The Department Dashboard tracks 16 branches of the executive government

Looking at the wall of blue squares as they toggling into formation behind State of Hawaii Chief Information Officer (CIO) Todd Nacapuy, a passerby at the Impact Hub could have mistaken the projection as edgy, innovative decor. However, to the attendees in the room, each square represented a visualized portion of nearly half a billion dollars of the state’s IT projects.

The Transform Hawaii Government (THG) coalition held its first thought-provoking speaker series event with the help of the state Office of Enterprise Technology Services and Rep. Mark M. Nakashima  on July 25 in Kakaako.

CIO Nacapuy along with his team shared examples of how the financial tracking tool promotes government transparency for stakeholders such as legislators, state agencies, and the general public through an interactive demonstration of the Hawaii Department Dashboard.

The Office of Enterprise Technology Services employees maintain the dashboard with continuous input from the various departments. It tracks the progress of current and upcoming IT projects including financial overviews as well as project timelines. Below are some takeaways from the event.


Changing the [Money] Conversation

The Office of Enterprise Technology Services meets monthly with individual state departments (with the exception of the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii System, which are administered and led by their respective boards) so that all verified IT projects are represented on the dashboard.

Senate President Kouchi

Senate President Ronald Kouchi commended the Office of Enterprise Technology Service for its work on the dashboard.

“What it [the Hawaii Department Dashboard] does is it now changes the conversation. All of our financial systems are now linked together, meaning that when a department now puts in a budget request, we see it and it gets displayed on the roadmap,” said Nacapuy during his presentation.

According to the CIO, if IT project requests are not listed on the dashboard, then budget approval is denied, which encourages departments to develop planning “roadmaps” and anticipate any future savings. The protocol, in turn, has somewhat dampened the age-old practice of “use it or lose it” for departmental expenditures on the state government IT level.


Cost Savings

CIO Nacapuy answers an audience member's inquiry regarding the Hawaii Department Dashboard

CIO Nacapuy answers an audience member’s inquiry regarding the Hawaii Department Dashboard

Based on analysis of the data, the State of Hawaii also leveraged economies of scale to get significant savings on enterprise contracts for commonly used software.

“We looked across the state as a whole, and we were spending almost $2 million a year on Adobe Acrobat Pro. Many departments used the software to make PDFs ADA compliant. So we went back to Adobe and were able to reduce the contract rate significantly,” said Nacapuy.


This year, ETS is looking to continue this rate for the next three years.



Empirical Data as a Single Source of Truth

“Modernizing these systems are going to help us get there so that we can give our legislators empirical data to make the right decisions”


Lastly, during the legislative session, bills which request additional funding to support multi-year IT projects are not uncommon. Fiscal dashboards like the department dashboard benefit Hawaii’s legislators with empirical data to make decisions derived from facts as opposed to special interests.

When asked what success for the dashboard will look like in a year, Nacapuy said, “modernizing these systems is going to help us get there so that we can give our legislators empirical data to make the right decisions, so they are no longer relying on lobbyists to give them information. We’re trying to give them true information through data. That’s where we need to go, that’s what we’re trying to do and what that end goal is.” 

Hawaii’s state deparment dashboard was made possible with thte passage of Senate Bill 2807 SD2 (later signed into law as Act 58 of 2016), which consolidated two programs to establish the Office of Enterprise Technology Services and expanded the state CIO’s authority to work with departments to develop and maintain their IT “roadmaps.”

Explore the dashboard using the link below and stay tuned for upcoming THG Speaker Series events.

Transform Hawaii Government (THG) believes that modernization of the state’s critical IT systems is fueled by a dedicated, skilled and responsible workforce.  Additionally, with the growing ubiquity of technology and the data it generates, citizens’ expectations of accessibility of government services, online and real-time, are at an all-time high.

With state IT systems 20 years old and counting, implementing new IT systems and processes can reap many rewards but is often very disruptive.  New technologies, and new ways of doing business better and faster often require collaboration between public agencies and community partners.

Founder and strategic director Rachel Wong addresses OSF's cohort

Image Courtesy of One Shared Future

THG was proud to support a bright spot in the endeavor of IT workforce development called One Shared Future.  OSF, which envisions a community where all children, families, and individuals are supported to reach their fullest potential, so that we all may thrive.

