From the launch of THG’s new speaker series to an overdue update to the state’s information technology strategic plan, 2018 saw a surge of activity in the area of transforming government. As we cap the year off, here’s a look back at major events, milestones and accomplishments.

 

Launch of THG speaker series

In 2018, THG set out to bring more tangible opportunities for coalition members to engage in transforming government. THG kicked off its new speaker series to facilitate private-public dialog around key state government transformation efforts. Featured speakers included:

  • State Chief Information Officer (CIO) Todd Nacapuy, who showcased the award-winning Hawaii Department Dashboard, which tracks more than 400 IT projects statewide;
  • State Elections Chief Scott Nago, who shared ways voter registration has been optimized with today’s tech-savvy population in mind, while protecting the integrity of election results;
  • State Chief Information Security Officer Vincent Hoang, who explained how our state government is taking steps to secure its data and IT infrastructure; and
  • Hawaii Department of Education Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson, who explored how the state is leveraging digital platforms and innovative procurement solutions to transform school facilities, enhance transparency, and pursue projects with greater efficiency.

THG is grateful for support from Reps. Della Au Belatti and Mark Nakashima and Sens. Less Ihara, Michelle Kidani, and Jarrett Keohokalole who partnered in the presentation of the events. Going into 2019, THG plans to raise the speaker series to the next level by hosting more panel discussions that move the discussion forward. Watch for invitations to future events. For more information on these events, including Facebook Live video of most presentations, visit http://transformhawaiigov.org/events/.

 

Payroll modernization nears completion

Photo: HawaiiPay Project Office

Photo: HawaiiPay Project Office

As one of the most ambitious state modernization projects currently underway, the payroll phase of the Enterprise Payroll and Time & Attendance Modernization project will provide greater functionality and efficiencies in serving more than 75,000 full- and part-time employees statewide. For over four decades, state employees relied on a time- and paper-intensive payroll process on a legacy mainframe system. It’s intended to be a more a stable, accurate and efficient system with modern functionality like true direct-deposit and employee self-service allowing online viewing of pay statements.

Two of the project’s three planned “rollouts” have been completed, transitioning to an Oracle PeopleSoft platform, and including approximately 21,300 employees of the Legislature, Judiciary, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and most executive branch departments. Third and largest rollout remains, consisting of employees of the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii.

 

Tax System Modernization completes rollout

Did you know you could do your taxes online?

Photo courtesy of Department of Tax

Another ambitious project, Tax System Modernization, may not have been grabbing headlines for most of 2018, but the project is proceeding steadily. At the end of March, the Hawaii Department of Taxation transitioned business tax filing from the state’s legacy site to the new tax-filing portal, Hawaii Tax Online.

Over the course of five rollouts, each making new functions available, the majority of tax services have been migrated to the new portal. “Rollout 3” was completed last summer and included services for Corporate Income, Franchise, Public Service Company and Withholding filers. This followed the previous two rollouts that included General Excise, Transient Accommodation and other types of taxes.

“Rollout 4” of the $60 million project launched in early November. Capabilities from the modernized system will allow the Department of Taxation to better serve individual filers including cash-only businesses as well as individuals offering vacation rentals.

The project will continue thanks to the 2018 Legislature’s approval of $16.5 million in capital improvement project funds to cover the completion of the functional requirements scheduled for next fiscal year (FY19) as well as the warranty period (FY20). Transform Hawaii Government supports this request to keep the momentum of the project moving on its current schedule for modern, effective and efficient state tax collection system is what Hawaii taxpayers expect and deserve.

The final phase of the project, Rollout 5 is anticipated to launch in July 2019 and applies to smaller tax categories.

Listen to Hawaii Public Radio for full details.

 

Hawaii hackathon recognized for innovation

Team Pika takes first place

Photo courtesy of Office of Governor David Y. Ige

In May, CIO Todd Nacapuy accepted StateScoop.com’s State IT Innovation award on behalf of the Hawaii Annual Code Challenge (HACC). StateScoop annually honors outstanding state innovators, up-and-coming leaders as well as tech-based projects used to make the delivery of services more convenient to residents.

With more than 300 participants in its sophomore year, the HACC brought together Hawaii’s programming community, state departments and the local tech industry to solve real-world information challenges provided by participating agencies. The month-long competition fostered mentoring for burgeoning coders and created proof of concepts for an app used to navigate within UH Manoa, a grant data visualizer for OHA, and enabling natural language searchability and interpretation of Hawaii’s laws.

As a proud sponsor of the 2017 Hawaii Annual Code Challenge, THG congratulates CIO Todd Nacapuy and his community co-partner Hawaii Open Data, for putting on the successful and innovative event, which provided the tech-minded development community with the opportunity to test their skills at coming up with creative solutions to government challenges. The ‘HACC’ is an outstanding example of how the state can engage the community in a meaningful way to streamline, integrate and deliver state services to meet and exceed the expectations of the public and Hawaii’s businesses, while helping to build Hawaii’s IT workforce. Read about the third HACC, held this past fall, further below.

