prototypes throughout the duration of the competition. The challenge culminates with a Judging and Awards event on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Previous years resulted in a wayfinding mobile app for the University of Hawaii Manoa campus; a mobile-friendly, searchable Hawaii Revised Statutes app; and more.

The HACC is an annual event conceived by Gov. David Y. Ige and coordinated by theOffice of Enterprise Technology Services in partnership with the High Technology Development Corporation, DevLeague, and others. For more details or to register, visit


Established to promote an open, transparent and responsive Hawaii government, THG applauds the cumulative efforts behind, recently launched by Code for Hawaii and The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest as a free service.

Frustrations over Hawaii’s Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) public records request process – essentially Hawaii’s version of the Freedom of Information Act – are well documented. The reasons for those challenges are multifactorial, ranging from sometimes legitimate privacy concerns, to the often infuriating limitations of technology, or lack thereof, throughout our government. goes a long way to help reduce barriers to accessing records so that the people can keep government accountable – one of the core principles on which the UIPA law was based.

Sometimes that takes the private sector taking the lead when the public sector is unable or unwilling to step up to help improve cumbersome processes and inadequate resources. Although the site is a valuable resource whether state agencies embrace the concept or not, agencies can still obstruct the natural flow of the process. It’s therefore our hope that the Hawaii Office of Information Practices will recognize the public service that provides and encourage agencies to engage and build upon its marriage of transparency and convenience.

A helpful step was taken last year when Gov. David Ige directed all state executive branch departments and agencies to designate their single UIPA point of contact. THG believes OIP can take this further by developing a process by which agencies copy or automatically upload the public documents upon fulfillment of requests so that they may be posted at Of course, this may raise additional questions about whether documents meet web accessibility standards and whose responsibility that will be. But THG is confident the parties involved are up to the challenge.

THG also agrees with Civil Beat Law Center President and Executive Director Brian Black that democracy only works if the government operates with reasonable transparency. It also requires an engaged citizenry and, in this case, one that will innovate where government can or will not.


Participants and attendees gathered to share ideas and solutions following the Elections in the Tech Era event. From left are HICTA Program Director Dale Aiello, Rep. Kyle Yamashita, (featured speaker) Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago, Rep. Della Au Belatti, THG Executive Director Christine Sakuda, and Hawaii Department of Education Chief Information Officer Brook Conner.

Mere weeks after the Primary Election, THG coalition members were treated to a robust discussion focusing on conducting elections in today’s tech-centric society.

“Elections in the Tech Era” was the latest offering in THG’s free speaker series, held on Sept. 5 at Impact Hub Honolulu and presented in partnership with the State of Hawaii Office of Elections and House Majority Leader Rep. Della Au Belatti.

The conversation featured Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago, who shared ways voter registration has been optimized with today’s tech-savvy population in mind. The event featured an extensive question-and-answer period in which Nago emphasized that underlining all of it was protecting the integrity of election results.

“We live in a society where the public is accustomed to the convenience and efficiency of online services for a wide variety of purposes,” said Nago, whose office’s mission is to provide secure, accessible and convenient elections to citizens statewide. He explained that the State of Hawaii strives to balance engagement and the convenience of voter registration processes with the need to keep core voting functions offline to ensure their security.

With the advent of online and same-day registration, the state now has recorded 726,940 registered voters as of the date of the event, an increase of more than 29,000 since 2016. Since the implementation of the online voter registration system in August 2015, more than 20,000 transactions for new registrations and updates have been processed. Voters may also utilize the system to update their voter registration, check their registration status, locate their polling place and view a sample ballot. Register to vote online here.

Nago also pointed out that federal law prohibits the state from removing voters from the voter database without their expressed permission. This means the total size of the database may not reflect the whole story concerning active registered voters.

A lively discussion ensued after Nago shared concern over conducting actual voting online. Audience members also voiced concern over the integrity of online voting, despite the growing expectation that more and more federal and state government services be accessible over the Internet. At least under current technology, the strategy of keeping the actual voting process, including the voting machines, disconnected from the Internet is the state’s current preference for maximum security.

“We hope interested individuals will take away with them a greater appreciation of how the state can and is driving progress toward modernization and transparency, and how they can get more involved themselves,” said Rep. Belatti.

A new online tool tracks nearly $400 million in IT-related project funds

By: Christine Sakuda

September 10, 2018

Original Story from Honolulu Civil Beat


The Hawaii Department Dashboard’s robust yet simplified approach to visualizing complex data is spot-on as a tool in making more efficient, cost-effective, and transparent choices for the state’s IT expenditures and governance.

Last month, Hawaii Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy presented the online dashboard to nonprofit, government, and tech industry professionals at Impact Hub Honolulu.

In a few clicks, the award-winning dashboard shows project timelines, financial overviews and project statuses of nearly half a billion dollars of IT projects across 16 departments in the executive branch. It even outlines delayed projects and is upfront about reasons for setbacks.