OSF invests directly in the professional development of public sector professionals who are working to make a positive impact on Hawaii’s communities.

“Now more than ever, expanding professional development opportunities for public sector professionals is key to positive transformations in our community,” said founder and strategic director Rachael Wong. “Locally and nationally, public sector agencies administer the majority of the social impact resources available to states.”

THG funded OSF’s two spring cohorts, which launched in March 2018. One cohort was comprised of Department of Human Resources Development professionals andhuman resources officers from five agencies: Department of Agriculture; Department of the Attorney General; Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism; Department of Budget and Finance; and Department of Human Services. The other cohort included Department of Human Services and Department of Health professionals working across departments to improve community well-being and community outcomes though the shared ‘Ohana Nui framework.

Both cohorts culminated the Appreciating Change experience with Springboard to Action presentations in which participants shared the projects they developed though the series and that often address “seemingly intractable” issues in real time.  Two Springboard projects were implemented before their commencement while others continue to develop through cross-agency collaborations.

“This privately developed series is one of the best things that has been offered to state employees and leaders,” says Pankaj Bhanot, Director of the Department of Human Services who supported the attendance of 30 DHS employees and leaders.  “The impact of OSF extends far beyond the public sector –  it changes Hawaii for the better.”

The state is rolling out payroll modernization to departments in three groups.

The State of Hawaii’s Enterprise Payroll Modernization project is one of the state’s most ambitious initiatives. Led by the Department of Accounting and General Services’ Accounting Division, in partnership with the Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), the project is known as the “HawaiiPay” project for short and aims to modernize payroll systems to provide greater functionality and efficiencies in serving more than 75,000 full- and part-time employees statewide, according to ETS.


THG recently checked in with the project to get an update:


Why is it important to modernize the state’s payroll system?

The HawaiiPay project is helping the state to replace its mainframe payroll system that is more than 50 years old with a single integrated software system called PeopleSoft. The new payroll system will enable payroll offices of state jurisdictions, departments and agencies to reduce the manual, paper-intensive process by using a modern online application. For employees, it means they will be able to access Online Payroll Employee Self Service functionality to:

  • Access pay statements
  • Update payroll address
  • Update federal and state tax forms
  • Manage direct deposit accounts


Are there any benefits to tax-payers?

The HawaiiPay project represents a significant opportunity to further transform the culture of government to embrace and accelerate the adoption of more efficient, less paper-dependent ways of doing business.


Are retired employees affected by this new system?

No, retirees receive their pension through the State of Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System (ERS). The ERS is completely separate from the state employee payroll system. As a retiree, an individual’s direct deposit information does not need to be updated or reentered as a result of the implementation of the new payroll system.


Who is involved in the HawaiiPay project?

The HawaiiPay project team is comprised of state resources working closely together with consultants from CherryRoad Technologies and Pacxa. The new payroll system will cover more than 75,000 employees statewide from all branches of Hawaii state government: Executive (including the Department of Education, University of Hawaii, and Hawaii Health Systems Corporation), Judiciary and Legislative, as well as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.


As processes are modernized, does that mean people will lose their jobs?

No. There are no plans to reduce the workforce. Some job functions may be slightly modified to align with updated business processes inherent in the new software, providing enhanced tools and functionality for employees.


What has been accomplished to-date?

The state announced in May that it had rolled out the new system to the first of three groups of departments and agencies. Group 1 consisted of the Department of Accounting and General Services and the Department of Human Resources Development.

The second group will begin migration to the new system beginning in July, with the first payroll payments dispersed on the new system in August. Group 2 consists of employees in the Judiciary, Legislature, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and several Executive Branch departments including: the Departments of Agriculture; Attorney General; Budget and Finance; Business, Economic Development and Tourism; Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Defense; Hawaiian Home Lands; Health; Human Services; Labor and Industrial Relations; Land and Natural Resources; Public Safety; Taxation; and Transportation. Also in Group 2 are the Offices of the Governor and Lt. Governor, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, and Hawaii State Public Library System.


Group 3, which currently includes the Department of Education (the largest department by number of employees) and the University of Hawaii, are scheduled for migration is scheduled for later this year.

Upon completion of all groups, plans are to begin modernization of time and attendance systems.


How can interested citizens stay up to date on the progress of the project?