 

Electronic signature capability continues to catch on

Image of Gov. Ige

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.

To-date, there have been over half a million electronic transactions. But more importantly than the total, adoption has increased to an average of 13,536 transactions per month (the record month was 29,142), and the average time to process documents for signature has improved to between 4 and 5 hours (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 esign.hawaii.gov.

 

State program reduces paper use while saving money, resources

Paper

Photo Courtesy of Office of Enterprise Technology Services Enterprise Resource Planning

In July, state Office of Enterprise Technology Services further decreased paper use though a six-month paper-reduction pilot program involving nine state departments. The program succeeded in reducing 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. Three and a half years later, the governor applauded 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.

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.

 

One Shared Future invests in state employees

One Shared Future's princles

 

THG was proud to support a bright spot in the endeavor of IT workforce development called One Shared Future, which envisions a community where all children, families, and individuals are

OSF cohort

OneShared Future’s cohort during a session.

supported to reach their fullest potential, so that we all may thrive. The program invests directly in the professional development of public sector professionals who are working to make a positive impact on Hawaii’s communities.

 

Expanding professional development opportunities for public sector professionals is key to positive transformations. THG supported two spring cohorts beginning in March 2018. One cohort was comprised of professionals and human resources officers from five departments: the Department of Agriculture; Department of the Attorney General; Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; Department of Budget and Finance; and Department of Human Services. The second cohort included the Department of Human Services again as well as the Department of Health.

Both cohorts culminated the Appreciating Change experience with “Springboard to Action” presentations in which participants shared the projects they developed though the series and that often address “seemingly intractable” issues in real time. Two Springboard projects were implemented before their commencement while others continue to develop through cross-agency collaborations.

 

Executive order promotes Net Neutrality through state procurement

 

In February, an executive order signed by Gov. David Ige directed all State of Hawaii government agencies to contract for internet-related service only with providers who contractually agree to abide by net neutrality principals.

Net neutrality protects and promotes a fast, fair and open internet. It keeps internet service providers from discriminating between content or users. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may have ended net neutrality rules on Dec. 13, 2017, but that has not stopped multiple states, including Hawaii, from working to manage the effects on local levels.

 

Update to state IT strategic plan

Strategy

In 2012, the State of Hawaii unveiled a proposal to modernize its information technology systems and processes. This IT transformation plan promised “a future state that includes faster, better, and easier access to government information and services.” Although not formally adopted, several components of the plan have progressed under the last two administrations.

THG applauded the 2018 Legislature for passing HCR 94 to request an updated “State Information Technology Strategic Plan,” which is now being developed with input from the Ige administration, state IT Steering Committee, and a public-private work group. The updated plan will outline the big-picture vision, goals and objectives to help enable the state’s departments to work together in a coordinated fashion, to truly leverage economies of scale — like few entities other than governments are able to do — and finally to establish an official data strategy.

 

Honolulu Star-Advertiser

EDITORIAL | NAME IN THE NEWS

By Maureen O’Connell

November 23, 2018

Christine Sakuda is executive director of Transform Hawaii Government.

Christine Sakuda is executive director of Transform Hawaii Government, a nonprofit that is advocating for IT transformation in state government.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Hawaii still lags decades behind other states in tapping information technology as a means to step up transparency and speed responsiveness in state government operations.

But progress is in the works, according to Transform Hawaii Government (THG), a nonprofit coalition that advocates for tech upgrades, along with the phasing out of antiquated IT infrastructure, for the sake of improved public service.

“A modern IT system would significantly improve how the state manages its $14.4 billion annual budget, creating benefits for everyone,” said Christine Sakuda, THG’s executive director.

Prior to joining the coalition last year, Sakuda served as executive director for the Hawaii Health Information Exchange (not to be confused with the Hawaii Health Connector), where she devoted much of her time to transforming the wayhealth care data is delivered. Before that, she was the information officer and telehealth director at the Hawaii Primary Care Association.

“These experiences instilled in me an appreciation for the value of partnerships, trust and the potential of data as a major strategic asset,” Sakuda said.

“With the growing ubiquity of technology and the data it generates, citizens’ expectations of accessibility of government services, online and real-time, are at an all-time high, but data will not be shared unless a trusted framework between data owners and users is established.”

Sakuda, who has called Hawaii home since she was a toddler, holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Santa Clara University, and an MBA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Business Administration. She picked up much of her tech savvy on the job, spurred on by the challenge of “figuring out how it could help solve problems.”

The next talk story event in THG’s ongoing speaker series is slated for 8:15 a.m. Tuesday at Impact Hub Honolulu, 1050 Queen St. “Transforming Hawaii’s School Facilities Through Digital Platforms and Innovative Procurement” will detail the state’s effort to use data to further efficiency and progress toward cooling school classrooms.

