April 30, 2014

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

In the spring of 2013, worked with the Office of Information Management & Technology to redesign the State portal website, The new 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 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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Government Technology
March 19, 2014

Keone Kali succeeds Sonny Bhagowalia, who was recently promoted to the position of chief adviser for technology and cybersecurity.

On Tuesday, the Hawaii Senate confirmed Keone Kali — Deputy CIO of Operations in the Office of Information Management and Technology — as the state’s new CIO. Kali replaces Sonny Bhagowalia, who was promoted by Gov. Abercrombie to the position of chief adviser for technology and Hawaii CIO Keone Kalicybersecurity.

In his former position, Kali oversaw all aspects of IT operations, according to a release, including enterprise shared services, infrastructure and security and privacy.

Kali has nearly two decades of experience in information technology, business development, and management in both the public and private sector. Before coming to the state, he was director of information technology and acting chief technology officer for the Pacific Disaster Center on Maui. A graduate of UCLA, he also previously served as the CIO for Beverly Hills, Calif.

March 18, 2014
by David Stegon

The Hawaii Senate on Tuesday confirmed Keone Kali as the state’s new chief information officer.

Kali previously served as Hawaii deputy CIO for operations underneath Sonny Bhagowalia, who last month was promoted to the state’s chief adviser for technology and cybersecurity.

“Kali has a proven record of success,” said Sen. Roz Baker, who represents South and West Maui. “I have no doubt that under Kali’s leadership the state will improve the delivery of government programs and services to the people of Hawaii.”

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March 3, 2014

By David Stegon

Sonny Bhagowalia, who was recently promoted to Hawaii’s chief adviser for technology and cybersecurity, joined StateScoop Radio to discuss his new role and how it will impact state technology operations in Hawaii.

Bhagowalia also discussed Hawaii information technology transformation, which he oversaw during his previous role as the state’s first chief information officer.

Bhagowalia highlighted the State of Hawaii CIO Annual Report for Fiscal Years 2012-2014, which he released in February that discusses the state’s dramatic technology transformation over his nearly three years on the island.

Listen to the interview.