Regular updates are provided via the project’s website:


While natural and man-made emergencies are largely out of our control, preparedness for when disaster does strike is a wise investment of time and resources. Take a few moments download or explore these government mobile apps and resources so you’ll be armed with the information resources before the eleventh hour.


Text-based notifications (Neighbor Islands)


HNL Info

For those based on Oahu, the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Management has the HNL Info app that integrates multiple agency information in one convenient platform. Besides information on Satellite City Halls and City sponsored events, the app also provides push notifications in various categories which may significantly impact the public including weather and disaster, fire as well as road closures and traffic. HNL Info is available here.






FEMA app

In addition to preparedness information and reminders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s app offers customized alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the country. The FEMA app also features a Disaster Reporter where users can upload and share photos of damage and recovery efforts; plus an interface to access to apply for federal disaster assistance.

The Disaster Reporter functions as a crowdsourced set of disaster-related data. This useful information is overlaid onto a publicly accessible map where citizens, first responders, response and recovery teams and emergency managers can both view and contribute to the information as a natural emergency progresses.




Hurricane by Red Cross

While this app is not made by the government, the Red Cross offers a multitude of emergency preparedness support. The most prominent disaster relief nonprofit offers its own Hurricane app which provides location-based hurricane alerts, Red Cross shelter locations, preparedness tips as well as an “I’m Safe” feature used to inform social media networks of a person’s safety status.

Check out their other useful apps for earthquakes, tornadoes, first aid, and first aid for pets.






Emergency Management Social Media Profiles

From the 2008 Sichuan Province earthquake in China to Hawaii’s own Kilauea eruption, social media is here to stay as a method of connection in times of disaster. Follow your local emergency management agency on social for reliable information.

Hawaiʻi Island
Facebook: Hawaii County Civil Defense

Twitter:  @MauiEmergAgency Instagram: Maui_EMA Facebook: MauiEMA

City and County of Honolulu – Department of Emergency Management
Twitter: @Oahu_DEM Facebook: OahuDEM

County of Kauaʻi – Kauaʻi Emergency Management Agency

Transform Hawaii Government (THG) will launch its new speaker series in July, featuring officials and experts from Hawaii and beyond discussing current topics relating to transforming government.

THG coalition members are invited to save the date for the first event in the series, “Roadmap to Transparency: Explore the State of Hawaii’s Online IT Project Dashboard,” featuring State of Hawaii Chief Information Officer (CIO) Todd Nacapuy,” on July 25, 2018, at Impact Hub in Honolulu. The event is being presented in partnership with the CIO-led Office of Enterprise Technology Services, as well as legislators.

Nacapuy will share how the Hawaii Department Dashboard tracks more than 400 information technology (IT) projects across the state’s executive branch departments and agencies that account for nearly half a billion dollars in annual IT spend. Accessible through his office’s website (, the online resource was developed in accordance with 2016 legislation requiring executive branch departments to create and maintain multi-year IT strategic plans and roadmaps. Nacapuy and his team conducted extensive coordination with the various departments with the goal of creating a more accessible, cohesive and transparent dashboard for state and public use.

Watch for the event invitation in the coming days, as well as information on future THG Speaker Series events that cover topics ranging from modern elections and cybersecurity, to open data and broadband initiatives.

Equal network access to the internet is officially over. With the Supreme Court repeal in effect, Internet Service Providers (ISP) may now block certain apps and websites, throttle network speeds and use paid prioritization to give pay-to-play type access to rich content. These changes could mean we will soon start seeing ISPs bundling their services, with major companies at a potential detriment to smaller companies  similar in practice to cable companies. Read the full story on The New York Times.

Note: Several state governments including Hawaii set in motion ways to protect net-neutrality in their own locales. Our state has an Executive Order for all state departments to contract only with Internet Service Providers who adhere to net-neutrality principles. Read more here.

For federal government legacy IT systems, some of which are 50 years old, an upgrade has become a matter of national security. Caught between the age of international hacks, elections meddling, information breaches and an ever-growing demand for a constituent-centric experience, the White House enacted the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The transformational mandate gives federal CIOs the incentive and resources to migrate their existing information infrastructure and services into more secure mobile apps, digital and cloud-based platforms. Read the full story on The Wall Street Journal

The 2018 legislative session may have adjourned, but the process for a bill to become law is far from over, as the governor has until July 10 to sign bills into law, veto bills, or allow them to become law without his signature.