So far data from the tool enabled the state of Hawaii to significantly lower the bill for common software critical to the government’s function. Such was the case when Nacapuy’s office, the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, reduced the state executive branch’s Adobe Acrobat Pro software expenditures from $2 million to $475,000.

A screen shot from Hawaii Department Dashboard’s website.

Moreover, through its empirical nature, the data conveys a collective story for multi-year projects and helps in stating justifications for upcoming modernization requests. The factual approach is both helpful and unmuddied by hearsay or the influence of interest groups.

The Hawaii Department Dashboard is an excellent first step in the area of government transparency and data accessibility. In fact, the Office of Enterprise Technology Services was recently recognized with an industry award for its digital innovation by way of data visualization.

Maximum Coordination

It takes a team to keep the Hawaii Department Dashboard consistently accurate and functional. The state office meets monthly with the departments to validate information on current and future projects. In addition, two state employees maintain the fiscal IT dashboard with continuous input from department’s IT leads.

Creation of the dashboard was made possible by Senate Bill 2807 SD2 (signed into law as Act 58 of 2016) which strengthened the CIO’s authority to work with each executive branch department and agency to develop and maintain its respective multi-year IT strategic and tactical plans and roadmaps.

Who is taking advantage of this resource? Now that the state departments and the Legislature have enhanced access to the state’s major IT projects statuses and budgets, they should take advantage of this opportunity to maximize coordination across branches and use it to hold each other accountable.

While the Hawaii Department Dashboard is a major achievement, the State of Hawaii can’t rest on its laurels. A handful of other online dashboards were created years ago to measure state priority objectives and make public data accessible, but many of them are out of date resulting in inadvertently leaving the public in the dark about progress altogether — or left to navigate the rabbit hole of state websites which takes significant amounts of time. Some of these dashboards were last updated in 2016.

Given the decentralized nature of Hawaii’s state government, we must continue to move forward faster and with an even greater urgency to advocate for statewide coordination in the government’s digital transformation.

There is another opportunity before us to propel Hawaii state government toward winning back the public’s trust. In May 2018, the Legislature passed HCR 94, a resolution which requests the development of a state information technology strategic plan, to include data goals and objectives. The strategic plan presents a much-needed opportunity for the state to gain momentum in moving transparency measures and initiatives forward, not just in IT, but for all departments that use IT to conduct state business.

The responsibility of developing the plan, with the input of state agencies such as the Office of Enterprise Technology Services and the Office of Information Practices, is in the hands of the IT Steering Committee, on which I am proud to serve.

As a committee member, and in my role as executive director of Transform Hawaii Government, I strongly believe that the availability of the public’s data applied to analysis technology will only benefit Hawaii at large by enabling stakeholders such as state departments and legislators to understand trends, monitor changes, address the Hawaii’s pressing issues, and furthermore forecast desired outcomes for the many programs and services offered by the state.

“We’ve never been able look at departments to analyze their data,” CIO Nacapuy said of the departments’ IT roadmaps at the conclusion of his presentation. “It’s about data; that’s the true power of why we’re doing this modernization.”


Photo: HawaiiPay Project Office

Photo: HawaiiPay Project Office


Earlier this month, the state announced the successful rollout of the second of three phases of the state’s payroll modernization. This included an additional 20,000 employees of the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive branch as well as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

The first phase, implemented in May, covered about 1,300 employees from the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) and the Department of Human Resources Development. The largest group remains, consisting of employees from the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii who are scheduled to transition to the new payroll system later this year.

For more than four decades, state employees relied on a very laborious and time-intensive, paper-based payroll process on a legacy mainframe system.

“Leveraging the unified efforts of state leadership, management and employees, the state designed a robust system on an Oracle PeopleSoft platform and implemented the project in staged groups,” said Comptroller Roderick Becker. “This IT project has been a substantial undertaking that is on-time and on-budget.”

The State of Hawaii now utilizes a stable and efficient enterprise resource planning system used by many other states and municipalities. According to the state, benefits include:

  • The most accurately computed payroll in more than 50 years – taxes and latest tax law changes are applied, and deductions are properly handled;
  • World-class facility and system which provide the highest level of data security for the personal information of all State of Hawaii employees;
  • True direct deposit capabilities – a first-time convenience now available to more than 20,000 employees;
  • The largest deployment of Employee Self-Service from desktop or mobile devices, which allow employees to view pay statements and update their own accounts and profiles; and
  • Environmentally conscious – eliminating millions of sheets of paper through the significant reduction of paper-driven processes.

In July, State of Hawaii Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) announced that a six-month paper-reduction pilot program involving nine state departments reduced paper use by 20 percent, which translates to a savings of one million sheets of printed paper.

One of Gov. David Ige’s first goals for his administration was to transform government into a more paperless and digital process.

