Hawaii governor strengthens IT department’s tech project review authority

A new law signed by Gov. David Ige updates the state ETS office's ability to authorize third-party review and governance around large state IT projects.

Hawaii’s information technology agency will have new oversight and governance authority over large technology projects across the Aloha state after a new law went into effect this month.

Gov. David Ige signed SB 850, now Act 37, on June 19, granting the state’s chief information officer authority to establish thresholds of price and complexity on state IT projects. If a project hits those ceilings, the law would trigger independent verification and validation — or an external third party review — before the process goes any further.

The CIO now also gains additional authority to set similar standards — with the potential for external review — for information technology projects at the state’s Department of Education and the University of Hawaii. The two organizations did not previously fall under the state IT office’s IT project oversight.

For projects that meet the threshold for review, the state will not use just a single contractor to perform the evaluations, state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy said. Instead, the state will select entities to perform the reviews through the state’s standard procurement processes, enabling the department to bring in contractors to evaluate projects in specific areas of expertise.


“IT requirements are markedly different between departments.” Nacapuy told StateScoop. “[The reviews], if required, will be implemented [on a program-by-program basis] to ensure appropriate technical expertise is provided.”

Before the new law, the Office of Enterprise Technology Services — Hawaii’s IT department — had oversight over executive branch IT endeavors, but only with limited capability. Now, ETS has the authority to “review, monitor and, if needed, guide IT projects from initial planning, budgeting and procurement, to development and final completion,” Nacapuy said in press release

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