The Hawaii Legislature has approved $1.2 million annually for the state’s new IT office, and the bill has been sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s desk for his signature.

Finalized earlier this month, the legislation sets the responsibilities of the state CIO, which will include governance, standards and strategy. The bill also calls for the creation of an IT steering committee comprised of executive branch department heads and representatives from the private sector, higher education and the Legislature that will advise the CIO.

By July, Abercrombie plans to appoint a state CIO who will lead the newly created Office of Information Management and Technology, which will be put under the Hawaii Department of Accounting and General Services. Previously the head of the Department of Accounting and General Services served as the state CIO and comptroller.

The state has already scheduled interviews with finalists for the newly created CIO position. Other executive positions within the new office also are being recruited.

The state hopes the office will modernize its technology system, provide greater accountability for data and spending, enhance security and backup measures, and reduce energy usage. The CIO will be tasked with developing an overall information management and technology plan.

“One of the biggest factors hampering government and costing taxpayers in time and money is the state’s outdated information technology,” Abercrombie said in a statement earlier this year. “Basic operations of government are stymied by an information management system that hasn’t been upgraded in decades. With this major initiative, we will transform our government and bring us to where we need to be in the 21st century.”

Funding for the IT office will also come from outside sources, such as a $3 million grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF). The grant funding from the HCF comes from the Omidyar Ohana Fund, which was established through the support of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam.

Matt Williams  |  Associate Editor