CIO Insight
February 13, 2013
By Samuel Greengard

The Aloha State is undergoing a digital transformation. CIO Sonny Bhagowalia offers his insights into the state’s award-winning approach.

In June 2011, Governor Neil Abercrombie named Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia Hawaii’s first chief information officer. Bhagowalia, a former deputy associate administrator at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and CIO for several federal agencies, has worked tirelessly to transform the state into a digital leader. He revamped IT, streamlined services and technologies, and introduced a 12-year plan to modernize the state and drive economic gains through IT. In 2013, Bhagowalia received a prestigious Federal 100 Award for his accomplishments. The State and its Office of Information Management & Technology (OIMT) has also received a number of other IT awards. CIO Insight caught up with Bhagowalia and asked him to provide insights into Hawaii’s digital transformation.

annual-report-250The State of Hawaii has released a comprehensive report on its transformation initiative that highlights the cross-state implications and benefits of streamlining business processes and investing in modern technology. Like the transformation itself, the CIO Annual Report 2012-2014 includes input from departments and agencies across the state and demonstrates the commitment of individuals at all levels to improving government services.

Read the Report at:

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.

Read more


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.

  Read more