“I am told that the state goes through about one million pages a month,” Ige said in his first State of the State address back in 2015. “That’s about 12 million pages a year. A little effort could go a long way to alter that. A change in mindset could take us so much further. We must reduce the amount of paper we use every day…”

Three and a half years later, the governor is applauding the state’s successful efforts to transform from a paper-dependent culture to a digital environment, which also improves public accessibility to government documents and increases transparency for our citizens.

“As we continue to reduce paper processes and transform government through digitalization, it encourages the adoption of new technology, while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our S]state,” said Todd Nacapuy, state chief information officer, who leads ETS. “Paper reduction is beneficial for the environment as well as for our tax payers.”

According to ETS, one of the ways they reduced paper usage was transitioning departments into producing electronic reports instead of printing hard-copy documents. ETS projects additional benefits in coming years as more departments and agencies reduce or entirely eliminate printed paper reports by moving to digital documents. In three years, ETS even projects a savings of $500,000 and 10 million sheets of printed paper.

The latest offering in THG’s free speaker series provides attendees with an insightful look into conducting elections in today’s tech-centric society. “Elections in the Tech Era” features Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago and his team who will share ways voter registration has been optimized while protecting thre integrity of election results.

Rescheduled from its original date, this exciting event will now take place on Wednesday, September 5 at Impact Hub Honoulu. Deadline for registration is Tuesday, Sept. 4.Reserve your seat here:



The Department Dashboard tracks 16 branches of the executive government

Looking at the wall of blue squares as they toggling into formation behind State of Hawaii Chief Information Officer (CIO) Todd Nacapuy, a passerby at the Impact Hub could have mistaken the projection as edgy, innovative decor. However, to the attendees in the room, each square represented a visualized portion of nearly half a billion dollars of the state’s IT projects.

The Transform Hawaii Government (THG) coalition held its first thought-provoking speaker series event with the help of the state Office of Enterprise Technology Services and Rep. Mark M. Nakashima  on July 25 in Kakaako.

CIO Nacapuy along with his team shared examples of how the financial tracking tool promotes government transparency for stakeholders such as legislators, state agencies, and the general public through an interactive demonstration of the Hawaii Department Dashboard.

The Office of Enterprise Technology Services employees maintain the dashboard with continuous input from the various departments. It tracks the progress of current and upcoming IT projects including financial overviews as well as project timelines. Below are some takeaways from the event.


Changing the [Money] Conversation

The Office of Enterprise Technology Services meets monthly with individual state departments (with the exception of the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii System, which are administered and led by their respective boards) so that all verified IT projects are represented on the dashboard.

Senate President Kouchi

Senate President Ronald Kouchi commended the Office of Enterprise Technology Service for its work on the dashboard.

“What it [the Hawaii Department Dashboard] does is it now changes the conversation. All of our financial systems are now linked together, meaning that when a department now puts in a budget request, we see it and it gets displayed on the roadmap,” said Nacapuy during his presentation.

According to the CIO, if IT project requests are not listed on the dashboard, then budget approval is denied, which encourages departments to develop planning “roadmaps” and anticipate any future savings. The protocol, in turn, has somewhat dampened the age-old practice of “use it or lose it” for departmental expenditures on the state government IT level.


Cost Savings

CIO Nacapuy answers an audience member's inquiry regarding the Hawaii Department Dashboard

CIO Nacapuy answers an audience member’s inquiry regarding the Hawaii Department Dashboard

Based on analysis of the data, the State of Hawaii also leveraged economies of scale to get significant savings on enterprise contracts for commonly used software.

“We looked across the state as a whole, and we were spending almost $2 million a year on Adobe Acrobat Pro. Many departments used the software to make PDFs ADA compliant. So we went back to Adobe and were able to reduce the contract rate significantly,” said Nacapuy.


This year, ETS is looking to continue this rate for the next three years.



Empirical Data as a Single Source of Truth

“Modernizing these systems are going to help us get there so that we can give our legislators empirical data to make the right decisions”


Lastly, during the legislative session, bills which request additional funding to support multi-year IT projects are not uncommon. Fiscal dashboards like the department dashboard benefit Hawaii’s legislators with empirical data to make decisions derived from facts as opposed to special interests.

When asked what success for the dashboard will look like in a year, Nacapuy said, “modernizing these systems is going to help us get there so that we can give our legislators empirical data to make the right decisions, so they are no longer relying on lobbyists to give them information. We’re trying to give them true information through data. That’s where we need to go, that’s what we’re trying to do and what that end goal is.” 

Hawaii’s state deparment dashboard was made possible with thte passage of Senate Bill 2807 SD2 (later signed into law as Act 58 of 2016), which consolidated two programs to establish the Office of Enterprise Technology Services and expanded the state CIO’s authority to work with departments to develop and maintain their IT “roadmaps.”

Explore the dashboard using the link below and stay tuned for upcoming THG Speaker Series events.