Question: Why is IT-focused government transformation needed in the islands?

Answer: It’s more than just modernizing for the sake of modernizing. We advocate improving Hawaii government’s business practices and ways of doing business; this often includes adopting newer technology, but modernizing processes is key.

This benefits government leaders and employees by improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness and ensuring they have access to reliable information and data to make informed decisions. It benefits the public by ensuring government services are streamlined, integrated and delivered in ways that exceed the expectations of citizens and the needs of Hawaii’s businesses.

Q: What’s your take on where the effort stands now?

A: Nearly seven years ago, the state unveiled a proposal to modernize its information technology systems and processes. This IT transformation plan promised “a future state that includes faster, better and easier access to government information and services.”

Although not formally adopted, several components of the plan have progressed under the last two adminis- trations. Under the leadership of state Chief Information Officer (CIO) Todd Nacapuy, who was appointed by Gov. David Ige in 2015, the state hardened its core IT infrastructure, and as a result the state government network is now much more stable and resilient.

… We applaud the 2018 Legislature for passing HCR 94 to request an updated “State Information Technology Strategic Plan,” which is now being developed with input from the Ige administration, state IT Steering Committee, and a public-private work group. What is very exciting is that the updated IT Strategic Plan will outline the big-picture vision, goals and objectives to help enable the state’s departments to work together in a coordinated fashion to truly leverage economies of scale — like few entities other than governments are able to do — and finally to establish an official data strategy.

Q: Why has it been so difficult for Hawaii to make progress?

A: Some of the biggest challenges to modernizing state government are the sheer number of systems and the wide area of functions involved. In a baseline assessment conducted seven years ago, 743 systems were identified as paper-based and inefficient. … Every department is different with varying needs, and state government is still very decentralized when it comes to technology.

Another factor is the length of time it often takes to implement major IT overhauls; it does not optimally fit the state’s two-year, biennial budget process.

Q: How much paper-based work still needs to move online?

A: While progress has been made in some areas, Hawaii remains decades behind other states in many information technology and business process capabilities. … The state has made great progress in implementing more electronic alternatives to paper-based processes, but the reality is paper will be part of the mix for quite a while.

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

In July, the state 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 1 million sheets of printed paper. According to the office, one of the ways they reduced paper usage was transitioning departments into producing electronic reports instead of printing hard-copy documents. The office projects a savings of $500,000 and 10 million sheets of printed paper over the next three years.

Q: What do you see as THG’s top few highlights during your first year?

A: When I accepted the position of executive director, I wanted to bring more tangible opportunities to our coalition members to engage in transforming government.

That’s why we launched our speaker series this summer, which has succeeded in doing exactly that. Going into 2019, we intend to raise our speaker series to the next level by hosting more panel discussions that move the discussion forward.

Another accomplishment in 2018 was our successful advocacy for an update to the state’s IT strategic plan. … placing responsibility for its development on the IT Steering Committee, of which I am a member. The committee has been meeting and working with ETS this year to complete the plan with strong recommendations for the Legislature and the governor to consider going into the 2019 legislative session.

Q: What issues will be on your 2019 priority legislation list at the state Capitol?

A: Our legislative focus will be to support the elements of the state’s IT Strategic Plan, once it’s submitted, especially in those areas where we can facilitate efforts around data as well as IT workforce development. We anticipate a renewed emphasis on data, in terms of how the state manages and uses data and how it makes it accessible to the public.

Q: Other goals on the horizon?

A: We hope to directly provide help and resources to the state in real, tangible ways that go beyond advocacy. This may include funding high-impact initiatives (such as IT-centered professional development opportunities for public sector employees) … or key positions. … Of course, this would need to be in areas that will move the needle toward greater efficiency, effectiveness and transparency. The good thing is that these directly align with Gov. Ige’s goals, so we are very hopeful.

In addition, we will continue to advocate, educate, facilitate and innovate. Advocate by promoting government accessibility, transparency, and responsiveness; educate by communicating the benefits and urgency to state employees, business and citizens; facilitate by leading through building and focusing consensus toward transformation; and innovate by forging new resources for leaders and workforce to make informed decisions.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: Interacting directly with so many individuals within state government who work creatively and innovatively to improve our government and services to the public. Too often, state employees get a bad rap. I can tell you first-hand that there are great passion and talent within the state working to make a difference over the long haul.

THG Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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 transformhawaiigov.org.

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.

# # #

Media Contact:

Keith DeMello
Anthology Marketing Group
Direct: 808.544.3016
Mobile: 808.542.5343
keith.demello@anthologygroup.com

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 esign.hawaii.gov.

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 hacc.hawaii.gov.

 

Established to promote an open, transparent and responsive Hawaii government, THG applauds the cumulative efforts behind UIPA.org, 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. UIPA.org 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 UIPA.org 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 UIPA.org. 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.

Photo

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.