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Hawaii Announces Plan to Establish CIO Office, Reduce Budget Deficit

The state’s executive branch budget plan outlines ways to reduce its $800 million deficit.

The Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie administration announced Monday, Feb. 21, that it plans to establish a CIO office.

The announcement was made to the Legislature and Hawaii citizens in the executive branch budget plan, which outlines ways to reduce the state’s more than $800 million deficit, according to the governor’s office.

Abercrombie’s announcement said the budget calls for nearly $1.7 billion by all means of financing, which includes federal funds, special funds and general obligation bonds for capital improvement projects. The money will be used to help stimulate the economy and assist with job creation.

The state departments were tasked with: identifying their most “broken parts,” developing new working habits under new leadership, and implementing new policies by best using limited resources, the plan said. The information gathered from this assignment helped contribute to drafting the comprehensive plan.

The budget plan said the administration intends on “restoring critical data system operations and finally establishing an office of the chief information officer; a move that will save taxpayers millions of dollars and improve the capacity of public workers and the private sector to accelerate services and business activity.”

Hawaii doesn’t currently have a full-time CIO, but in 2010 the Task Force on Reinventing Government recommended that the state create a CIO position. The task force was established by the Legislature to find ways to improve the state’s government.

Government Technology reported last year that the head of the Department of Accounting and General Services serves as the CIO and comptroller. According to a 2010 task force report recommendation, the new CIO position would have responsibilities that include: supervising the Information and Communications Services Division (ICSD); chairing a monthly governance committee made up of all state senior IT CIOs; and consolidating ICSD hardware, operating software, related positions and budgets for all executive-level state IT and communications.