STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR LINGLE ON REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE ON REINVENTING GOVERNMENT
The members of the Task Force on Reinventing Government, chaired by First Hawaiian Bank Chairman Don Horner, have provided some well thought-out proposals for improving the operations of State government. I urge the Legislature to seriously examine these proposals and enact legislation to support genuine improvements in the operations of State government.
The proposals that I believe have particular merit include:
1. Hold the governor accountable for public education, restructure the DOE, and increase instructional time.
I have introduced legislation (HB2552 / SB2705 and HB2553 / SB2706) to give the voters an opportunity to adopt a constitutional amendment to hold the governor responsible for the results of our school system by allowing the next governor to appoint the superintendent of education. We also propose to restructure the Department of Education to establish a deputy superintendent for student achievement along the lines suggested by the Task Force. Additionally, I have submitted a resolution to increase classroom instruction time. This resolution strongly agrees with the Task Force recommendation on this matter.
2. Substantially improve information technology use in the State.
My Administration has made strides in facilitating government on-line operations, including renewal of professional licenses, registering businesses, and filing for unemployment benefits. We have also improved government websites and ensured prompt on-line posting of key state information. But substantial progress is still needed, particularly integrating information systems. I particularly appreciate the support for our Administration’s efforts to establish a chief information officer to oversee and upgrade state information technology systems.
3. Simplify procurement procedures so that approved projects can move forward efficiently.
The Administration has developed a pilot program to expedite projects funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), except those handled by the Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i. We believe the ARRA model can be used to accelerate other State-approved projects, including education-related projects. The Task Force has specific suggestions that we will consider incorporating.
Many of the other proposals make suggestions for improving programs for natural resources, human resources, economic development, and transportation. My Administration looks forward to working with the members of the Task Force and members of the Legislature in implementing and adopting those proposals that can significantly upgrade the operations of the State.
We appreciate the commitment of the Task Force members to improving our State government.