Data bills top list of Hawai‘i’s most important tech-related legislation

Feb 6 2019

HONOLULU — Thanks to dedicated efforts in the community to raise awareness of the importance of data in smart decision making by state officials, there are a number of technology-related bills moving forward in the 2019 Hawai‘i legislative session. Transform Hawai‘i Government (THG) has identified four priority measures with the greatest potential to move the needle, especially in the areas of improving management and sharing of government data and IT strategic planning.

Bills important to managing government data include:

  • SB 1001, Relating to Government Data — Establishes a chief data officer and data task force, within the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, to develop, implement and manage statewide data set policies, procedures and standards.
  • HB 532, Relating to Government Data — Establishes a chief data officer and data task force to develop, implement and manage statewide data set policies, procedures and standards.

“Access to source data is essential to providing information to decision-makers, both within and external of government, so they are able to make informed decisions,” said Christine Sakuda, THG executive director. “Yet the majority of our state’s data is managed in a decentralized manner typical of many state governments — fragmented, seldomly refreshed, hard to find, difficult to access and with no overall strategy to govern and share data effectively an imperative in the 21st Century. 

“SB 1001 and HB 532 call for committing resources to develop a long-term vision that enables all branches and departments of our state government to work together, in a coordinated fashion, under one open data strategy. This includes facilitating vital sharing of data between agencies, where possible, to facilitate more effective, efficient and transparent delivery of information and services.”

Bills important to IT strategic planning include:

  • SB 219, Relating to Enterprise Technology Services — Requires the chief information officer, in conjunction with the Information Technology Steering Committee, to review, refresh and submit the state information technology strategic plan every four years.
  • HB 531, Relating to Enterprise Technology Services — Requires the Office of Enterprise Technology Services Chief Information Officer to update the state information technology strategic plan every four years, with the first update to be completed in advance of the 2021 regular session.

“Ever-evolving technology necessitates periodic updates to the government’s IT strategy to ensure that our state is leveraging modern technology and processes to deliver important services to citizens and businesses,” Sakuda said. “SB 219 and HB 531 build upon existing law around the development of the state’s strategic plan and maintaining and expanding government data availability and transparency. THG agrees that requiring the plan to be regularly refreshed will promote continuity of services, regardless of transitions from administration to administration.”

In 2018, members of the State of Hawai‘i Information Technology Steering Committee, various state agencies and the public met to update the state IT strategic plan, and among their top priorities was to establish a chief data officer for Hawai‘i. Data governance is among the top 10 priorities among state chief information officers nationwide, according to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO).

Transform Hawai‘i Government (THG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established to promote an open, transparent and responsive Hawai‘i government. THG advocates improving government business practices through technology to ensure government employees, residents and businesses have convenient and secure access to reliable information and data on demand. THG’s goal is government services that are streamlined, integrated, and delivered in ways that exceed the expectations of the public and the needs of Hawai‘i’s businesses. For more information, visit www.transformhawaiigov.org/.

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Keith Demello

Anthology Marketing Group

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