Categorized | Business wins 2014 ‘Best of the Web’ national award


The State of Hawaii’s web portal ( has been named this year’s “Best of the Web” state portal by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) 2014 Best of the Web (BOW) and Digital Government Achievement Awards, which recognize the best of all government websites across the country.

The awards program is the original and most respected state and local government website competition in the United States, honoring outstanding government portals and websites based on their innovations, functionality and efficiencies.

The BOW awards are open to states, counties, cities, towns and villages to nominate their official websites in three BOW categories: State Portal, County Portal, and City Portal.

“Being recognized as the best of all state government web portals amongst exceptionally strong national competition is another superb achievement by our state team,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “This award demonstrates that government transformation into the digital age is underway and even ahead of schedule, continuing to produce results in record time. We are so proud of the entire team that has represented us in this great achievement for the State of Hawaii.”

Hawaii edged out other ranking states such as Utah, Arkansas, Texas and Maryland for the top honor.

“What we are seeing in Hawaii is transformation in action,” said State Chief Information Officer (CIO) Keone Kali. “Our state has made significant and meaningful progress in a very short time. This was possible due to strong support from the Governor and state Legislature. We are extremely honored and proud of our team. This recognition strengthens our resolve in taking our Internet presence and application of citizen-facing services to the next level. We are continuing to incrementally implement additional capabilities in 2014 and beyond.”

The newly designed was launched in 2013 as a comprehensive update to the state’s main web portal.

It was released in conjunction with upgrades to webpages across all state departments and agencies to enhance mobile, touch and speech capability; increase consistency; and improved accessibility.

It was updated again in January 2014 as part of the Open Government program alignment with state’s award-winning Business and Information Technology/Information Resource Management (IT/IRM) Transformation Plan unveiled in 2012.

“This award validates the Governor’s transformational vision and leadership for the past four years,” said the Governor’s Chief Advisor on Technology and Cybersecurity, Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia. “It clearly demonstrates that Hawaii can be the best in the country when we work as a team with a relentless commitment to excellence in executing our game plan.

“This award highlights the continuing innovation and execution by a great public-private partnership, between the Office of Information Management and Technology and Hawaii Information Consortium (HIC) team, led by State CIO Keone Kali, Open Government Program Manager Karen Higa, and HIC General Manager Russell Castagnaro.”

The State of Hawaii recently won the Web Marketing Association “Best Government Website” in 2014 and was a BOW finalist in 2013 before achieving this pinnacle BOW award in 2014.

The state’s progress in the use of technology across state government was recognized earlier this month with a B+ grade in the Center for Digital Government’s biennial Digital States Survey. This grade is the “best-ever” score for Hawaii and an improvement from a B- in 2012, showing progress toward the top tier of digital states.

In addition, Hawaii was recently one of six states (Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma and Utah) to receive a perfect score in this year’s State Open Data Policies and Portals report by the Center for Data Innovation.

Hawaii also earned a 2013 Federal 100 award from Federal Computer Week magazine (the only state government in the nation to receive such an award that year) and the 2014 Government Innovator of the Year award from the Government Technology Research Alliance.

A formal award ceremony is Oct. 23, 2014, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

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