February 10, 2014

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has announced the appointment and promotion of Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia as Chief Advisor for Technology and Cyber-Security, beginning Feb. 18.

The new executive leadership position was created to establish Hawaii as a premier technology and cyber-security hub in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to strengthen ties between Hawaii and Washington, D.C. in support of the state’s Business and Technology Transformation.

“Under Sonny’s exceptionally positive leadership and energy, the State of Hawaii has made great strides in developing a strong technology and security foundation, launching key programs to transform business and technology in the state, and charting a strong course for the future with a nationally recognized transformation plan,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Now more than ever, we need Sonny to help our state take the next step by representing Hawaii at a national level to ensure we establish a cohesive technology and cyber-security strategy, position Hawaii for future federal collaboration and investments, and encourage our community stakeholders to continue to support Hawaii’s technology transformation.”

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HawaiiPressConferenceGovernment Technology
February 10, 2014
by Colin Wood

Over the past few years, Hawaii has made significant changes when it comes to IT — something Gov. Neil Abercrombie proclaimed as a technological victory for the state on Feb. 10, when he also announced the appointment of a new CIO.

When the state appointed its first CIO in 2011, it was “hopelessly behind,” Abercrombie said during a press conference — but Hawaii is now positioned to compete with the technology in any federal or state agency, he said.

And moving forward, state CIO Sonny Bhagowalia will become the governor’s chief advisor for technology and cybersecurity, Deputy CIO Keone Kali will become state CIO, and Deputy CIO Randy Baldemor will become director of strategic initiatives in the governor’s office. Read more

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
February 6, 2014
By Associated Press

There’s an app to help you find your Hawaii state representative or senator.

The state Office of Information Management and Technology said Wednesday the state created two new smartphone apps to help the public identify their lawmakers.

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January 30, 2014

Seventy-five percent of residents support the idea of investing state funds to modernize business processes and technology within the State of Hawaii, according to a recent statewide public opinion poll conducted by OmniTrak Group, Inc.

“By streamlining processes and investing in the right technology, residents on every island can have equal access to state services and government will be more transparent and accountable,” said Michael Dahilig, member of the Transform Hawaii Government steering committee. “These findings show that citizens understand the need for investing to rebuild the foundation of state government.”

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StateTech Magazine
January 15, 2014
By Amy Schurr

With more than 20 major computer systems in the Hawaii Department of Education, managing secure access for more than 20,000 users was challenging because most applications required different passwords.

“It made it very difficult for our employees to remember everything and encouraged insecure practices like writing your password down on the inside cover of a notebook,” says David Wu, assistant superintendent and CIO in the Office of Information Technology.

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In this edition:

Campaign Spending Commission Launches Interactive App

App Visualizes Wide Range of Hawaii Campaign Financial Data

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission is shining a light on local politics by launching a web-based application that allows citizens to access a wide range of campaign financial data on any elected official in the state.

The “Data Visualization Application” was developed by the Campaign Spending Commission in partnership with the State of Hawaii’s Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT), the State’s Information & Communication Services Division, and Socrata, which develops open data applications for local, state and federal government agencies nationwide.

Campaign spending data has long been accessible online, but the addition of a visualization tool has transformed tables of data into useful information that can help voters make more informed decisions, as well as identify any potential conflicts of interest.

For example, by selecting a candidate and an election period, citizens can view a pie chart of a candidate’s contributions to see how much and what percentage of their contributions are from individuals, noncandidate committees, political parties, immediate family members, etc. Citizens can also see how much and what percentage of a candidate’s campaign funds are coming from within Hawaii or out-of-state.

Citizens can also clearly see where campaign funds are being spent. A pie chart shows the amount and percentage of a candidate’s spending on expenses such as advertising, food & beverage, printing, professional services, voter research and more, as well as in-state versus out-of-state spending.

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November 21, 2013

A government of the people, by the people, for the people cannot flourish in the shadows. For democracy to thrive for the long term, members of the public must engage in civic and community affairs, and government agencies and officials must be transparent in and accountable for their actions.

The Open Data Initiative, a worldwide movement that includes cities, states and nations, recognizes this fact and promotes easier access to public data online as a way to empower citizens, spur government efficiency and innovation and nurture public-private partnerships that serve the needs of taxpayers.

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In this edition:

Transform Hawaii Government Members Receive Transformation Update, Prepare for 2014 Legislature

Last week, members of Transform Hawaii Government: The Movement met in downtown Honolulu for the inaugural transformation update meeting. More than 40 members of the coalition were in attendance, including representatives from the business, nonprofit and government sectors.

During the event program, Hawaii Community Foundation CEO Kelvin Taketa thanked supporters for their dedication to the cause and pointed to the latest biennium investment from the state legislature of more than $120 million as a sign that the state is also committed to the effort.

Taketa reiterated the need to rebuild the foundation on which state government provides services to ensure equal access for citizens across the state.  He also reminded attendees that this monumental effort will take ten more years to complete, which is why the coalition exists – to hold the state accountable for continuing to make progress, regardless of the administration in power.

Displaying his usual enthusiasm, State CIO Sonny Bhagowalia provided a detailed update on the status of the transformation movement, pointing to recent awards from the Center for Digital Government and NASCIO as industry recognition of efforts taking place in departments throughout state government.

Mahalo to everyone who attended the coalition meeting!  Check out more photos from the event on the Transform Hawaii Government Facebook page.

Key Takeaways from the Meeting

What to expect at the 2014 Legislature:

  • Biennium budget passed this year covers fiscal years 2014 and 2015, therefore no major funding bills are expected.
  • OIMT may be presenting policy/administrative legislation to better organize the structure within which the transformation is occurring.
Ways you can be more involved in Transform Hawaii Government: The Movement:
  • Share our Facebook and Twitter posts with your network.
  • Encourage your friends to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
  • Submit a bylined article for this newsletter.
  • Provide information on why you support the transformation for a member profile in this newsletter.
  • When prompted, submit a letter to the editor, author an opinion editorial or volunteer to be interviewed by news media.
  • Testify at the legislature in support of OIMT legislation – either in person or via email.
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