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Briefs: Grant Will Help Hawaii Establish State Technology Office

Hawaii plans to hire a CIO by this summer; California portal wins transparency recognition.

Thanks to a $3 million grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF), Hawaii will create a new Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT), which will be led by the state’s first CIO.

The new office will modernize the state’s technology system, provide greater accountability for data and spending, enhance security and backup measures and reduce energy usage. The CIO will be charged 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“One of the biggest factors hampering government and costing taxpayers in time and money is the state’s outdated information technology,” Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in a statement. “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.”

The concept of creating a separate office of technology for the state was set forth in Act 200, passed by the Hawaii Legislature in 2010. While the act mandated creation of the office, it didn’t identify a funding source to pay for it.

The grant funding from HCF comes from the Omidyar Ohana Fund, a donor-advised fund established through the support of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam.The grant is also in part conditioned upon money from pending state legislation — Senate Bill 1287 and House Bill 1060, which are currently under consideration — and future legislation, which would provide the majority of the necessary funding.

California Website Honored with Award for Transparency

California has received a “Sunny Award” from the Sunshine Review, for having one of the most effective government websites in the nation for promoting government transparency.

The state was given an “A” grade for its state portal, which includes features such as information on the state budget, financial audit reports, contact information for officials, state contracts, lobbyist listings and more.

“I am pleased that California once again received high marks for online transparency,” said Christy Quinlan, acting secretary for the California Technology Agency, in a statement. “Californians have the right to know how their state government operates and where taxpayer dollars are being spent. We are committed to maintaining a high level of transparency and engaging the public to better serve the people of our state.”

The Sunshine Review was created in 2008 and is a nonprofit organization devoted to state and local government transparency. It reviews all state and approximately 5,000 local government websites.

A full list of this year’s “Sunny Award” winners is available.


Miriam Jones is a former chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.