Honolulu Civil Beat

by Nick Grube

June 2, 2014

Digging into the campaign finances of your local representative should be a little easier with new apps developed through a partnership between Common Cause Hawaii and Hawaii Open Data.

Campaign Spending app screen shot

Coders from various fields used data made available on the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission’s website to create usable apps that, among other things, allow individuals to break down contributions made to the various candidates running for office.

Other apps allow residents to find out who’s running for office in their districts as well as find their voting precinct.

The hope of the project organizers is that the apps and the data contained in them will make it easier for citizens to participate in elections as informed voters.

As Campaign Spending Commission Association Director Tony Baldomero said in a press release, the apps and data visualizations “have made it possible for the public to view this very important data in a user-friendly and understandable way.”

You can view the apps here.


May 12, 2014

With the promise of bringing ‘Your Government – Your Way,’ the State of Hawaii rolled out updates to its website, Hawaii.gov, and launched its newest service – my.hawaii.gov. The new tool is a one-stop shop allowing Hawai’i residents to completely customize how they interact online with the state on any device, anywhere, anytime – securely and reliably.

With a first of its kind approach to the gamification of government, my.hawaii.gov leverages the existing portal architecture and utilizes its Single Sign-On system. The new service integrates with seven of the 17 departments and includes a rich, personalized history of all business conducted online with the state. It also directly integrates with almost 60 of the 100+ online services offered in Hawaii.For highlights of the great new features, visit m.hi.gov/myhi.

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April 30, 2014

The Communicator Awards has awarded Hawaii.gov with a Gold Award of Excellence in the 20th Annual Communicator Awards for the redesign of the official website of the State of Hawaii. With over 6,000 entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence for communications professionals.

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Pacific Business News
April 29, 2014

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released more than $52.4 million for capital improvement projects at state public housing facilities and upgrades to aging technology within state agencies, including $45 million for the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to develop, improve and renovate public housing around the state.

The money includes $2 million for the modernization of the eligibility determination system for public assistance programs within the Department of Human Services, which is currently using a 25-year-old computer system to determine eligibility for everything from Temporary Assistance to Needy Families to he Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The new system will be integrated with the state’s new Medicaid eligibility system, the governor’s office said.

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April 16. 2014

The Telly Awards has named Hawaii Information Consortium (eHawaii.gov) as a Bronze winner in the 35th Annual Telly Awards for their video piece titled The New Hawaii.gov Website.  With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor.

In the spring of 2013, eHawaii.gov worked with the Office of Information Management & Technology to redesign the State portal website, Hawaii.gov. The new Hawaii.gov might just be the coolest government website you have ever seen. The touch-first design, Hawaiian themes, dynamic data and enhanced search represent a huge evolutionary step forward in government web sites. There is so much packed into the new portal we decided to make a video to showcase its new features. This Telly Award is the 7th award to be received in honor of Hawaii.gov since it’s release in April 2013.

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Honolulu Star Advertiser
April 10, 2014
By Joie Nishimoto

Online access to the state’s information rose from an F to a C, a research group says

Hawaii is the second most improved state in the nation when it comes to providing public online access to government spending, according to an annual study released Tuesday.

Hawaii got a C grade, 71 points, in “Following the Money 2014: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” which ranks states by how accessible or “transparent” government spending information is online. Last year the state received an F grade, 39 points. Before last year, Hawaii had consistently maintained a C grade.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund began tracking spending transparency five years ago. Last year marked the first in which all 50 states operated websites to make information on state spending easily accessible to the public.

According to the PIRG report, Hawaii now offers comprehensive “checkbook-level” spending information online.

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The Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced that the unemployment services online has expanded to include an unemployment appeals system and the ability for employers to electronically file weekly reports. Currently, employers can file payments and access account information online, while employees can file and report for unemployment claims.

“Improving online services is a key part of the Abercrombie Administration’s effort to streamline and transform the way state government operates,” said DLIR Director Dwight Takamine. “Expanding the online unemployment system makes crucial services more readily available to both claimants and employers.”

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