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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There is a shift taking place in Hawaii and across the country towards providing online access to government services. Nonprofit organizations, private businesses and government agencies are all contributing to making government more efficient, responsive and transparent.This edition of the Transform Hawaii Government newsletter focuses on how mobile and online applications are changing the way citizens and businesses interact with government and improve our way of life.

In this edition:

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Honolulu Star-Advertiser

October 18, 2013

Finding a safe spot to eat in Hawaii may be as simple as seeing green.

The state health department is proposing posting green, yellow and red placards in restaurants and other establishments to show how they fared in food safety inspections, West Hawaii Today reported today.

In the visible grading system, green placards would mean “pass”; yellow ones, “conditional pass”; and red cards, “closed.” A green card will go to facilities that have one major violation or less that’s corrected before the inspection is completed. Yellow would be for eateries with two or more violations during an inspection, regardless of whether violations were corrected immediately.

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Hawaii Public Radio

October 2, 2013

Deputy Chief Information Officer Randy Baldemor talks about the Office of Information Management and Technology, public-private partnerships with the Hawaii Community Foundation, what is happening within the state to further the transformation effort and what’s next for OIMT. Listen to the entire interview online via the HPR website.