Government

Digital Government Summit explores Hawaii tech roadmap

Nearly 700 state employees, community leaders and members of the public joined Governor Neil Abercrombie today for the 2012 Hawaii Digital Government Summit at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to engage employees and other stakeholders in the state’s business and information technology transformation initiative. Presented by Government Technology Executive Events and the Center for Digital Government – at no cost to the state – the event featured more than 20 sessions on topics ranging from modernization of public schools to health information technology. “Transformation of state government is about delivering the services people need – anywhere, anytime,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “Hawaii’s IT Transformation Plan, launched in October, will accomplish its goals by investing in the state’s greatest asset – its employees. Making government more efficient and effective brings opportunities to those who work in state offices, enabling employees to provide a higher level of service while attaining new skills and playing a role in reshaping the way government conducts business. This will help us to strengthen our economy, sustain Hawaii for future generations and build public confidence in government.” [...]

Navy powers up city’s largest solar facility

An official “Flip the Switch” ceremony and Hawaiian blessing was held today to mark the completion of more than 4,300 solar panels installed at the Pearl City Solar Energy Facility. Capable of generating 1.23 megawatts of electricity, it is now the newest and largest utility-scale solar photovoltaic project on O’ahu. This project marks the fourth utility-scale solar facility that developer Forest City Hawaii has completed in Honolulu, making it one of the largest renewable-energy developers and owners in the state. At today’s ceremony, Jennifer Sabas, chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, praised the project’s vision, and Governor Neil Abercrombie commended the project for advancing the state’s clean energy goals. These sentiments were echoed by other event attendees, including Jerrod Schreck, president of Hoku Solar, and Connie Lau, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries, chairman of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. and chairman of American Savings Bank. [...]

Hawaii, other states reach antitrust settlement over ebook pricing

Hawaii Attorney General David M. Louie, along with 53 attorneys general in other states, districts and U.S. territories, announced today that they have reached an antitrust settlement with three of the largest book publishers in the United States. Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster have agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books (E-books). They have also agreed to change the way they price E-books going forward. The settlement occurs in conjunction with a civil antitrust lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster. The lawsuit alleges that the three settling publishers and two nonsettling publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, “conspired and agreed to increase retail E-book prices for all consumers” and “agreed to eliminate E-book retail price competition between E-book outlets, such that retail prices to consumers would be the same regardless of the outlet patronized by the consumer.” [...]

City unveils web apps for traffic, tsunami sirens, art

Israel Kamakawiwoole, the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Information Technology (DIT) says there are “apps for that.” DIT has partnered with software developers to put key information in the hands of smartphone and computer users. “We are using mobile applications to provide useful information for the public and make them aware of what is happening around them in a timely manner. It’s exactly what a 21st Century city is supposed to do,” said Mayor Peter Carlisle. “The launch of these applications, and the way in which they were developed and implemented, shows how the City and County of Honolulu is leading in its use of technology to work directly with citizens,” said Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director of Code for America. “By using lightweight, innovative approaches, reusing existing software, and building deeper connections with residents, Honolulu is creating real value and strengthening the fabric of the city.” [...]

State business website wins international award

The State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) was recently honored with two awards for its suite of mobile business applications. The mobile apps are the first of their kind worldwide and the first mobile apps launched by the state. The International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) awarded a prestigious 2012 Merit Award for Outstanding Innovation, one of the top international honors for business registries, to DCCA’s Business Registration Division (BREG) last month at the IACA annual conference. “Hawaii’s technological transformation remains a top priority for my administration, and this award is recognition that we are on track to bringing state government where it needs to be in the 21st century,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “Through the innovative work now being done by DCCA and others in our state, we are creating technological assets that improve efficiency, expand services and save businesses money.” [...]

Governor: Invest now for Hawaii’s future

There was no way for us to have balanced our budget and achieved today’s fiscally favorable outlook without the commitment of everyone. To all of you who came to work each day bearing the burden of cuts and slashes to your programs for the past three years; and to those of you who gave up furloughs because of your commitment to serving Hawaii’s people, I thank you. Mahalo plenty to each and every one of you. Together, we are moving forward. And moving forward means leaving behind the drama of the recent past. [...]

Report: Defense department powers 18 percent of Hawaii economy

Up to 18 percent of Hawaii’s economy can be linked to spending by the U.S. Department of Defense, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation. “It’s common knowledge that defense activity in Hawaii plays a significant role in Hawaii’s economy, but the size of that role has not been previously studied and quantified,” said James Hosek, lead author of the study and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. Defense department spending in Hawaii averaged $6.5 billion per year during fiscal years 2007-2009. Of that, $4.1 billion was for personnel and $2.4 billion for the purchase of goods and services in Hawaii. [...]

Hawaii, NASA expand space exploration partnership

NASA and the State of Hawai’i have agreed to collaborate on a wide range of activities to promote America’s human and robotic exploration of space. The partnership also will contribute to the development of education programs and foster economic opportunities including new, high-tech jobs. Governor Neil Abercrombie and NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Rebecca Keiser signed a two-year agreement, formally called a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement Annex, during a ceremony today in the Governor’s Office. [...]

Capitol chamber to open to the public

The House of Representatives today announced that the House Chamber will be open daily for Hawaii State Capitol visitors and guests to tour the gallery area during the remainder of the month of February as a pilot project. After February, the project will be evaluated and a decision will be made on whether to extend access to the Chamber year round beyond the months the legislature is in session, January to May. Access to the Chamber will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., including the hours that the House is normally in session. [...]