A committee in the Hawaii state legislature has approved the introduction of new bills that would create the position of Chief Data Officer and the establishment of a task force to develop manage data policy for the state.

Lucas Ropek reports on the bills taken up by the Hawaii state legislature in this post on Government Technology.

Two sets of companion bills — SB1001 and HB532; SB219 and HB531 — were introduced in January with the proposed changes. Both were recently approved by the House Committee on Economic Development and Business, and are currently in the process of further review. The legislation aims to make data more manageable for government officials, centralizing all state agencies behind one unified strategy, while also increasing transparency and public access to that data.

Under the bills, the new CDO would serve with the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, and the associated task force, led by the CDO, would set about developing and implementing data policy for the state.

State CIO Douglas Murdock described the benefits of the new legislation as “efficient integration, management, governance and storing of data,” adding that it would go a long way to help advance IT infrastructure. Murdock, who replaced outgoing CIO Todd Nacapuy in January, added that the new legislation would mean more efficient data sharing and increased transparency.


In the past, obstacles to efficient data sharing have been diverse, not least of which being siloed government agencies that were “overly protective” of their individual data caches, Murdock said. With a CDO, however, enforcement of efficient data sharing would be achievable. “Having a data officer and a task force allows us to say this is the state’s data and the state should be able to use it to make a decision in the different policy areas that might be involved,” he said.

Murdock said that the legislation would also hopefully increase government transparency, allowing officials to share new kinds of information with the public that weren’t previously available. Hawaii already has an open data portal, but the new legislation would likely expand and improve the kinds of data sets that are accessible, he said.