As mentioned in the last THG newsletter, several pieces of priority legislation succeeded in being passed this year. The governor has until June 25 to decide whether to place any of the bills he has received from the Legislature on his Notice of Intent to Veto list. If a bill is not on the list by that date, the bill cannot be vetoed and will become law with or without the governor’s signature. The governor then has to July 10 to either veto the bill or let it become law.

Among the hundreds of bills awaiting action (or inaction) by the governor, here are the bills THG has been tracking:

  • HB2607, Relating to Education, requiring the Department of Education to develop and implement a statewide computer science curricula plan for public school students in K-12 and ensure each public high school offers at least one computer science course each school year.
  • HB2395, Relating to Electronic Filing, authorizing the Hawaii Department of Taxation to require certain taxpayers to file returns electronically, subject to exceptions for reasonable cause as provided by administrative rules.
  • HB2651, Relating to Wireless Broadband Facilities, establishing a process to upgrade and support next generation wireless broadband infrastructure throughout the State.
  • HB2373, Relating to the Sharing of Vital Statistics Records with Department of Health Program Employees for Approved Research Purposes, authorizing the Department of Health to disclose public health statistics records internally within the Department of Health for approved research purposes.

HCR 94, a concurrent resolution that does not require the governor’s signature, asks the state’s IT Steering Committee to submit a State Government IT Strategic Plan to the Legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of next session. Development of the plan is tasked to the IT Steering Committee and provides the opportunity to chart the course for further improving the delivery of programs and services to citizens, businesses and those working in state government.

HACC community partners take a photo with Gov. David Ige. Photo courtesy of the Office of Enterprise Technology Services.

Earlier this month, CIO Todd Nacapuy accepted’s State IT Innovation award on behalf of the Hawaii Annual Code Challenge (HACC). StateScoop annually honors outstanding state innovators, up-and-coming leaders as well as tech-based projects used to make the delivery of services more convenient to residents.

“As a proud sponsor of the 2017 Hawaii Annual Code Challenge, Transform Hawaii Government congratulates CIO Todd Nacapuy and his community co-partner Hawaii Open Data, for putting on the successful and innovative event, which provided the tech-minded development community with the opportunity to test their skills at coming up with creative solutions to government challenges,” said Christine Sakuda, THG executive director. “As a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting an open, transparent and responsive government, we recognize the ‘HACC’ as an outstanding example of how the state can engage the community in a meaningful way to streamline, integrate and deliver state services to meet and exceed the expectations of the public and Hawaii’s businesses, while helping to build Hawaii’s IT workforce.”

The State IT Innovation of the Year award recognizes win-win state government programs which bridge their constituent’s experience and makes efficient use of data integration for agencies. Hawaii’s hackathon joins notable programs from other states including Georgia Gateway, an integrated multi-program portal for human services; Utah’s Practice Driver License Program, an app to help drivers study for their driver’s license using smartphones and smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home; and Mississippi’s state chatbot called MISSI which uses machine learning to connect inquiries to the proper services. See all winners here.

With more than 300 participants in its sophomore year, the HACC brought together Hawaii’s programming community, state departments and the local tech industry to solve real-world information challenges provided by participating agencies. The month-long competition fostered mentoring for burgeoning coders and created proof of concepts for an app used to navigate within UH Manoa, a grant data visualizer for OHA, and enabling natural language searchability and interpretation of Hawaii’s laws.

The HACC was possible through the collaboration between the State of Hawaii and participating community partners such as Hawaii Open Data, DevLeague, and THG.

Hawaii’s remote geographic location and limited talent pool – while nothing new – have compounded a decades-long hiring challenge for state government. After a highly successful pilot project initiated in 2016, the Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) continues its innovative use of the professional social networking site LinkedIn as a tool for attracting top talent.

Besides using the world’s largest social networking platform for business professionals, ETS also changed its paradigm to revamp its employee culture. View this video case study to discover how the agency leveraged LinkedIn to meet and surpass its hiring goals.

For more information, read LinkedIn’s Talent Blog: 4 Ways the Government of Hawaii Modernized its Hiring Process to Attract Tech Talent.